ANNOUNCEMENT!!! :D

Our Last Adventure | Hawai'i - offbeat + inspired

I have THE MOST exciting news, guys!!! Well, sad and exciting. Mostly, exciting, but equally sad. But mostly exciting. HA!! Ok, sorry. Just excited! The sad part first: I will no longer be posting anything on offbeatandinspired.com. The happy/excited part: because I’ll be posting on my shiny new website/blog, tifforelie.com!!! YAYYYYY!!!

It’s been a long time coming and I’m so thrilled about everything I’m gonna be sharing over there. Offbeat + Inspired will stay up until it expires next year. I won’t be migrating old content to the new site, but you can still access it for a while here before it’s gone!

So as a farewell, I’ll link you to some of my favorite posts from the last…oh lord…5 years?!! WOW!

[Also, please subscribe to my mailing list HERE for tons of goodies (Lightroom presets, recipes, photography tips, digital artwork downloads, DEEPER stories, ETC.) and info that will keep us connected no matter what!]

REMEMBER…

The OG “How To Make Your Own Soap” post?!! This literally started it all… | Cold Process Soap Making For Beginners

Bars of soap

Then there was the time I installed a window bar in my living room when I lived in that DREAMY apartment in Lexington, KY! <3 | The Cafe Corner [A Small Space DIY]

The Cafe Corner [A Small Space DIY] - offbeat + inspired

OH and when I made wintry chocolate cakes…prob need to adapt this to GF at some p0int. | Mini Chocolate Cakes + Cardamom Buttercream and Lemon Curd

Mini Chocolate Cakes + Cardamom Buttercream and Lemon Curd - offbeat + inspired

Or when I went to Jackson Hole to adventure with my sweet friends Jana and Elizabeth while we made a video for JEEP?! [This was LONG before Little Red was in my life.] | A Jackson Hole Journey + Adventure-Style Cocoa

A Jackson Hole Journey + Adventure-Style Cocoa - offbeat + inspired

GUYS. The first time I went to RiSE Festival!! | RiSE Festival + Letting Go

RiSE Festival + Letting Go - offbeat + inspired

And then there was HAWAII with Bon Appetit Magazine and Kappel…that was probably the most incredible last trip we could have hoped for. | Our Last Adventure / Hawaii

Our Last Adventure | Hawai'i - offbeat + inspired

And then beginning the deepest parts of my healing journey with one of my best friends, Sionnie, and starting to create and adventure again… | Sailing with Celebrity / Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica + Mexico

Sailing with Celebrity | Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica + Mexico - offbeat + inspired

It has been so beautiful sharing with you here. There’s so much more ahead. Thank you for being a part of offbeat + inspired. Truly. <3

<3 tifforelie.com <3

 

 

 

A Day Around Nashville with UBER

A Day Around Nashville with UBER

I really love this city. I’ve lived in Nashville for about 4 years now and I can’t believe how short it’s been for all that’s happened in my life. Since I moved here, a lot of you guys have asked for my favorite spots around town, and I’ve never really shared them in one central location. SO, since I’m partnering with Uber again to continue their sweet Rider Stories campaign, I’m going to share a day in Nashville, morning to evening, ALL places that are most conveniently Uber’d to using their Scheduled Rides feature.

Most mornings, I’ll leave my house in search of a cozy spot to work, eat and drink coffee. After that, it’s meetings, lunch, more meetings, more work, and before I know it, it’s dinner/drinks time and I’ll end up abandoning my car overnight which I have to Uber back to the following day. When I know I’m going to have a long day like that, I start Ubering early. Ideally, I’d hit a pilates class first thing (in the name of health), so if any of you Nashies know of a good one, PLEASE SHARE! Alright, here’s the general routine of late:

A Day Around Nashville with UBER

1. Butcher & Bee (breakfast)

I sit at the bar and order scrambled eggs, bacon and an almond milk cappuccino. The service is WONDERFUL, the space is beautiful, the chef is a genius, and the bartenders are sweethearts. If I wasn’t gluten-intolerant, I’d also order a biscuit…it’s apparently the best in town. And later in the day, they have an INCREDIBLE Lambrusco.

A Day Around Nashville with UBER

A Day Around Nashville with UBER

A Day Around Nashville with UBER

2. Dose Cafe & Dram Bar (coffee, work, meetings)

I love them for the large tables up against the wall with lots of outlets, their giant gluten free chocolate chip cookies, and their almond milk cappuccinos. There’s LOTS of natural light here too, which I always need to be inspired and productive!

