All Posts By

Joelle Masterson

Travel

Gaylord Opryland

Looking to escape to a place filled with lots of fun and something for everyone? Look no further, The Gaylord Opryland Hotel is your place! Located in downtown Nashville the Gaylord is hands down the best place to stay in our city! Our family recently stayed at this hotel and I’m sure I won the coolest mom & wife award! Brian kept saying how great it was and Meadow wouldn’t stop saying “Pool, Water, Let’s go!” I can’t even put into words the amount of family fun we had. It was simply the perfect place to unwind and enjoy being together.

Clean and comfortable rooms with spectacular views await you. At every turn you will be in awe by the beauty and detail this resort has to offer. The customer service is top notch. The Gaylord is filled with many unique dining options and things to do. While the hotel is located with easy access to explore Nashville, you don’t even need to leave the resort to have an absolute blast. Restaurants are surrounded by lush gardens and waterfall sounds. We grabbed lunch at Cascades, which had everything from burgers to sushi. I also highly recommend Old Hickory Steakhouse for dinner. Brian said the salmon was the best he has ever had & my steak was fantastic. For a quick snack and breakfast we went to The Marketplace offering outstanding pastries and the Coca Bean had a delicious vanilla latte.

Gaylord Opryland thinks of everything to make your stay exceptional. They offer so many activities. Make sure to checkout the calendar to see what’s happening during your stay as most things are seasonal. Currently, the big summer attraction is SoundWaves and let me just tell you it 100% lives up to the hype. When I say we had a blast that’s an understatement. SoundWaves is truly incredible, offering a wave pool, numerous slides, lazy river, and poolside bars. We spent a lot of our time in the toddler section of SoundWaves. Meadow was going wild with excitement. I attached images but definitely be sure to check out the reel and videos from our stay saved to my highlights on my Instagram.

If I could redo my wedding I would do it at the Gaylord Opryland. I kept joking with Brian that we should totally renew our vows there, especially since our first date 11 years ago was at a Gaylord hotel for drinks. The ballrooms and conference center is absolutely breathtaking. If you are a bride on the hunt for the perfect location make sure you do a tour to see what the Gaylord has to offer. I personally think it would be the perfect place to say I do!

If you are local book the staycation! If you are traveling to Nashville trust me when I say book The Gaylord Opryland. We honestly cannot wait to go back! 

Lifestyle

A Tasty Torani Treat

When I think about Torani my mind instantly goes to Italian sodas, milkshakes, and lattes! Torani has been a favorite addition to my beverages from a young age. They are my favorite syrup brand for many reasons. Growing up my mom had a coffee & candy shop. I remember Torani syrup flavor bottles lined up behind the back of the counter creating a colorful & sweet focal wall. Everyday after school my mom would make us a snack & some sort of tasty drink with Torani in it. I’d sip and do my homework. Years later I still use Torani. This is why I’m so excited to partner with Torani around their delicious puremade sauce for National Sauce Month. This month make your drinks “all about the sauce” with Torani Puremade Sauces! 

I don’t know about you but I’ll never say no to a chocolate strawberry milkshake. I’m sharing my recipe using Torani Puremade Dark Chocolate Sauce to create a delicious milkshake. I whipped this treat up for Meadow & I this past weekend and she was a major fan. I felt this was a full circle moment because creating specialty drinks with Torani is something I did with my mom. Did you know Torani’s Puremade sauces have no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, and no artificial preservatives? Not only that they are crafted to bring out the best in your hot or cold drinks leaving you the opportunity to create endless yummy recipes with ease. Head to the Torani website using the link below to get your Puremade sauces!

Torani Puremade Dark Chocolate Sauce Strawberry Milkshake: 

1 cup vanilla ice cream

”1 cup (8oz) Torani Puremade Dark Chocolate Sauce 

1 cup strawberry ice cream

Whipped cream

Cherry for topping

  • mix ice cream flavors & Torani sauce together in blender. Top with whipped cream. Squeeze Torani chocolate sauce all over the top & then add a cherry! ENJOY!
  • Shop Torani

Xo,

Joelle

Home Decor

DIY Coat Cubby

Elevate your entrance by adding a touch of style to your cubby space.  Brian and I had so much fun knocking out this DIY project. It’s amazing what tape, paint, & baskets can do. I rarely paid attention to how boring the cubby area of our home looked.  Now it pops and every time I hang a jacket or take off my shoes I can’t help but smile.  Loving the spaces you live in truly makes the difference.

