Fun In Nashville: Cupcake ATM, The Parthenon & Girls Day Out

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If you missed my earlier post I shared about a recent trip we took to Tennessee.

It’s easy to have fun in Nashville! We’ve been a few times over the years. There’s so much to see and do. I wanted to share a little more of our trip with you if you’re able to visit the area sometime.

Many people enjoy the slower pace of the South and even the Southern accents when visiting there, especially if you’re from another part of the country.

(You may want to learn how to speak with a Southern drawl in How To Speak With A Southern Drawl, The Heimlich Maneuver And A Mini-Vacation To Nashville.)

The Parthenon At Centennial Park

fun in Nashville
The girls at The Parthenon in Centennial Park.

Centennial Park is located 2 miles west of downtown Nashville. It features a walking trail, sunken garden, dog park, pond and a variety of aquatic life.

A section of the park contains historic wartime memorabilia, including cannons from the Civil War, an Air Force fighter jet from the Korean War and a locomotive.

The Parthenon is the only full-scale replica of the original Greek temple. The building is quite impressive in size and the detail is impeccable.

The girls and I enjoyed a girls day out touring downtown Nashville on foot, then capping off our adventures at The Parthenon. It’s a wonderful place for capturing memorable photos!

There is an art gallery inside The Parthenon you can pay a bit extra to view, but we had to get back to the hotel to pick up D for dinner so we didn’t do this.

Here’s some more information on Centennial Park and The Parthenon.

fun in Nashville
The girls walking down Broadway in Nashville.

Fun In Nashville: Live Music

We walked down to the Cumberland riverfront and the girls took a few pictures.

We went to Ryman Auditorium, which was home to the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 until 1974.

There, I took the girls picture with a life-size bronze statue of Little Jimmy Dickens. He was 4 foot, 11 inches tall. Apparently the statue is fairly new and was recently introduced, along with a Bill Monroe statue, by country music greats Brad Paisley and Ricky Skaggs on June 7, 2017.

We strolled the Broadway strip, otherwise known as country music row. Saw lots of boot and cowboy hat shops, and tons of restaurants.

Live music is playing all the time. And not just country music, but also jazz, rock, and bluegrass.

Fortunately I did a little research ahead of time and found some inexpensive parking in the downtown Nashville Public Library parking garage. It was $4.50, I think. The library is pretty impressive on its own.

Pizza And A Cupcake ATM With Cousins

fun in Nashville
The girls and their cousins in Nashville pre-cupcake ATM (AKA, sugar rush).

After our trip to the city, the girls and I returned to the hotel, picked up David (who had attended educational conferences all day) and drove to meet my sweet sister-in-law and her kids for pizza and dessert.

Because my sister-in-law lives in Nashville she knows some of the best places to eat and fun things to do. She had some great suggestions and I appreciate her sharing them with me!

We went to a fun cupcake place called Sprinkles for dessert. They have a cupcake ATM, you can order cupcakes 24/7 and they come out in a cute little box. I tried a dark chocolate one and it was amazing!

The kids had fun and we enjoyed getting together!

The Takeaway

fun in Nashville
The girls and I with Johnny Cash at The Gaylord Opryland Hotel. Some of us were trying to figure out if he was real or not, thus the wide-eyed expressions. #helookssoreal (The bag behind my back reveals we had just returned from the Opry Mills shopping mall.)

As you can probably tell, we had fun in Nashville last week. It was nice to see some new scenery for a few days.

I hope you are able to get away or do something fun and out of the ordinary this summer.

We all need times of refreshing in our lives, whether it’s spending time with family or friends, listening to great music, taking a mini-vacation, going on a walk in nature or even using a cupcake ATM.

Sometimes it’s the simple things that can bring us the greatest joy.

What do you enjoy doing when you need a break from the everyday routine?

Please share below in the comment section! I love connecting with you!

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How To Speak With A Southern Drawl, The Heimlich Maneuver And A Mini-Vacation To Nashville

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Hey y’all!

How’s that for a Southern accent? Hope y’all don’t mind me tryin’ it out on ya. 😉

So, part of our family (David, the girls and I because the boys had work) just returned from a fun mini-trip to Nashville, Tennessee. And I’m pretty sure if I stayed much longer I’d pick up their Southern drawl fairly quickly.

Why?

  1. Because I like the relaxed vibe of the South.
  2. Because when I was in college my friends from the “Northern” U.S. commented on my Southern accent and I was asked several times if I was from Texas. True story. This, despite the fact that I was born and raised in good ‘ole Southwest Missouri.