3. Burger Up East (lunch)

The Kale Salad. That is all. You’ll feel AMAZING.

4. Lulu (tea–who am I kidding? wine, work, meetings)

This spot is BEAUTIFUL. It’s bright, big, cozy, excellent service, they have great tea, coffee, wine, and a menu full of healthy options.

A Day Around Nashville with UBER

5. Cafe Roze (dinner and drinks)

THIS. Is my favorite. I saw this spot start popping up on Instagram last year and needed to check it out. When I went inside, one of the first things I saw was a stack of Jack’s Wife Freda Cookbooks on one of the shelves behind the bar. I flipped out. Jack’s Wife Freda is my favorite NYC restaurant. I quickly found out that Julia Jaksic, who opened Cafe Roze, was the chef at Jack’s Wife Freda and had recently relocated to Nashville to open her first VERY OWN restaurant. I met her, flipped out, probably scared her a little bit, but quickly adopted her as a sistor and now we hang/work/play whenever possible. It’s amazing. She’s amazing. I love her and her sweet cafe dearly. The FOOD is insane. You won’t be disappointed with anything you order. Lately I’ve been getting the Roze Bowl with Turmeric Egg and a glass of Frizzante. DREAM.

A Day Around Nashville with UBER

6. HOME. I Uber back to my cozy house in Woodbine, make fun of Bean the Cat and pass out with a Volcano Candle and Jónsi & Alex playing.

The best part about this day is I don’t have to worry about getting from place to place on time, finding parking, having a drink (or 3), any of it! Scheduling rides with Uber makes it happen seamlessly and most importantly, SAFELY. Plus, I get to nap, text and fix my makeup en route. Wondaful.

Will you be visiting Nashville any time soon? Have you been to any of my favorite spots? Tell me what your perfect Nashville day would be like!

I Released Lightroom Presets! And My First One is Free!!

I Released Lightroom Presets! And My First One is Free!! - TLIE 01 Before/After - @tifforeile

I finally did it. Not sure why I didn’t do it sooner, but they’re here and I’m a happy clam! To celebrate, I’m gifting all of you TLIE 01, the first in a series of 4! Click here to get TLIE 01 for free!! Be sure to read the included PDF for all the information you need to understand, install and use your shiny new preset!

ALSO available are TLIE 02, 03 + 04 all in one pack. You can get those here!

I Released Lightroom Presets! And My First One is Free!! - TLIE 01 Before/After - @tifforeile

These are LITERALLY my most-used presets and will make it so easy for you to get a warm and cozy tone on your photos!

I Released Lightroom Presets! And My First One is Free!! - TLIE 01 Before/After - @tifforeile

I Released Lightroom Presets! And My First One is Free!! - TLIE 01 Before/After - @tifforeile

I Released Lightroom Presets! And My First One is Free!! - TLIE 01 Before/After - @tifforeile

A few important notes about these presets:

  • They’re only compatible with desktop versions of Adobe Lightroom. They won’t work on mobile devices!
  • These presets were designed to be used on RAW photos (not JPEGs) that were shot in natural light. I always avoid artificial light in my photos because it makes editing much more difficult.

Well I hope you guys enjoy the gift AND the pack if you got them!! When posting your photos edited with any of the TLIE Presets, please tag #tifforeliepresets so I can see your lovely images!! 🙂

P.S. I’ll be sharing a big update soon on my healthy eating + healing journey. Hint: it’s going REALLY WELL. YAY!!

Hosting a Sweet + Simple Gathering | with UBER

Hosting a Sweet + Simple Gathering | with UBER - tifforelie

Merry Christmas Eve!!! I’m so excited to be partnering with Uber again, this time to give you some ideas for hosting a sweet time with your closest! Around the holidays, I LIVE for these tiny get togethers with friends. Our schedules are so crazy and we all have family scattered across the country, so if there’s a chance for any of us to host dinner and/or drinks where we can all make it, we DO.

Hosting a Sweet + Simple Gathering | with UBER - tifforelie

My favorite part about these is that everyone contributes something. The host makes sure everything’s clean and purdy, the foodie brings a few snacks (or if it’s a dinner, something more elaborate that even more people can pitch in on), and whoever has the most fun throwing a cocktail together can have at it. Spreading out the typical hosting duties like that makes it so much less stressful, SO much more fun, and everyone gets to be creative. Typically it’s a good idea to guess at how much everything’s going to cost and ask everyone to pitch in beforehand.

