Cotton Anniversary

Today is mine and Husband’s two year wedding anniversary. It’s been a fast two years and the last year has been especially quick. One year and a day ago I moved from NY to Tennessee and told Husband we were expecting our first baby, and exactly one year ago we celebrated our paper anniversary and told our families we were expecting. Now, we’re all settled in to our country home and raising our beautiful little girl. Today, we celebrated our cotton anniversary, and it was perfect.

I surprised Husband with a trail of cotton balls that led from the bedroom to a cheesy “I heart u” sign made of cotton balls and gift bag full of cotton goodies. It was nice, but Husband had to go and blow my lame gift out of the water. Typical. He’s always been a much better gift giver. It started with a surprise picnic. He found a trail off of Cotton Lane (yup that’s the actual street name) that led down to some large beautiful rocks on the edge of the Harpeth River. It had just finished storming so it was breezy and cloudy, perfect picnic weather.

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I then had one more small surprise up my sleeve. I took him to Nucci’s for some Italian ice and homemade gelato.


After some window shopping at the mall for all things cotton I came home to another surprise, a cotton candy maker! OMG Making cotton candy is sticky, messy and so much fun. It took us a little while and a lot of sugar to get the hang of it, but we ended up with lots of colorful cotton candy and a crazy sugar rush.

cotton candy making it

I was more than happy with cotton-sugar-coated day of bliss, but Husband did not stop there. He made me a bouquet of cotton flowers and cotton earrings. (To be fair, my dad-in-law actually made the earrings.) Last year, I got paper flowers and a paper bracelet, so Husband has now set himself up for a new tradition of anniversary themed flowers and jewelry for the next million years.

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The day didn’t end there either. We finished our anniversary night with dinner (just the two of us) at Josephine’s in West Nashville.

This would be German Chocolate Doughnuts, and they were delicious.
This would be German Chocolate Doughnuts, and they were delicious.

I have no idea how I ended up with the most thoughtful and creative person I know. Marrying this man is perhaps the best decision I ever made, or maybe spending a college semester working at Disney World was? Honestly, I thought all the magic in our relationship would disappear after leaving our happiest internship on Earth, it all seemed too good to be true. Sometimes, it still does. I’m so thankful to have him and cannot wait to spend many more anniversaries together.




After being in Tennessee for less than a week I got my first opportunity for a review! Yay me! One of mine and Husband’s favorite Nashville attractions is Cheekwood Art and Gardens, so when I was offered the job of reviewing their new exhibit, Light, I made plans to go immediately.


Light is an exhibit by Bruce Munro that uses various materials (including recycled plastic bottles) and hundreds of miles of glowing optic fibers to light up the grounds of the botanical gardens. Exploring the hundreds of acres during the day is a beautiful and relaxing experience, but seeing them transform to an iridescent field of flickering lights is awesome.


My plan was to arrive to Cheekwood before sunset, see the grounds in the daylight, at dusk and at dark. We left with plenty of time, but as we arrived we were greeted by Cheekwood staff before we even reached the gates. They told us that all the lots were full  and we would have to park at a church 5 miles away! There, a shuttle would pick us up and transport us to the gardens. The gardens were so full, that there were two large churches 5 miles away that were being used for parking.

Irritated, we drove to the church, parked and waited with dozens of other people. There were so many people waiting that we actually had to take the second shuttle. I have never seen Cheekwood so crowded.


We did eventually make it by dusk and quickly met up with our friends. The lights are okay in daylight, but this is a show that you really must wait until dark to see. (Yes, Mom-in-law, I’m talking to you…)

lightbottles darker

There were signs with arrows telling us which direction to walk, thank God. We never would have made our way around in the dark without directions. There were also several booths along the walk that sold sodas, wine, chips and even ice cream. It’s probably best to make a whole night out of this exhibit. Bring cash, good shoes and take your time.

neonteepees pinklights

Even though the grounds were more crowded than ever, it didn’t bother us while walking around. Cheekwood is so enormous that it never felt as crowded as it must have been. There was plenty of space for the live jazz band, the dancing guests, kids doing cartwheels, babies in strollers, couples holding hands and tipsy people to stumble on the sidewalks. My photos do not do this exhibit justice. The bulbs, which looked like glowing tulips, seemed to go on for miles and they changed colors every few seconds creating a flowing field of lights.



The exhibit continued into the mansion/art museum. The mansion and the courtyard always make me feel as if I’m walking through Jay Gatsby’s house. There are beautiful chandeliers, winding staircases, live piano music and an unbelievably beautiful courtyard…just call me Daisy.

stairs hanginglights insidesculpture backofme reflection

We had a great time walking through the gardens and checking out this new exhibit, but were famished by the time we finished touring the mansion. We made plans to have dinner together with our friends, but forgot that we had parked so far away. After waiting for a few shuttles in a long line we made it to our car over a half hour later. Even though I loved the show, I left annoyed and starving. My desperate need for chips and salsa made me forget about all those stupid lights, I could only think of getting to our car and getting dinner.