    Southern drawl
    Cowboy boots never go out of style.
  3. I like cowboy boots.
  4. And cowboy hats.

I guess this goes to show that everyone has an accent of one kind or another.

And our perception of another person’s “accent” is influenced by where we’re from and the dialect we’re used to hearing and speaking.

Interesting, right?

Drawn To His Southern Drawl

So, we had a discussion about accents on the 7-hour trip down (or east from Southwest Missouri). Like how David lost his Southern accent and how long you have to live somewhere (such as Nashville) before you start to talk like the locals.

D is originally from Kentucky and when I met him in college I was drawn to his Southern drawl.

He sat behind me in a class and after several days of hearing his smooth Kentucky accent, always the curious one that I am, I just had to turn around and put a face to that voice.

And boy was I glad that I did. 😉

(He’ll love me for saying that.)

The rest they say is history…

Well there was a bit more than that.

Southern drawl
Carrots are nutritious and high in beta carotene.

Like the time he gave me the Heimlich Maneuver in our college cafeteria (shout out to Meller’s Cafeteria! where our son, Cooper now works) when I choked on a very large carrot.

For real.

My airway was completely obstructed and he saved my life!

Maybe that sealed the deal?

But I’m pretty sure I knew he was the one way before that.

Based on the Southern drawl and all.

Y’all.

Why Learn To Speak With A Different Accent?

Southern drawl
We saw lots of cowboy boots and guitars in Nashville. Boot, scootin’ boogie.

There are different reasons for wanting to learn to speak with a Southern drawl:

  • if you’re an actor, you can expand your repertoire
  • it’s fun!
  • to impress your friends and family
  • to impersonate someone from the South

Okay, so maybe not the last one.

If you enjoy learning new things like I do, you may like this next part.

Tips For Speaking With A Southern Accent

  • Speak slowly–People from the South tend to draw out their words, especially the vowel sounds. There’s a lilt to their speech and a single syllable vowel can become two syllables. For example, “fill” becomes “fee-hill.”
  • Drop the “g”s. So words that end in “ing” will lose the “g”. For example, “eating” becomes “eatin'” and “running” becomes “runnin’.” Some of us tend to do this in the Ozarks too.
  • Use “y’all” instead of “you all” every chance you get. Even better, and a slight variation, try using “all y’all.” This is my personal favorite.
  • Remember your manners. Generally speaking, Southerners are polite. So try, “‘Scuse me”, “Thank ya”, “Yes M’am”, and “Sir” on for size.
  • Learn and practice some local phrases. Over the years I’ve been entertained by D’s long list of “Kentuckyism’s. These are phrases, or sayings, he grew up hearing in his home state of Kentucky. Many of them he learned from his Granny Mildred, I think. Examples of such colloquialisms could include: “As scarce as deviled eggs after a church picnic” or “I love them roastin’ ears (corn on the cob)” and “If the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise.”
  • It’s important to keep in mind when we’re talking like someone from the South (or any other region or country) that we show sensitivity to their culture so we don’t cause hurt feelings or offense.

Here’s a video that can help you understand Southerners and some of the things they say. (I realize the still video picture below goes against my comment above about showing cultural sensitivity, but thought it was one of the more informative videos so chose to share it anyway. Hopefully it doesn’t offend anyone out there…this is definitely not my intention.)

The Takeaway

It can be fun to visit new places and observe and interact with different people.

Nashville is an especially fun place to travel to. It’s rich in Southern pride and tradition.

Every person has a unique accent. There are different reasons you might want to learn to speak with a Southern accent. Learning new things can be fun! Or maybe you’re thinking of moving to Nashville to work at becoming a country music star. More power to ya.

Either way, I hope you continue learning new things, and exploring new horizons. Most of all, I hope you had fun reading this post!

Do you like learning new things? Do you enjoy traveling, meeting new people and experiencing new cultures? 

Please share below in the comment section. I love hearing from you!

For more on our trip to the South, you may enjoy: Fun In Nashville: Cupcake ATM, The Parthenon & Girls Day Out

If you enjoyed this, you might want to check out:

Learn how to do the Heimlich Maneuver here.

Connect With Me Below:

Pinterest — /LoriGeurin
Facebook — /LoriGeurinBlog
Twitter — @LoriGeurin
Instagram — @LoriGeurin
Bloglovin — lorigeurin
Email — healthylife@lorigeurin.com

This post contains affiliate links. And you can read our Affiliate Policy here.


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8 Ways To Improve Your Communication Skills: Your Friends And Family Will Love You For It

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Having good communication skills is vitally important in many areas of life. Yet it is sometimes, dare I say, neglected.