Hosting a Sweet + Simple Gathering | with UBER - tifforelie

For this one, I worked with my dear friend and PHENOMENAL Chef, Julia Jacsik (of NYC’s Jack’s Wife Freda + Employees Only, and of Nashville’s Cafe Roze) who created two delicious appetizers, Nate (my man) made his signature boozy whiskey cocktail, and my loves Phil and Lia hosted us in their beautiful home. It was a blast, and AS ALWAYS, ended with a dance party. Oh yeah, make sure one of your guests covers the playlist!

Hosting a Sweet + Simple Gathering | with UBER - tifforelie

And last, but not least! Parting gifts. I LOVE the idea of giving Uber Gift Cards to all of your guests. This will encourage everyone to enjoy themselves thoroughly AND get home safely. Other small treasures that I’m loving right now are Peppermint Essential Oil Rollers (works wonders for hangover headaches and indigestion), travel candles (this one by Simply Curated is AH-MAZING), and fun matches.

Well I hope you guys have such a magnificent holiday!! I’ll be sharing more updates on my clean eating/healing journey soon! And I’d love to hear some of your simple hosting tips if you feel like sharing!! Let’s discuss!!

Hosting a Sweet + Simple Gathering | with UBER - tifforelie

This post was #sponsored by @Uber, but all opinions are 100% my own!! #whereto

Clean Eating Update + My Theory About Antibiotics

Clean Eating Update + My Theory About Antibiotics - tifforelie

So! The last few days have been really good. Motivation is staying up! I made a few tweaks to my original clean eating “YES” list and am now including rice, wine and coffee (limited amounts). I’m debating about clear liquor, but I’ll let you know where I land! Obviously, any kind of alcohol should be consumed in moderation and my true focus is staying hydrated, PLUS I’m excluding added sweeteners which means cocktails are out, so we’ll see!

I got the Garden of Life RAW 100 Billion Probiotic and Ora Organic Turmeric Curcumin Tablets with Black Pepper, and have been taking them for 3 days now. So far so good, but it hasn’t been long enough to document any real results. I DID notice that the turmeric tablets seem to be effective for pain relief. I’m staying on them to make sure this isn’t just a placebo effect, but I’m pleasantly surprised.

New Recipe! Vegan Cheese Sauce (PERFECT on pasta…specifically, Jovial Foods Organic Gluten Free Traditional Egg Pasta. (This pasta is life and you NEED to try it.)

I’ve been OBSESSED with this recipe I discovered on Divine Munchies’ YouTube channel. It’s SO cheesy, I don’t think I’d believe it was dairy-free if I hadn’t made it myself.

-1/2 cup whole, organic cashews (soak them in filtered water for 8 hours–this makes the sauce SUPER creamy)
-2 tbsp nutritional yeast
-1 tbsp tapioca flour
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp cayenne pepper (this results in a pretty spicy sauce, which I LOVE, but if you’re not into that, reduce this amount or skip it entirely)
-1 tsp oregano
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1 1/2 cups filtered water

Add everything to a blender (I’m IN LOVE with my NutriBullet for this), and pulse until liquified.

Place a saucepan over medium heat, and when it’s warmed up, pour the cheese sauce in and simmer/stir for a solid 5 minutes until the sauce gets thick and creamy.

You can use this stuff for anything: a dip, gluten-free mac + cheese, over baked veggie-chip “nachos”, etc.! If you try this, PLEASE let me know how you used it and how you like it!

My Antibiotics Theory

In reading through all of the wonderful, encouraging, SUPER helpful comments on my last post, I came across one that mentioned her IBS symptoms coming on after a serious round of antibiotics. My jaw dropped. I immediately thought back to when I was 19 and first started experiencing these excruciating stomach pains. It was springtime, and the previous winter I had been babysitting for 2-year-old twins who had been sick A LOT. I had 3 ear infections that winter and went on antibiotics 3 separate times back to back. I had no idea an antibiotic could have possibly been the cause of my stomach pain, which is why it took me so long to figure out that my gut was sick and I could heal it with clean foods. The doctors all said it was just hormonal and kept pushing birth control pills, NOBODY told me antibiotics could have been the culprit, none of them told me to change my diet or take a probiotic, so eventually I did the elimination and experienced relief for the first time in 8 years.

