Mary Lynn van Deventer teaches hammered dulcimer, french horn, and piano! Here's a few shots from our recent photoshoot! | Teaspoon of Nose

Photoshoot: Mary Lynn’s Music

While I do a lot of creating with gold foil, I also do custom work that branches a little beyond what usually shows up in my Etsy shop. Today, I want to share with you one of the projects I worked on this past spring with musician Mary Lynn van Deventer!

Mary Lynn is a fantastic music teacher as well as performer: in fact, she’s one of the most respected hammered dulcimer players in the U.S.! She’s also a dear friend and former music teacher of mine, so when she reached out needing some updated marketing materials, I was overjoyed to see what we could do together!

Mary Lynn van Deventer teaches hammered dulcimer, french horn, and piano! Here's a few shots from our recent photoshoot! | Teaspoon of Nose

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Don't waste a long layover! Here's how to spend 12 hours in NYC!

How to spend a layover in NYC

This post is part of our month-long European trip from last August. Check here for our whole trip! 

In planning our adventure, we found ourselves with a 14 hour layover at JFK. Rather than spend our first day of vacation bumming around an airport, we grabbed our bags and headed into New York City for a day of exploring!

Don't waste a long layover! Here's how to spend 12 hours in NYC!

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Classic cars to crazy creations at the Altus Rockin' Rumble, Oklahoma! | Teaspoon of Nose

Life in Altus: Rockin’ Rumble

In Altus, Oklahoma, one of the biggest events of the year is the Rockin’ Rumble.

It’s talked up for months. People plan their schedules around it.

What is it? It’s a car show, folks.

Classic cars to crazy creations at the Altus Rockin' Rumble, Oklahoma! | Teaspoon of Nose

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Spend a few days in the idyllic town of Chinon in the Loire Valley- its the perfect way to relax!!

Relaxing in the Loire Valley

This post is part of our month-long European trip from last August. Check here for our whole trip! 

Our stay in Chinon felt like a retreat into another era. Time slowed down, life got quieter. The biggest question we answered each day was, “where should we eat dinner?” The necessary logistics that go into a multi-stop trip faded as we relaxed.

Tucked away in the heart of the Loire Valley, Chinon is a tiny town in a region of small towns. Fields, vineyards, and dairy farms cover the landscape dotted with idyllic villages. When I asked a friend about the Loire Valley, she summed it up with “Wine and castles. That’s why you should go.” Yes, please.

The big event of Chinon was less an activity and more the place itself. We splurged and stayed in a castle! A château, to be exact. Chateau de Marcay is an old rambling property, complete with horses and a tree-lined entryway. From the lobby full of velvet couches to the attentive staff quick to address you by name, the hotel exudes a feeling of aged European grandeur.

Spend a few days in the idyllic town of Chinon in the Loire Valley- its the perfect way to relax!!

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Exploring Mangum's Rattlesnake Derby in southwest Oklahoma!

Life in Altus: Rattlesnake Derby

Within a month of getting back to Oklahoma, there were TWO somewhat-hilarious cultural events. Today I’m sharing one of these, the Mangum Rattlesnake Derby.

 

Imagine a small town carnival meets flea market. Now add any rattlesnake-related activity, wise idea or not. What you’re picturing is the Rattlesnake Derby.

Exploring Mangum's Rattlesnake Derby in southwest Oklahoma!

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Local Atlanta: walking the Beltline

Visiting Laura has always been fun – we’ve had our share of adventures when she lived in D.C., and now that she’s relocated to Atlanta, there’s a whole new city to explore!

She and her husband Armando hosted me for a weekend this spring, and their number one recommendation for a Saturday morning was exploring the Atlanta Beltline. I had no idea what this was. Eager to check it out, we set off for a morning outside at one of Atlanta’s less touristy attractions!

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Exploring the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta!

Exploring the Georgia Aquarium

Part of my travels this spring took me down to Atlanta, home to my friends Laura & Armando. Atlanta is one of those cities with so many things to do and see, and I knew we couldn’t do it al in one weekend! So I did the smart (read: lazy) thing and let my hosts tell me what they most wanted to show me.

Their top choices: the Beltline and the Aquarium! While I didn’t know anything about the Beltline (stay tuned for more soon!), I had hoped they would want to see the Georgia Aquarium. So off we set for a fish-filled day!!

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Seeing London in a weekend!

A quick weekend in London

This post is part of our month-long European trip from last August. Check here for our whole trip! 

Since we’d already flown over to Great Britain, we couldn’t leave without a stop in London! Unfortunately I arrived with a bad cold and was pretty sluggish the whole weekend. Between that and a quick turnaround, we decided to each choose one thing we most wanted to do and work our time around those.

Seeing London in a weekend!

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Springtime snow in D.C.

By March of this year, I’d ditched all my cold weather gear in Alabama. Living out of a suitcase meant I wanted to shed as much unnecessary gear as possible, and after a month of unusually warm weather in the south I was ready to get rid of warm layers. So when I visited my husband in sunny Alabama, I ditched the gloves, hat, and snow coat. Because March in the south means daffodils and dogwoods, right?

Apparently not. Days after leaving Alabama, my trip to D.C. came into question because of snow. Not wanting to miss the chance to visit, I headed up a day early to beat the weather. The joy of crashing with my parents means that I borrowed my mom’s snow boots and my lovely host Catherine lent me a coat, but it cracked me up that my winter gear got left in sunny Alabama when I’m snowed in here in the District of Colombia.

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While I’ve been snowed in in D.C. before, it’s never been during the same time the cherry blossoms were predicted. This time, I was visiting my friend Catherine, and she and I spent a few days comparing notes on our favorite D.C. So here’s a few bits of our snow day adventures!

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If you go to Scotland, don't skip the Highlands! There's so much to see and experience! We took a day trip with The Hairy Coo touring company and it was the best way to see a lot in a day!

One day in the Scottish Highlands

This post is part of our month-long European trip from last August. Check here for our whole trip! 

The whole reason we went to Scotland was for Logan to get a taste of the Highlands. My husband loves the mountains. He’s from the Appalachian Mountains of NC, and something in his soul needs the peaks and vistas. So as we dreamed about our trip, I knew the highlands needed to be part.

Because of time constraints, we ended up only getting one day to explore them. So to maximize our day we signed up for an organized day trip! My travel style is about 70/30 of individually planned trips to pre-booked group tours. Tour groups can get you the best of the area in the most efficient way possible, without having to worry about transportation! My priority in choosing a tour group is the reviews of the guide themselves: they will make or break your trip, every time. One of my favorite memories of my time in Australia was a quick 3 day trip from Sydney to Melbourne, because our guide was so fantastic! At one point he pulled over on the side of the road  & flew out of the van because he’s spotted an echidna and wanted to show us something you don’t get to see every day!

Highlands

If you go to Scotland, don't skip the Highlands! There's so much to see and experience! We took a day trip with The Hairy Coo touring company and it was the best way to see a lot in a day!

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