The fun part about this project is you can be creative. Naturally, we did black and white to match the rest of our home. I didn’t want to black out the entire space, instead we left the outside white & painted the interior black. To give our coat cubby a fun funky feel we added stripes on the beadboard & wallpaper behind the hooks. I personally don’t love color & prefer to mix prints. If you have space like this in your home I highly recommend making it your own. It’s a simple budget friendly project that takes minimal time has a grand result.

What we used:
Painters tape
Sherwin Williams satin cabinet paint in Tricorn
Paint & Primer black spay paint for hooks.
Opal house speckled dot wallpaper
Decorative baskets are from Target & the pillow is from TJmaxx.

Shop my style – http://liketk.it/38Tg5

Xo,
Joelle
Fashion

What Meadow’s Wearing – Janie & Jack

What is your little one wearing this holiday? Meadow will be head to toe in Janie & Jack! I have loved the brand long before being a parent was ever my reality. As a gal who spent her early twenties in retail and lots of time at the mall, Janie & Jack has always been a brand I knew I would one day dress my child in. I remember seeing the store front and always being in awe at the adorable, stylish clothing Janie & Jack creates for children. They are the one children’s brand that really makes stylish and on trend children’s collections.

Janie & Jack believes individual style starts early and I couldn’t agree more! I am definitely that mom who finds great joy in dressing my child in cute clothes. That is why I am so excited to share a few holiday looks Meadow will be wearing for Christmas and New Years.

Can we just take a moment for this beautiful, classic puff sleeve plaid dress?! With a matching bow, sparkle tights and the cutest red pointed toe shoes I’ve ever seen this outfit screams Christmas perfection!

Next up is Meadow’s New Years Eve dress! This little velvet lace trimmed dress is so good, I wish one came in my size. The perfect dress to bring in a New Year! Don’t forget the matching hair bow and shoes!

Ponte pants and bell sleeve sweaters = #ootd goals! This classic look screams, “I’m ready for Santa!” Meadow has worn this look a few times over the last few weeks and we get nonstop compliments. The matching beanie, mittens and silver shoes really pull the outfit together. See the picture above!

I couldn’t leave out the outfit Meadow wore for this past Thanksgiving! She loved her gold princess puff sleeve dress! This style is also perfect for any occasion!

I linked every style below to make shopping easy. Janie & Jack truly have incredible and timeless styles. Happy Holidays!

Xo,
Joelle

Shop – http://liketk.it/34nck

Lifestyle

Career Change

Hi friends!  While I know you are typically used to me sharing recipes, motherhood tips or fashion, today I am going to switch things up.  I’m going to get very real with you.  My hope is that I can shed light on what many of us throughout the world are experiencing since COVID.  If you find yourself rebuilding your career, know you are not alone.  My intent is not to gain pity, but to let you in on the current changes in my career and how I’m navigating.

For those of you who don’t know, Brian and I moved to Tennessee 3 years ago.  I had two goals in mind. First to expand our family business, Driven Fence, into a new state and second to build my hobby business, Epic Rain Boutique.  From the moment we landed in Tennessee I hit the ground running.  Marketing, networking and building both brands.  Today Epic Rain Boutique is a well known Nashville brand worn by the women of music.  Driven Fence was slowly making its mark.  Driven did big local events like the Pilgrimage Festival and Music City’s “Let Freedom Sing” July 4th event.  Also, for the first time ever we had our name in the hat for Bonnaroo 2020, which would have been my biggest win for Driven to date.  I took great pride in everything I accomplished and the momentum we were building.