Two plus years of clean eating with no more stomach pains brought me to where I was a little over a year ago. I had been slowly re-introducing different foods, and felt great! I thought I had healed myself entirely! Then the pain started coming back. I assumed it was because the foods I’d been adding eventually caught up with me, but guys. I didn’t put this all together until I read that comment on my last post, but about 5 months ago I did a round of Cipro to treat a UTI. Cipro is a powerful antibiotic that knocks out infections REALLY quickly. I thought nothing of it. But that’s when the cramps started getting really bad.

I’m feeling a lot of things right now. I’m RELIEVED to know what I know at this point and will avoid antibiotics whenever possible, and REPLENISH my gut with tons of healthy bacteria directly after a round of antibiotics if I really need them, but I’m also kind of mad that I was never told by a doctor that an antibiotic could destroy my system (and my LIFE) if I didn’t follow up with strong probiotics and a super clean diet. Eating clean is important for SO many reasons, but I hate that I thought for 12 years that my body needed it in order to not be keeled over in pain. I want to eat clean because it improves my sleep, reduces anxiety, ups my energy, clears my head, boosts my mood, makes me GLOW. I DON’T want to eat clean out of fear, and that’s what I’ve been doing for a really long time.

All that to say, I’m REALLY glad to have these RAW 100 Billion probiotics in my fridge right now and I look forward to healing with clean foods, fearlessly this time. I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences with all of this. Have you gone through something similar? Did you notice IBS symptoms or other digestive issues kicking up after a round of antibiotics?

Thank you guys so much for following along and sharing your stories. I LOVE all the encouragement and support happening in the comments section of my last post! Please keep that up! It means the world!!!

More updates coming soon!!

Clean Eating Update + My Theory About Antibiotics - tifforelie

EATING CLEAN CAN ACTUALLY HEAL YOU | My Journey In Detail

EATING CLEAN CAN ACTUALLY HEAL YOU | My Journey In Detail

This is a big one. I posted on Instagram recently about the commitment I’ve made to do a total elimination diet. I’ll just paste my caption here cause I covered it all in that post:

Well guys, I haven’t written about this because I’ve been struggling to make the commitment myself, and I knew once I said something I’d have to REALLY commit. If you’ve been following for a while, you may remember I used to suffer from extreme stomach pains for years—from about age 19-27. I had all kinds of tests done and they never found anything…but in that time, the pain got so bad that I had to leave school (I was attending Nyack College on partial athletic and academic scholarships), and basically ended up confined to my house in debilitating pain for 2 weeks out of every month. The pain had affected my life so severely and I was so desperate, I spent hundreds of hours researching what could possibly be wrong with me. One day I found an article written by a man who described the same exact pain I had been having for 8 years, except he suffered it for 20. He talked about an extreme diet change, where he cut out basically everything processed and inflammatory. After 6 months of this diet, the pain went away entirely and he got his life back. That article inspired me so much that I immediately did the same. I was basically limited to organic fruits, veggies, lean meats and nuts and I drank only water. After 3 months, my pain was gone. That was when I started pursuing photography and sharing on Instagram, because I could finally leave my house. I ate that way for 2 years and my body completely healed itself. I eventually felt safe reintroducing certain foods, but after a year of that, the pain has returned. It’s gotten progressively worse over the last 6 months and I need to reset my eating again like I did the first time. I love food and good drinks so much, this is going to be HARD, but I wanted to share it with you because I know I can do it if I’m open about it! I’ll keep you guys updated on how it goes and share recipes I discover that make it easier to shift. This will be part of my reviving the blog too (finally haha)! Love you guys so much! Here’s to getting better!! 💛🌾 #cleaneating

So here I am! I’ve been committed for about 36 hours and my motivation is HIGH. Sharing my plan was really empowering, ESPECIALLY reading all the comments from people going through similar if not identical things regarding their health and diet. I’ll be sharing recipes and progress here on the blog because I really believe in documenting these kinds of journeys, whether it be in a private journal, videos, voice memos, artwork, or blogging. It’s really helpful to have a record of it all, and PERSONALLY, it keeps me super accountable. Accountability motivates me more than anything. So here’s what I’ve done so far…

Breakfast Smoothie (every morning!)

-1/2 frozen banana (I peel and freeze them in a sealed bag when they’re perfectly spotty and sweet)
-1/2 cup frozen strawberries and/or blueberries
-a handful of raw spinach
-a generous tablespoon of organic sunflower seed butter
-1 tbsp good unsweetened cocoa powder
-1 tsp cinnamon
-Lastly, I add about 1/2 cup of good unsweetened almond milk and then blend in a little more bit by bit to reach the consistency I like.

