Saturday, January 31, 2015

Elliston Place Soda Shop

If you want to step back into the 1950's, treat yourself to a meal at Elliston Place Soda Shop. The decor, the furniture, the menu, the food…it all takes you back in time.

I have a vivid memory of the last time I set foot in this place, and it was when I was about 12 years old and broke my arm so my mom took my to get a milkshake to drown my sorrows. Lately, I had been dying to go back and try it again.

When we noticed Elliston Place Soda Shop on the list for restaurant week, we decided it was a must.

I will admit, we all left feeling overly full of greasy food and delectable milkshakes, but it was worth it!

I'd recommend stopping by here next time you're around!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Sunny Day in January

When the temperatures reach the mid-60s during a Tennessee January, it is going to be a good day regardless of what you have going on. Today was one of those days. And to make it even better, Camille met me for an outdoor Barista Parlor lunch during my hour break from tutoring. The vibrant colors of this place just put me in a good mood!

The sun was shining so we decided to maximize our Vitamin D intake and sit outside. The food was divine. I loved that they gave us bandanas to use as napkins. The drinks were interesting, but the jury is still out on whether or not Camille's coffee was spiked somehow. To be determined.

Regardless, it was a lovely lunch that we both thoroughly enjoyed. Here are the solo shots we snapped of each other.


Thursday, January 15, 2015


Having lived "as an adult" in Nashville for a year and a half now, I have recently been thinking over what my life looks like. I am looking at the future and deciding about big things like buying houses and getting another masters degree. But when I look at my life, it is the small things that I am incredibly thankful for. The friends. The Bible Studies. The walks on the greenway. The Chick-fil-A runs. The kickball games. The margaritas after class. The lunch dates. The 10 minute drive to my parents. 

In all the busyness and craziness of life, it is so important to take a step back from the plans and decisions to be thankful for what really matters. I am thankful for my community here in Nashville.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Final Wedding of 2014: Alison and Steven

One might say that I have attended more than my fair share of weddings this year, but the final one, which took place on Decemeber 27, was absolutely magnificent in every sense of the word. 

Alison and Steven were married at First Presbyterian here in Nashville.

An ornately beautiful and lively reception took place at the Schremerhorn Symphony Hall immediately following. It is truly a breathtaking location, made even more beautiful by the decor.

The bridesmaids wore full length gold sequin dresses, which sounds a little risky but they ended up being beautiful and matching the gold accents of the evening perfectly.

Similar to Matt and Susan's wedding, this wedding was particularly fun for me because of the mix of Wake and Nashville friends who were there as guests.

The band performed a lovely mix or oldies and fun dance songs, along with the flashing glasses that were handed out as props on the dance floor.

Alison and Steven's first dance was probably the best I have ever seen. It started out to Ben Rector's "I wanna dance with somebody"….

… but transitioned into a hip hop song and choreographed dance including Alison breaking it down and Steven tossing his tux jacket aside and doing "The Worm".

I always love the bride and groom's exit from a wedding, not because the celebration is over, but just because it is the culmination of all the excitement for their new life together. Alison and Steven's exit was as amazing as the rest of their wedding, complete with sparklers, champagne, fireworks, and a horse drawn carriage.

Cheers to you, the new Mr. and Mrs. Steven Coley!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


I like to claim I went to Africa before it was cool. And lets be honest, in 2006, Africa was most likely not on your radar. But my mom insisted on a month long family adventure to Kenya, so off we went.

 And to this day, it is not rare to hear comments like "Remember that time Peter was deathly ill in that sketchy Kenyan hotel room" or "At least the flight wasn't as bad as that non-pressurized one we took to the Masai Mara" in Carroll family conversations.

In addition to the jokes and timeless memories from that trip, it is safe to say that that trip left a lasting impression on the lens through which we viewed the world. I have had the privilege to return to Africa almost a half dozen times, doing various things from studying abroad in Cape Town, to traveling with friends to Nairobi, to vacationing in Morocco, to Wake Forest funded research back in the sticks of Kenya. 





But that trip really opened my eyes to the world that exists out there. While spilling a cup of coffee can easily constitute a ruined morning here in the states, life is so vastly different and the simples woes and problems are completely different. In some ways, life in Kenya is so beautifully serene. Walking to the neighbors to get milk from their cow or spending an afternoon playing with the kids on the dirt road. Admiring the women who seemingly magically balanced water on their heads as they carried it home to their families. The landscapes are breath taking. Laughing about how after a Kenyan "shower", which consisted of dumping a few cups on rain water on your head, you felt about as dirty as the bottom of your shoe. But on that same note, that same simplicity can be painful and harmful. A lot of the people I came to know and love are suffering from life-threatening diseases that would be preventable by something as simple as clean water. Many of the children in the schools that I visited had never seen a white person before me. Making a basic meal often takes several hours longer than you'd expect due to lack of common appliances. These trips have provided me with some of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen and some of the most painful sights I have ever experienced. It is a strange juxtaposition. So, while it is so easy to get caught up in the business and hassles of life here, it has been refreshing for me to have these experiences and memories to rely on. 

Why am I writing this now, you might ask? I have not been to Africa in two and a half years, probably the longest time I have stayed off the continent since I first went in 2006. But it has been on the forefront of my mind lately. Partly because I have been feeling particularly wanderlust in recent months. Partly because this incredible blog post that my mom wrote came out recently. Partly because Ali and Jonny are currently on a trip to Kenya and Ethiopia. Regardless, it has been refreshing and introspective to take time to reflect on these experiences that I am feeling a little nostalgic for at the moment.


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Welcome to 2015!

With the new year upon us, it has been a time for reflection on the past year and eagerly anticipating what this year will bring. 
The blank slate feels exhilarating and nerve-racking.

Instead of resolutions that have typically fallen to the wayside by mid-February, my friends and I made goal lists this year. This way, its less rigid but more attainable. Bizzell, Camille, and I completed our lists together, while encouraging one another, and so that we can hold each other accountable and check in throughout the year to come.

We made them as we sat around the living room on New Years Day. It was fun to think about the 365 days ahead, but it was also exciting to discuss the goals we each had and how we will be able to help one another reach them.

What are your hopes for 2015?!