Whether at the office with co-workers, socializing with friends or at home with family learning how to communicate effectively is essential to developing good relationships with others. Not only can improved communication help you enhance your relationships, but it can also reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

So, whether you’re a beginner with much room for improvement or a pro, here are eight steps you can take to develop amazing communication skills.

8 Tips To Improve Your Communication Skills

1. Listening is key.

Do you remember Verizon’s “Can you hear me now?” ad campaign?

It turns out there’s a big difference between hearing and listening. Hearing happens, “with or without your consent“. Hearing is passive and doesn’t require any effort on your part.

On the other hand, listening requires concentration and attention. You must consciously choose to listen.

Everyone wants to know they are being heard. So really listen to what the other person is saying without interrupting.

And without formulating a response in your head.

Barking Up The Wrong Tree‘s Eric Barker outlines the basics of active listening:

  • “Listen to what they say. Don’t interrupt, disagree or “evaluate.”

  • Nod your head, and make brief acknowledging comments like “yes” and “uh-huh.”

  • Without being awkward, repeat back the gist of what they just said, from their frame of reference.

  • Inquire. Ask questions that show you’ve been paying attention and that move the discussion forward.”

2. Eliminate distractions.

Put down your cell phone, shut your laptop, turn off the T.V. or whatever it is that might distract you from giving the other person your undivided attention.

This not only helps you pay better attention, but shows the other person you’re focused on them and what they have to say.

3. Pay attention to your body language.

Avoid sending out negative signals through negative body language such as tapping your feet nervously, avoiding eye contact and crossing your arms.

Instead, use open body language. Keep your arms uncrossed with palms up. Maintain good eye contact. And smile (when appropriate).

This positive body language sends the message that you’re approachable and interested in what the other person has to say.

4. Consider who you’re talking to.

For example, if you’re talking to your best friend it’s fine to use informal language, including slang.

If you’re a twin, you may enjoy “twin talk” with your identical sibling. No one else will understand what you’re saying but you two will, and that’s all that matters.

And if you’re conversing with your boss, it’s generally best to keep that in mind too. To sum up this tip, simply try to keep the other person’s perspective in mind.

5. Ask questions and paraphrase.communication

So I’ve been told I ask a lot of questions.

I’ve also been told curiosity killed the cat.

But I digress…

Ask questions to clarify your understanding of what the other person said.

Also, paraphrasing is a great tool to use to show the other person that you’re really listening. Here’s an example: “So Sam, what I’m hearing is that you’d prefer to go to the conference next week?”

6. Don’t finish other people’s sentences.

I know it can be tempting to “help” people when they’re struggling for a word or thought, but please avoid this temptation.

I admit I’ve done this before, usually thinking I’m being helpful, but simply put, it’s just not.

When you finish another person’s sentence, you’re actually stealing power from them in the conversation by taking over, and this never feels good or garners either of you the respect you wish for.

7. Avoid being judgmental.

Some conversations are fun and easy. Often this is because we feel comfortable and perhaps know the other person or have things in common.

But even the most difficult conversations can have successful resolutions.

It’s essential to put aside judgement and criticism about the other person if we want to be good communicators.

8. Be assertive and set boundaries.

Developing an assertive communication style has many benefits, especially when it comes to your health. According to www.anxietybc.com, assertive communication:

“can help you to relate to others more genuinely, with less anxiety and resentment. It also gives you more control over your life, and reduces feelings of helplessness. Furthermore, it allows OTHER people the right to live their lives.”

Assertiveness is based on mutual respect, which is an essential skill when communicating.

It’s also important to keep in mind that assertiveness is completely different from aggressiveness (or passive aggression).  The aim of aggressive behavior is to control and dominate others.

On the other hand, AnxietyBC points out assertive behavior is:

“the honest expression of one’s own needs, wants and feelings, while respecting those of the other person. When you communicate assertively, your manner is non-threatening and non-judgmental, and you take responsibility for your own actions.”

According to The Mayo Clinic, learning to be more assertive is a healthy skill which can help you control feelings of anger and stress, while boosting your self-respect.

The Takeaway

Learning and implementing excellent communication skills can help you be more successful in life. Knowing how to effectively communicate is an essential part of improving your relationships at work, with friends and family. And having these skills can help you enjoy better health and less stress and anxiety.

Do you have thoughts or more tips to share about being a better communicator?

Please share them below in the comment section. I love hearing from you!

 If you enjoyed this, you may want to check out:

Connect With Me Below:

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Twitter — @LoriGeurin
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Email — healthylife@lorigeurin.com

This post contains affiliate links. You can read our Affiliate Policy here.


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