I blend everything in my NutriBullet, which is SUCH a crucial tool, as I’ll be making all of my own sauces, spreads, smoothies, flours, etc. at home.

Supplements

The comments on my Instagram post were SOOO helpful and a few people mentioned Turmeric capsules as an excellent natural pain killer and inflammation reducer, so I ordered a bottle of Ora Organic Turmeric Curcumin Tablets and I’ll let you guys know how I feel after I use them! The reviews were amazing, so I have high hopes!

I also want to get a really good probiotic. I’m in the research phase right now, but if you have any recommendations, PLEASE leave them in the comments below!!

Now for the TMI…

I didn’t go into the gory details of what my pain is like on Instagram, because that’s what the blog is for haha! If you’re squeamish about bathroom or female stuff, stop reading now! I’m sharing this here because the original article I found YEARS ago when I was going through this the first time (the one that gave me SO much hope) went into a LOT of gory detail, which was the only way I knew I was experiencing the same thing. So for anyone out there who might be experiencing the same thing, here goes…

My body goes through cycles of bloating. The cycles are obviously linked to my period. At the midpoint between periods I ovulate, and soon after that, my body swells up like a balloon until I start to menstruate. When I was 19, the bloating got so intense that I started experiencing extreme abdominal pain. At first I thought it was a reproductive issue because of the cycles, but I never experienced any relief from pain killers. The cramps weren’t anything like menstrual cramps, and my periods were always normal. Twenty eight day cycles, like clockwork, medium/heavy flow on the first 2 days, lighter and lighter until day 4-5 and then it ended. The cramps I would have during my period were only severe enough to take Advil for about 2 hours on the 2nd day. Besides that, it was a walk in the park. The abdominal cramping I experienced BEFORE my periods was another story.

The cramps would always come on about an hour after I ate something, and they were EXCRUCIATING. Relief would only come if I had a bowel movement or passed gas, which was VERY difficult. It was like everything was stuck. Once I was able to relieve the pressure in my intestines though, the pain would fade within minutes and I felt like a million bucks. Knowing what relieved me helped, but at my worst, I couldn’t even drink water without having a flareup. I’d have about a dozen “episodes” a day which kept me in bed, and kept me up all night. I’d be up every 2 hours keeled over on the toilet hoping and praying something would pass so I could go back to sleep. The pain was so intense, I’d get dizzy, sweaty and nauseous. The day I got my period, like magic, everything went back to normal. LITERALLY like magic. I had ultrasounds and CT scans done, and they always turned up clear. At that point, doctors started guessing. They wanted me to go on all kinds of hormone pills, which I NEVER felt comfortable about. If they couldn’t tell me what was actually wrong, I didn’t trust putting chemicals into my body just to guess.

I sunk into a major depression and my anxiety went through the roof. I was having panic attacks on a regular basis (sweating, nausea, heart pounding, claustrophobia, agoraphobia, hypochondria), and as the years passed, the number of days I experienced that kind of pain increased. In the beginning, it was just 1 or 2 days before my period and I wrote it off as normal PMS. But after 8 years, it had turned into 2 full weeks every month. The ENTIRE 2 weeks between ovulation and menstruation, prime bloating time.

That was when I found the article that guy wrote. I adopted his diet, and within 3 months I was pain free and bloating was a thing of the past. ALSO, my anxiety disappeared. I actually didn’t have a single panic attack for the entire 2-3 years I was eating clean. When I started reintroducing foods though, mild panic attacks kicked up again (and mild claustrophobia), VERY sporadically, but I knew it was diet-related. At this point, I’m having those awful cramps about 4-5 days out of the month. It’s not as bad as it used to be, but if I don’t make a change now, I know where it will go. Never again.

So I’m doing it! Not even 2 full days in, but I’m sticking with this. My health is too important to compromise for the sake of satisfying unhealthy cravings. And I KNOW the cravings disappear after a few weeks anyway.

Let’s do this together guys! If you want to! I’d love to hear your stories, whether you’re currently where I was (depressed, not knowing what’s wrong with you, hopeless), or if you’ve healed yourself with clean eating, or if you need to reset like me! I want to hear it all. The support we can offer each other makes a WORLD of difference.

