Small Business Saturday Shopping Guide

Small Business Saturday Shopping Guide

Small Business Saturday in Nashville is the best excuse I know to give my holiday business to the boutiques and shops that are redefining fashion and style in Music City. The city is filled with stores that cater to every taste imaginable. There's something for everyone here, so I thought I'd give you a guide of sorts to some of Nashville's most unique shops - just in case you'd like to drop by or visit them online.

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Germantown Cafe

Germantown Cafe

Twice a year, Nashville Originals - a select group of eateries that belong to Music City's Independent Restaurant Association - participate in Restaurant Week. During that time they offer up exclusive menus at reduced prices to entice Nashvillians to visit and taste their wonderful food.

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Yelp and AXSMap's Accessibility Reviews

Yelp and AXSMap's Accessibility Reviews

What makes a public place accessible, and why should we care, anyway? The answer to the first part of that question is it depends. It depends on the type of accessibility needed, the age of the building, the number of people that occupy the space, and several other factors too detailed to list here. In other words, it's not necessarily against the law for a place to be inaccessible.

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Happy Peepster And One Year Anniversary

Belated Happy Easter holiday to you all. This post is an important milestone for Spashionista Report; more on that later. As the landscape around me starts to pop with color I am dedicating April's fashion layouts to Spring's Crayon Box.

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Since for the foreseeable future I have to go to Vanderbilt Hand Clinic several times a week I am presented with multiple opportunities to pose in the heart of downtown Nashville. To be honest with you Nashville is not the most wheelchair accessible city I've been to so it's been quite a while since I've tried to wander around it's busiest streets. This will be a revelation on different levels for me as well.

These shots were taken in front of the Wells Fargo Plaza and Fifth Third Bank Courtyard on 4th Avenue and Church Street respectively. It was still cool enough to warrant a jacket but warm enough for Spring colors to come out and play. Since the first tulip of the season that opened up in my yard to greet me is a deep pink I thought it only appropriate to use it as my inspiration.

The linen blend geometric print Larry Levine skirt is several years old. I love the mix of bold pink with muted lavender and lemon yellow. I bought the Cynthia Rowley tank top on clearance at Marshall's for $7. My Baccini jacket is really getting a lot of wear this year. So are the studded grey Not Rated oxfords. My Gaudi inspired grey necklace has also seen a lot of wear. The bag is a Jessica Simpson from a few years back - but it's not the first one I've owned. The original was purchased at Shi and the zipper broke after only four months of use. I was heartbroken because it is the perfect bag size and shape wise for me to both carry comfortably and use effectively. I've been searching for a replacement ever since and last month finally found one on Ebay for less than $20.

As my Mr and I cruised through the grocery store we came across a pink Peep cupcake and he said, "Looks just like your outfit". He was right.

Linking up again with Patti for Visible Monday, Glamamon for Monday Mingle, and Adrienne and Jill for How I Wear My Handbag.

April 1st marks the one year anniversary of this blog. I will be talking about this at length in my next post and I hope you'll come back to read it!

Passionate About Nashville's The Wild Hare

It's an odd thing, my love affair with Nashville. We definitely did not fall in love at first sight. In fact, the things I love about Music City are far from typical. On Monday I told you I'd share one of my favorite restaurants with you. Like me, it's definitely one of a kind.

Photos of Wild Hare, Nashville This photo of Wild Hare is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

At first glance The Wild Hare appears to be a joke. Here's a rundown shack with an unpaved parking lot, sitting next to a Jiffy Lube, with a few signs slapped across the front in an attempt to convince passers by that it is, in fact, a legitimate eatery. The interior does little to dispel any doubts, looking like a cross between a shop project and a frat house.

Photos of Wild Hare, Nashville This photo of Wild Hare is courtesy of TripAdvisor

The truth is this quirky little jewel serves some of the best food in Nashville, period. It was voted Best New Restaurant in 2011 by The Nashville Scene magazine and it continues to live up to that title.

So what if the floor slopes? The place is very wheelchair accessible, and the prevailing ambiance has an air of coziness to it. Hipsters abound here, but so do older couples and families with young children. The staff are genuinely friendly and my confidence in the overall dining experience has led me to bring guests ranging from family to visitors from foreign countries. I've never had a bad meal or bad service at The Wild Hare.

