The Luxary of having more free time

Over the past year I was Front Office Supervisor at my job and recently decided to step down and go back to my previous position, so that I could have more time to do the things I enjoy doing.  Today is my last official day as Supervisor.  I am so excited to have more of that “me time” that I crave. 

I am actually off today and taking full advantage of it.  I have baked some salted caramel pretzel brownies (a recipe from Pinterest), cleaned up around the house some, and then I have yoga at 5:30pm. 

In my spare time I plan on spending time working on projects around the house, first off is painting my office, cooking and cleaning a bit more, and being more active.  Hopefully I will also get to travel more.  I just have to remember just because I am choosing to work less does not mean that Cory is choosing to work less.  🙂 

Fontanel & Cafe Fontanella

A few weeks ago Cory and I went to tour Fontanel (Barbara Mandrell’s former log cabin home).   The property is gorgeous.  I love the woodsiness feeling it has.  It has a long winding driveway, and then all of a sudden you see the back, windowed wall, of the house and you realize it isn’t exactly a small, cozy log cabin.  After all the cabin has over 27,000 square feet.  Then the driver drops you off at the front door and you enter into a huge foyer, to the left is the formal dining room and to the right is the great room.  As we begin our tour, the tour guide tells us that they encourage everyone to make themselves at home, if you want to play the guitars hanging on the walls – they want you to, if you want to curl up on Barbara’s bed – they want you to, if you want to dance in the sun on top of the pool – they want you to.  After all it is a home first and foremost, not a museum.  The first room we visit is the Great Room and great it is.  This room will hold 200 people during all the parties that go on there.  You can’t help but notice as you walk around the home that it is a step back in time, all the back to 1987.  Everyone always says Graceland looks exactly like it did when Elvis lived there, well Fontanel looks exactly like it did when Barbara Mandrell lived there.  For those people who are country music fans, you will enjoy all the country music memorabilia throughout the house and the history that goes with it.  The tour lasted about an hour.  Our tour was good, but I do wish that we could have seen more of the house and even walk around the outside of the house more.

We ate at Cafe Fontanella while we were there.  It serves rustic Italian food.  Cory had gnocchi and I had pizza.  Cory said his gnocchi was tasty.  My pizza was good, but not what I was expecting, it didn’t have any sauce on it and it had a lot of ricotta cheese on it.  Cory said it tasted like a stuffed shell on pizza crust.  They do have these garlic bread bites – they were so good.

They also have hiking/biking trails and frisbee golf there, so that could be a lot of fun on a cooler day.

Tasty Tuesday

May 8 – Route 31 Cafe, Franklin, TN

Cory and I enjoyed burgers and fries outside tonight at Route 31 Cafe on Main Street.  The evening couldn’t have been more perfect for eating outside.  We both ordered the same burger; it had mushrooms, cheddar, and bacon (I asked for no bacon).  They were a good size, but not too big.  The food and the service were both good, but a little pricey at $27 for two burgers, two orders of fries, and one soda.  The waitress told us that they were currently under going renovations and that soon it would be a bar, The Boat Shed.  Cory is trying to teach me how to like beer, so maybe one day I will be at the Boat Shed enjoying a nice cold brewhaha.  After we finished eating we enjoyed a stroll down Main Street to finish off our tasty tuesday.

Tasty Tuesday

April 24 – Red Dog Wine & Spirits and Zolo’s Italian Restaurant, Franklin, TN

Our tasty Tuesday started off at Red Dog’s to do a bourbon tasting.  Cory did most of the tasting here.  I did try one,Old Forester.  At first it burned, but then it just left a cinnamon taste in my mouth.  I like to go to the tasting parties at Red Dog not because I love the free samples of alcohol, but because the staff is so knowledgable and they tell you all about the bourbon.  How it is made, recommended way to serve it, the differences in the ones that you are tasting, etc.  I like to hear all the information; I feel like I might win a trivia game some time with the little facts I learn at Red Dog’s.