EATING CLEAN CAN ACTUALLY HEAL YOU | My Journey In Detail

I’m also really excited to discover recipes that support this new lifestyle. Here are my basic guidelines (I’m not saying this is how YOU should eat, but this is what I know works for me!):

NO

Wheat/Gluten
Dairy
Fried Foods
Processed or Added Sugars
Processed Foods (containing chemical preservatives or additives)
High-Sodium Foods
Brown Liquor
Beer

YES

Water
Organic Fruits
Organic Vegetables
Lean Proteins (eggs, poultry, fish)
Organic Oils (Avocado, Grape Seed, Olive)
Roots (Ginger, Turmeric, etc.)
Organic Spices
Unsalted Nuts and Seeds
Coffee (in limited amounts)

I’d love to open up the comments for anything. Stories, venting, tips, recipes, etc.! More info. and new recipes coming from me soon!

36 Hours in Knoxville

36 Hours in Knoxville - offbeat + inspired

My love for Tennessee is no secret. I visited Nashville for the first time 5 years ago and that was it — within a year I had rented a house and now this city is home. As far as the rest of the state, I’ve fallen in love with the sleepy, small, incredibly charming town of Lieper’s Fork with all it’s swimming holes, the cabin I escape to at least once a year in Cookeville (which is covered in golden leaves right now…a dream), the hidden gem cafes and restaurants of Chattanooga, and most recently, Knoxville.

36 Hours in Knoxville - offbeat + inspired

I had the honor of partnering with Tennessee Tourism for a 2 day trip to Knox where I got to eat, explore, and attend Kelsea Ballerini’s hometown show in the gymnasium of her high school. It was so cool to be there for that on MULTIPLE levels…one being that Kelsea Ballerini’s bass player is my person’s brother! Yep. I’ve had a person for about 5 months now, aaand it’s pretty amazing. Hehehe ok anyhoo. More on that later. The concert. I loved that she played her old high school. I thought that was the sweetest thing. I saw all those kids crowding around the stage, SO excited to see this girl who sat in the same classrooms they sit in, who made a dream happen for herself and didn’t forget where she came from. It was truly inspiring and a LITTLE emotional for me.

36 Hours in Knoxville - offbeat + inspired

36 Hours in Knoxville - offbeat + inspired

As far as Knoxville’s restaurants and cafes, I definitely discovered a few favorites I would highly recommend. For breakfast, Tupelo Honey was great. I got the bacon, eggs and really good gluten free toast, and on a rainy day with some hot tea it was all perfect. For lunch, Wild Love Bakehouse was wonderful. It’s really an anytime cafe where you can set up and work, but the food options were great, AND they were featured as “Best Bakery in the USA” by AFAR! They had pastries, pizzas, an assortment of gluten free goodies (I got the peanut butter chocolate oat bar), and AMAZING coffee. For dinner, it was all about the sushi at Nama Sushi Bar. It was to die for. I’m sitting in my room in Nashville right now salivating just thinking about it.

For wandering, I couldn’t get over the main square! It was so pretty with benches and trees everywhere, lined with shops, restaurants and bars. So lovely during the day and perfect for a nighttime stroll.

36 Hours in Knoxville - offbeat + inspired

The trip felt way too short. There was rest, music, exploring, good food, good drinks and I cannot wait to go back!

A little background on that main photo. It was pretty chilly that morning and I really wanted to get a shot of the Tennessee sign in front of the theater Before heading back to Nashville, but there were so many cars stopping and going in front of it and we were going to have to wait to get what I wanted. So in the meantime I told Nate to take a few test shots just so that we could play around with angles, and this was one of the first test shots. We were on that corner for about 10 minutes, teeth chattering, and when I looked through the tests I was like OK that’s a wrap! Then we scurried back to the Hilton and thawed out with hot cappuccinos in the lobby Starbucks. So cozy.

I’m so so glad we decided to get that shot because the Tennessee Theatre, which has been around since the 20’s, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places AND is honored as the Official State Theater of Tennessee! I love it. It started as a movie theater and now its a performing arts theater. They do everything. Dance, music, old movies, Broadway. So cool. I’d  really love to go back and experience one of the shows.

36 Hours in Knoxville - offbeat + inspired

My Nashville UBER Story

My UBER Story - tifforelie

About two weeks after Kappel’s accident, I left the house for the first time. Up to that point, I was trying to re-learn very basic things like eating and sleeping. Conversations were limited to the friends who so beautifully planted themselves by my side, and they got the full, raw, completely unedited flood of everything I was thinking and feeling as it came to me. When I was ready to leave the house, I remember Uber-ing because I couldn’t be alone just yet. Everything outside my front door was a memory attached to more memories. The corner a block away with telephone pole, dented because of a goofy u-turn Kappel took only a few weeks prior, the sushi place he took me to on our last date, the church on Thompson Lane I turned left at every time I went to his house. It all hurt.