All of your culinary expectations will be exceeded without having your pocket picked for the privilege. Food here is fresh, seasonal, sustainable whenever possible, and affordable. Last summer many of the herbs and veggies come straight out of the owners' garden. The chef is one of the few in Music City that doesn't salt the food in palette-killing amounts. Inventive daily specials are offered in addition to the regular menu, which you can peruse here. The place also sports a full bar with a wide selection of beer, wine, and cocktails.

The Wild Hare also understands the value of marketing through social media. More than once my plate of food has been photographed just before it was put in front of me, the photo then uploaded to their Facebook page to tempt the weak and willing. That strategy has worked on me more than once.

Speaking of pictures, how about some food porn to help convince you?

blueburger

Moroccan Pizza

Mussels

Surf and Turf

After my Violet Valentine visit to the Frist Mr Spashionista and I enjoyed The Wild Hare's delicious prix fixe four course Valentine's Day dinner.

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It included my very favorite dessert in all of Nashville. I'll share a photo of it with you next Visible Monday.

If you live in or visit Nashville you have got to taste this food!

The Wild Hare is located at 316 White Bridge Pike, Nashville, TN 37209, (615)818-0219. They are currently open Tuesday-Sunday from 11am - 10pm

You Gotta Have Friends

In this the last installment of my Cedar Rapids adventure it's only fair to introduce the people and resources without which I would never have attempted this trip.

Meet my friend Glenda Watson Hyatt. She writes a terrific blog called Do It Myself and is the author of I Can Do It Myself, an autobiographical account of living with Cerebral Palsy. Glenda has made it her life's work to help make the world more accessible for everybody, so when I seriously contemplated making this trip she was the first person I turned to for advice. She gave me a few pointers in selecting a truly accessible hotel room, then referred me to her friend in Iowa, Deb Brown. Deb is an entrepreneur and founder of Debworks, which specializes in helping businesses get the most out of the ever-expanding world of social media.

The first - and best - thing Deb did was point me towards the right city! For whatever reason, the website from which I initially learned about the Alphonse Mucha exhibit listed it as being in Des Moines, not Cedar Rapids. The next was to send someone out on my behalf to physically inspect hotels to confirm that the amenities listed were, in fact, available. Based on these findings I chose the Hampton Inn North in Cedar Rapids.

 

The room we stayed in featured one king-sized bed with enough room to wheel up to on either side, and an accessible bath tub and toilet. The desk was wheelchair accessible and the closet, which is not pictured, had a lowered closet rod from which to hang your garments. Likewise the dresser and TV stand had drawers that were easily maneuvered from a wheelchair. The room also had a visual alarm and notification devices for the doorbell or door knock and incoming phone calls. Last, but not least, it had a coffeemaker; vital for my existence!

The staff was very friendly and helpful. I only have two complaints about the accommodations. The door to the room was impossibly heavy. If my husband hadn't been with me I don't think I could've opened it on my own. The other, bigger problem was the bathtub's floor was as slick as ice. There were plenty of grab bars and great access to the shower head, but as soon as I sat down I slid to the front of the tub! I solved the problem by using a hand towel as a tub mat of sorts.

To be fair, I was contacted by email after we got home to inquire about our stay and when I shared my concerns was assured that maintenance would be notified and the problems fixed. If I ever have occasion to go back to Cedar Rapids I wouldn't hesitate to stay at the same hotel.

I also had the pleasure of meeting my new friend Deb Brown and her friend Melanie, for lunch at the Ox Yoke Inn in the Amana Colonies. The food was delicious and the company was easy and fun. Deb has a wonderfully dry sense of humor, which I deeply appreciate, and Melanie is a really sweet lady.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App That's Melanie, Deb, and myself from left to right.

Interestingly enough, Deb is a regular speaker at the Small Town State of NOW, which was, “Originally called the 140 Characters Conference, aka #140conf, the State of Now takes online interaction and turns it into an in-person conference. The State of NOW is made up of immediate communication tools  like Twitter, Google +, Facebook and many others. The 140conf explores how the State of NOW is disrupting business, education, agriculture, media, celebrity, music, politics, public safety, and our culture.”

"You have to speak at State of NOW Nashville." She insisted.

How can I refuse a chance to be "disruptive"? Glenda wants in, too. We're all trying to get the details and logistics to bring this to fruition. I'll keep you posted.