We didn’t know what to expect when we decided to go to Zolo’s, and when we got there and saw that there were only 5 other couples in the whole restaurant (I counted) it did make me a bit nervous that there weren’t more people.  The atmosphere was like the typical Italian restaurant in America – clear, twinkle lights, fake grapes, pictures of Italian landmarks, Italian words on plates, and last, but not to be forgotten, the little chubby chefs on everything.  Cory had the Chicken Saltimbocca ($22) and I had Baked Tortelloni ($16.95).  Both of us were pleasantly surprised at how good our meal was.  I am not sure why the were so dead that Tuesday night, because everything we had was really good.  Also, on Tuesdays they have a special and all bottles of wine are 1/2 off.  I will say I was in the mood to try several courses that night, but after looking over the menu I decided just to have the baked tortelloni because every thing seemed to be super rich and drenched with cheese.  Their dessert tray was tempting, but we were both stuffed so we skipped it.  The next time we are in the mood for some Italian comfort food Zolo’s will be our top choice.

Tasty Tuesday

April 10 – Joey’s House of Pizza, Spring Hill, TN

Today for lunch we stopped at Joey’s House of Pizza.  Some of the best pizza I have had since we have lived here.  It reminds me of the pizza I used to love when I was a little girl and lived in NJ.  I had a slice of cheese pizza with garlic powder sprinkled on top; it was so good.  Cory had bacon cheese pizza and a house salad.  It is the New York style pizza that I love.  We will be going back for sure, I just need to see which one is closer to our house the one in Spring Hill or Brentwood.  It is definitely a “Mom & Pop” place, just a simple dining room, good food, and affordable prices.

Tasty Tuesday

Monday, March 2, 2012 – Cheese Cake Factory

Okay, so Cory was actually out-of-town, so I went out Monday night with Brittanie.  We went to the Cheese Cake Factory in Green Hills.  It was probably a little after 7:30pm when we got there.  We decided to eat outside, because it was the weather was so nice outside.  Also, it seemed to be quite cold and loud inside, not a good combo for a relaxing dinner with good conversation.  So we had to wait about 10 minutes.  We decided to get an appetizer of fried macaroni and cheese (a suggestion from my supervisor at work, Iva).  OMGoodness, I am still dreaming about those fried balls filled with little pieces of heaven.  I can’t explain how good they were, you have to try these!!!  The had the right crunchiness on the outside and the inside was so creamy and delicious.  Perfect, that is the best way to describe them.  For our entrees, Brittanie had a chicken and pasta dish and I had the buffalo chicken sandwich.  Neither one of us thought that much about our entrees.  They weren’t bad, just not great either, just kind of so-so.  The breading on the chicken ended up sliding off the chicken, so it turned into a messy meal. Brittanie had their anniversary edition of cheesecake and she said it was rich and tasty.  They also had a lot of drinks and even milkshakes (with alcohol) that looked and sounded delicious.  There is a milkshake that I would like to try with chocolate liquor, peanut butter and vanilla ice cream.   I will definitely go back, but next time I would just skip the main entree and just enjoy appetizers and drinks and maybe dessert.

Lotz House

My dear friend, Brittanie, came up to my house this past Monday night, so that we could go shopping all day Tuesday.  I feel like we surpassed her goals of getting some new summer clothes.  During our day of shopping we took a break to visit the Lotz House in Franklin.  We took the tour and loved it!  Our guide’s name was, J.T. and he was full of knowledge.  He paints a picture that allows you to see first hand how the family lived and survived with the Civil War going on all around them, just on the other side of their home’s walls.  The two things that stuck with me the most were, first the piece of the south wall before the repairs were made after the Civil War.  It looked like a piece of wooden swiss cheese.  I can’t imagine “waking up” (as if they were able to sleep with the war going on) and realizing that I survived that and how now you can see perfectly out of the walls and roof of my home from all the damage.  Second, there was a young girl that lived in the Lotz house during this time and her name was Matilda Lotz.  I think J.T. said she was 6 when the Union soldiers took over their house and belongings.  She grew up to be an amazing artist.  You can see several of her original paintings at the Lotz House.  I loved the painting of cows in the foyer.  Check out the web site at:  www.lotzhouse.com  If you are visiting Franklin, don’t miss the Lotz House.