I remember calling an Uber to Sam & Zoe’s, a favorite cafe. It was my first time going out alone, and I knew the route would take me through the intersection where the accident happened. I remember deciding early on not to avoid my regular spots. Avoidance would easily become a habit and that would have made staying in Nashville impossible.

I didn’t know how I’d feel riding past Eugenia Avenue and Sidco Drive, but I was happy to be with a stranger who had no idea what I’d been through. It meant I could be silent and feel what I needed to without questions. But as we approached, I was overwhelmed. I tried hard to hold it together, but I had to say something.

Me: Can I ask a personal question?
Driver: Yes.
Me: Have you ever lost someone?

I needed to connect. I needed to know I wasn’t alone.

Driver: Yes. My brother died in a motorcycle accident last year. We were best friends.

He told me the story of the tattoo on his arm and how he got it right after his brother’s accident. It had the date of his death and a quote from their childhood.

Me: I lost someone a few weeks ago. This is the intersection where it happened.

He told me it would get better. We got to Sam & Zoe’s, he turned around and shook my hand. It meant the world to me and my heart rested.

My Nashville UBER Story - tifforelie

Over the next few months, I prompted the same conversation with every one of my Uber drivers. “Can I ask a personal question?” and then, “Have you ever lost someone?” And every one of them shared. They all opened up, and they all wanted to hear my story too. I felt so cared for by these sweet strangers and it helped heal me.

About a month ago, Uber reached out and asked me to be a part of a video project they were doing that focused on driver stories. Obviously, I said yes and told them about the love I had for my drivers and how instrumental they were in the beginning phases of my grieving process. We couldn’t believe what a perfect fit this partnership was. I was going to adventure around Nashville with a local who had been driving for a few years and learn all about them. It’s AMAZING how the company is diving into the lives of these precious people. They aren’t just drivers, they’re stunning humans with stories worth hearing.

So I met the Uber team and Jim (my driver) downtown a couple months ago. Jim was great! He was hilarious, so kind, and lives in Nashville as a musician. We shot video of our ride through the city and talked about our favorite spots and what it’s like living here as a creative. It’s really inspiring to meet someone for the first time and have nearly identical stories about the positive impact Nashville has had our lives. We also had a few of the same favorite haunts like Frothy Monkey, Village Pub, 3 Crow, and I got to share a few of mine he hadn’t visited yet!

My Nashville UBER Story - tifforelie

Village Pub! Mule Monday is our favorite.

 

My Nashville UBER Story - tifforelie

Fort Louise right next door to Village Pub!

 

My Nashville UBER Story - tifforelie

Killebrew Coffee in the lobby at the Thompson Hotel downtown!

 

My Nashville UBER Story - tifforelie

Cafe Roze in East Nashville!

 

Anyway, here’s the video we shot!

I hope you guys love it, I hope it inspires your own stories, and I hope it opens up some amazing conversations with YOUR drivers. This is everything I’ve been learning in a nutshell. There is so much more to every one of us if we’ll be courageous enough to let each other see it, or if we’ll be courageous enough to ask.

P.S. There’s a new feature on the Uber app I was excited to find out about called “Saved Places” which is really cool because you can basically make a little city guide for yourself and save it so you don’t have to look up your regular destinations every time you Uber. SO easy, and a feature I’ll totally be using.

The Best Brunch Menu EVER | A Video With Nikki Phillippi!!

GUYS! I’m so excited to share this with you. My amazing, wonderful friend (and incredible YouTuber) Nikki came to Nashville a couple weeks ago and we spent an afternoon creating and filming three KILLER brunch recipes together. They kill because, A) they’re SO simple and use SO few ingredients, B) they seem MUCH fancier than they actually are! and C) they’re ACTUALLY DELICIOUS. I won’t waste ANY more of your time because you need to just watch and get eating. So here’s the video, and the detailed recipes are below!!

The Menu
All of which have been featured on my Instagram stories numerous times.

Stovetop Kale + Eggs
Peach Galette
Oeufs en Cocotte

Stovetop Kale + Eggs
Serves 4

1 sweet onion, sliced or chopped (your preference)
4 handfuls of chopped kale
6-8 large eggs
butter (or olive oil) for the pan
salt + pepper to taste

Heat butter or olive oil in a large frying pan or skillet over medium.

Add onions to the pan and cook until they’re translucent.

Add kale and toss with salt + pepper until the kale cooks down by half.

