Nashville, The Ryman and Judah & the Lion

I cashed in a major Christmas present this weekend. Brad got me tickets to see Judah & the Lion at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. And it was the best concert I’ve been to in a long time.

First, it was the Ryman. Formerly known as the Grand Ole Opry. The birthplace of bluegrass. The mother church of music. An icon. A bucket list venue of mine.

Being the good boyfriend that he is, he made sure we got meet-and-greet tickets so we saw them play a couple of acoustic songs and answer some questions. And get a photo.
Judah and the Lion
As you can see, I was super happy. My eyes were all squinty. They are one of the funnest bands to watch live. So much energy. So down-to-earth. We loved every single minute of it.

While we waited for the night’s festivities to start, we explored Nashville. We had Whole30 approved salads at the Famous Bar. We visited the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum, and I totally geeked out on all the music memorabilia.

What you see here: Garth Brooks’ very well-used acoustic guitar, Elton John’s baby grand and grand pianos, and Jimi Hendrix’s electric guitar.

But there was so much to see. So many iconic items. Walls of silver, gold and platinum records. It was a super fun way to spend some time waiting for the show to start.

Would I go back to Nashville? Absolutely. The Ryman is THE place to see live music. I can’t wait to go back.

We rounded out the weekend with a drive around the farm before heading home.

It was absolutely perfect.

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Adventures to Wellness is Coming

Things are changing around here. And I’m super excited. The most excited I’ve been in a long time about a personal project.

If you’ve followed me for awhile, you know I’ve had a designated blog space since 2009. It started on Blogger as It’s Always Something… and then evolved into Barefoot ‘N Running, the space I wrote the longest.

But when I quit running regularly, I quit writing there. When I finished grad school and started working full-time, I quit writing for a little while.

Then about two years ago, I create When I Grow Up I Want to be a Chef. I always thought I wanted to be a food blogger. To create recipes and share them. To take food photography.  But I felt pigeon-holed and lacked creativity to share recipes. And to be honest, I’m terrible a writing recipes because I don’t measure anything. My cooking style is intuitive. It’s how it looks and smells and tastes more than it is measurements for people to recreate.

And to be honest, I felt like I failed at When I Grow Up I Want to be a Chef. Because it wasn’t like everyone else.

But in reality it wasn’t me at all.

So here we are. Eight years into having a personal writing space on the web, and I have it no more figured out than when I was 22.

Truth bomb: I’m not ever going to have it figured out.

But what I do know is I need a space to write and share and build community. And if the spaces I developed in the past are no longer serving me, I need to evolve.

So here we are.

Adventures to Wellness is a space to help me find balance. Or share how I’m constantly finding balance in the everyday. It’s about being able to adapt. And finding gratitude. And loving the beautiful, messy life I’ve been given.

It’s an adventure to living my healthiest life.

It’s about sharing food in a way that I want to share food with photos, links to recipes, sharing bloggers I love, recipes, food prep, farmers market shopping, buying local.

It’s about sharing exercise practices, exercise failures, lack of motivation, finding motivation, taking care of myself.

It’s about sharing life with music, movies, love, best practices, worst practices, failures, storytelling and just being a real person that you can relate to.

It’s about figuring it out on the fly. Being open and honest.

Finding balance is an ever-changing, ongoing adventure. Finding my own version of wellness is an ever-changing, ongoing and, ultimately, life-changing adventure that I can’t wait to share with you.

Welcome to my new space.

With love,
Ashten

P.S. Official site launch and new content begins September 1, 2017. I have lots of ideas and things to share with you. Get. Excited.

How to Survive a Music Festival on Whole30

Well I survived. No booze. No food. Just water and a smoked turkey leg. 

Yesterday was busy. I prep and cooked food for several hours. I made mayonnaise from scratch, and then turned it into ranch dip. I made pesto. I cooked taco meat. I sautéed chicken breasts. It was crazy. 

I got an hour or so of uninterrupted pool time. And an awesome show at Riverfest. 

Let’s recap breakfast and lunch. 


Scrambled eggs with mushrooms, broccoli, onion and bell pepper. Coffee had coconut cream in it. Not the same as real cream, but a nice weekend treat. 


Lunch was tacos with ground chicken, Whole30 compliant salsa, tomatoes and avocado. The lettuce was out of the garden. 

Dinner was music and a turkey leg. 


Just smoked turkey to perfection. No spices. No sauces. It was the best we could do since my apple and mixed nuts got confiscated at the entrance. 

We had a solid evening of excellent music. Judah and the Lion. X-Ambassadors. The Goo Goo Dolls. It was epic. We even had the opportunity to meet X-Ambassadors and get our picture made. Very cool moment. 

So I’ll be spending the day creating an awesome 90s playlist since The Goo Goo Dolls show blew my mind. One of the best shows I’ve seen in a while. 

I was sad to see the graveyard of frozen lemonades and half-eaten corn dogs lining the sidewalks on our way out last night. Some people just don’t know a good thing when they have it. The boyfriend was upset we couldn’t drink all the free craft beer we wanted in the VIP tent. 

But on the upside, pants are fitting better. So day 5 wasn’t a total bust.