Lights is worth visiting if you are in the Nashville area, but be prepared. Either show up early so you can get a parking space, make a reservation for dinner on the premises, eat beforehand, or bring snacks. Don’t plan on getting in and out quickly. Get more info and ticket prices here.


Rooftop Dates

Husband and I were supposed to spend a month apart while he worked on our new house in Tennessee and I finished my job here in New York. I decided that a month is far too long and decided to fly him here this last week to spend a few days with me as an “anniversary present”. A couple of days before he arrived I started feeling guilty about his “present”. Obviously it is a gift for him to get to spend time with me, but he didn’t actually ask for this gift… so I planned to make it extra special by planning a special date each night he was here.

After much thought, I decided to do a rooftop-themed week of dates. Husbands most favorite thing to do is climb or sneak onto something very tall and scary. He especially loves the roofs of skyscrapers that provide views of the whole city. I researched the best roofs in the city and had a perfect date for every night.

The first night was at Gallow Green. This restaurant is on the roof of Sleep No Moreonly our most favorite show ever!


This restaurant is romantic and so very green. There are plants everywhere, Most of the seats and tables are made from unfinished wood and you can even eat in an old gutted train car. The atmosphere was perfect. It was warm outside and we watched the sun set as we ate. The food wasn’t great, and the service sucked, but we were so happy to be together on the romantic roof that we decided not to care. We also decided to pick up chips and salsa on the way home.


For Husband’s second night, I took him to the Pod Hotel. They offer a free rooftop with lounge chairs and a bar.


The bar was actually closed, but once again we didn’t let this little fact get us down. We still enjoyed the view, the sunset and relaxing in comfy seats before heading out for a romantic dinner.

datenight rooftop

The next two nights, stormed and stormed. Every city rooftop was closed, which meant all my plans were ruined. Once again, we decided to make the most of our rainy situation. Our first idea was to go on the roof of Grandma’s apartment, but don’t worry Grandma, that was impossible. We ordered in and watched TV instead.

For the rest of Husband’s stay it rained every single moment, but we still had a great time together. I borrowed Grandma’s red rain coat because all of my rain-gear is in Tennessee, and we found nice city views from many different (enclosed) places.

redcoat tiffanys

I was sad to see Husband go, but now my Mom is here spending the holiday weekend with me! My posts may be a bit sporadic the next few days, but if you want to keep up with me and the latest New York adventures just follow me on Facebook!

Happy Memorial Day!


The Story of My Rings

After I left Albania, I stopped writing my former blog “Adventures of a Teacher”. (It’s no longer available thanks to iWeb shutting down). I quit writing for a while and created “Positively Panicked 9 months later. During that hiatus we got engaged, moved to NYC, got new jobs and took the city by storm. There are many things I regret not writing about during that time, one being the story of my ring.

I LOVE this story. It’s romantic, unique, adventurous and centers around me! Husband is a special special man. I don’t brag on him enough. He may leave his dirty laundry on the floor and play too many video games, but he has so many other qualities that makes me swoon. Besides being hilarious, handsome and smart, he is incredibly thoughtful.

While living in Albania, he spent months secretly designing my engagement ring with the help of his sister. The diamond in the middle is from his Great Grandmother’s pendant. He designed the ring and added a secret special touch using yellow diamonds (my favorite color) on the inside of the band.

diamond mickey

The ring was only half the presentation during the proposal. It came in the most beautiful little box. Turns out that Husband’s Dad made the box himself!

Husband found a pretty box on display while we were visiting the Vatican in Rome with my Mom. He spent FOREVER snapping a billion photos of this little box, which I basically ignored. He then sent the photos to his Dad who made a tiny replica of the box using ivory and brass. I wish I could find the photos of the box in the Vatican, but I can’t so you will have to take my word for it. It is identical. My father-in-law is a magician who can magically create anything we desire. I don’t know how he does it.

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How could I ever say no to this???
How could I ever say no to this???

Then, there is the wedding band. This was another surprise. I didn’t get to see the band until he placed on my finger after I said “I do”. When Husband explained the band to me after the ceremony I was in shock. I still don’t know how he came up with such a sweet idea or how he pulled it off. Husband asked all the remarkable women in my life (Mom, Mom-in-law, both Grandmothers, both Grandmother-in-laws) for a stone from one piece of their jewelry. He then had the stones set in a band. Now, I have a piece of each of these special women forever and always with me. I get teary-eyed as a I type this. I lost all but one of my Grandparents and having this piece of jewelry is the best gift I could never even imagine.


Both rings
Both rings

That’s right, I am one lucky lady…almost as lucky as Husband.