Crack the eggs over the kale, season with a little more salt + pepper, cover the pan and steam until the yolks form a white film. Continue to steam past this point if you like your yolks more well done!

Serve and enjoy!

//

Peach Galette
Serves 4-6

The Crust

Make your dough ahead of time because it needs to chill for 2 hours!

I absolutely love this recipe on Serious Eats and have not deviated from it at ALL. So do yourself a huge favor and just bookmark this page for all future pie-making endeavors.

I use half of that recipe to make 1 peach galette! If you want, make the full recipe and save half the dough for another night! It keeps really well in the fridge!

The Filling

2 large, ripe yellow peaches, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, beaten
about 2 tbsp coarse turbinado sugar

When the dough is done chilling, preheat your oven to roll it out into a rough 14-inch circle on a floured surface. And remember, the circle can be ROUGH. That’s the whole point of a galette! Imperfect is better! Once the dough is rolled out, transfer it to a piece of parchment paper.

Arrange the fruit in the center of the dough however you want, keeping a 3 inch border around the edges. My favorite is layering the slices pinwheel-style. If you do it that way, start from the outside in!

Once your fruit is arranged, sprinkle the granulated sugar over the top. It will look like too much sugar, but don’t worry! It will cook down beautifully!

Fold the edges of the dough over the sides of the fruit and brush generously with your beaten egg to seal the crust. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar over the crust and move the parchment paper with your galette to a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden!

Let it cool for about 10 minutes before serving with vanilla bean ice cream or homemade whipped cream!

//

Oeufs en Cocotte
Serves 4

12 baby bella mushrooms, minced
4 shallots, minced
1/4 cup salted butter, European style
1 cup of heavy cream (or more if you want a thinner gravy)
salt + pepper to taste
4 large eggs
1 baguette, sliced and toasted (optional, to serve on the side for dipping!)

Fill a large pot with about 1 inch of water and bring to a simmer.

While the pot of water is on, melt about 1/4 cup of butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet.

Once the butter is melted and bubbling, add shallots and mushrooms to the pan. Cook until the onions are soft, then add heavy cream until the mushrooms and shallots are covered.

Add salt and pepper, and simmer until the cream thickens.

Divide the gravy evenly among 4 ramekins, and crack 1 egg into each.

Carefully place the ramekins into the pot of simmering water, cover and steam until the yolks form a white film. You can cook longer than this if you want your yolks more well done!

Uncover the pot and remove ramekins with a pair of tongs.

Serve with toasted baguette slices or biscuits!

PLEASE let me know what you think of these recipes and the video in the comments! And let me know if you’d like us to do more of these! ALSO, here’s a link to the last video I did with Nikki where I talked about grief, healing and hope!

Follow me on Insta @tifforelie for live stories and regular photography/wanderings/musings!

CMA Music Festival with DSW!

CMA Music Festival with DSW! - offbeat + inspired

I had so much fun last weekend partnering with DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse at CMA Music Festival! It was my first CMA Fest experience and I really loved it. It was surreal wandering downtown, streets closed off, full of booths, tents, stages, food trucks. I’ve never seen Nashville like that. REALLY cool.

CMA Music Festival with DSW! - offbeat + inspired

CMA Music Festival with DSW! - offbeat + inspired

So DSW has basically been on a cross-country road trip for their #MarchOn campaign, setting up this amazing little pop-up shop at festivals and events across the US.

CMA Music Festival with DSW! - offbeat + inspired

CMA Music Festival with DSW! - offbeat + inspired

I’m so glad they came through Nashville. Exploring with one of the sweet gals from their team was so much fun. We stopped at a few of the stages and bars lining Broadway, checked out DSW’s mini pop-up where customers got to make custom bracelets for free, and eventually wandered out to the pedestrian bridge where we had an amazing view of the big stage with a HUGE crowd right on the Cumberland River. I loved the boats sneaking up on the show. Hilarious, amazing, magical.

CMA Music Festival with DSW! - offbeat + inspired

I got to snag a few pairs of shoes from the collection for my summer adventures. The favorites: Adidas Neo Courtset Sneakers

CMA Music Festival with DSW! - offbeat + inspired

…and Lucky Brand’s Larise Bootie in Black! Love love love.

CMA Music Festival with DSW! - offbeat + inspired

Guys. This just makes me so excited for summer! Where will you be adventuring this season?!

Check out my posts from the festival on Instagram here and here. AND follow the rest of DSW’s US tour on Instagram here!

CMA Music Festival with DSW! - offbeat + inspired