Unfortunately, the world wide pandemic completely crushed everything I spent the last few years building.  We did construction and permanent fencing, but special events really lead the business in Tennessee.  With all special events canceled, our Tennessee location couldn’t sustain itself.  After a few months of seeing the writing on the wall, we made the decision to close.  I am happy to share, however, Driven Chicago and Driven Demolition have survived.  Once we closed Tennessee I decided it was best to resign from my position as VP.  I didn’t feel it was right to have my parents pay me a salary when I couldn’t do much for the company from another state.  This was hard as I always expected Driven to be my lifelong career.  Processing the change was not easy for me.  To me, Driven wasn’t just a job, it’s our family legacy.  The feeling of failure was overwhelming.  This sudden change in my career caused a lot of anxiety and sleepless nights.  I had to accept that sometimes, failure is out of your control and everything happens for a reason. As the old saying goes, one door closes for another one to open.  I truly feel this was God’s way of pushing me towards accomplishing my other passions.  I made the decision to fully embrace the change and immediately started building the foundation to my next journey.

First and foremost, my number one job is being a mom to Meadow.  I knew whatever I was going to do next had to give me the flexibility to have her by my side.  I am very blessed.  My husband Brian is a wonderful provider, super supportive and my biggest cheerleader.  For that , I am beyond thankful.  If I wanted, I technically could only be a stay at home mom, but I know within my soul I wouldn’t feel fulfilled.  I feel it’s extremely important that I have my own career outside of motherhood.  This allows me to have an outlet and most importantly I want Meadow to grow up watching me accomplish goals.  I want her to see good work ethic and be the role model she deserves.  My hope is that she grows up and is empowered to take on whatever she sets her mind to.  I have a fire for wanting to be successful and it’s always burning.  I don’t think I have ever been more determined than I am today.  I refuse to let this one failure define me.

For the last few years I put a focus on building my Epically Stylish blog.  Creating content and sharing my lifestyle brings me great joy. Now with the extra time on my hands, it’s become very clear to me that I want to give building my brand and influencing everything I’ve got by going full time with it.  I also recently got my Tennessee real estate license and I am excited to help others find the home of their dreams.  Between the two I believe I can contribute to our family and truly feel fulfilled.  I promised myself as I go down this new path I would do it the right way.  I will always share the good and the bad.  I will grow organically.  I will always be authentic and true to who I am.  Starting over is never easy.  It takes a lot of courage and self reflection.  If you find yourself in a similar situation I hope you know you are not alone.  Soul search and jump into doing whatever makes you happy.  I recently read this quote and it struck a cord with me, “It is only after we lose everything that we are free to do anything. Redesign, Rebuild, Reclaim.”  Anything is possible when you put your mind to it.  Thank you for taking the time to read.  Thank you for following.  Thank you for supporting.

Xo,
Joelle

Lifestyle

Mrs. Fields – Give A Sweet Gift This Holiday

Offer me a cookie and I’ll never turn it down.  Especially if it’s a Mrs.Fields cookie!  In 1977 Mrs.Fields cookie journey began and since then they have been leading the cookie industry.  Taste one and you will instantly know why they are so famous. 

I remember going to the mall when I was younger and always getting a Mrs.Fields cookie.  Getting a cookie became part of our shopping tradition.  Warm and delicious it was the ultimate treat!  As an adult it brings me great joy to share my love for Mrs. Fields not only on my blog, but also with my daughter.  Meadow’s smile in the photo says it all! It’s safe to say she is a fan.  I love that I can order Mrs.Fields cookies and have them delivered right to our door anytime I want. 

Are you looking for the perfect gift this holiday?  Look no further. Send a sweet treat to your loved ones.  From cookie tins, chocolate covered strawberries and delicious coffee cakes, Mrs.Fields has you covered. These gifts are yummy, affordably priced and always packaged and shipped with care.  These treats make the perfect gifts for teachers, corporate workers or loved ones.  Cookies are an essential holiday tradition. With the pandemic this year, health saftey is top of mind.  Sending Mrs. Fields treats is a perfect way to still keep tradition alive.  They also have personalization options to ensure your gift speaks to the heart! 

Our family and friends are going to be delighted this season when they receive their Mrs. Fields packages.  Below I listed my top 3 Mrs. Fields gifts to send for under $50.  I also linked a ton of my over all favorites on my LIKEtoKNOW.it.  Use the links below to shop.  Wishing y’all a very merry & extra sweet holiday! 

Xo,

Joelle

– Under $50 Favorites –

– Holiday Elf Cookie Jar ($49.99 ) – contains 24 Nibblers bite-sized cookies, 4 wrapped caramels and 3 hand decorate chocolate covered Nibblers. – https://www.mrsfields.com/gifts/Gnome-Cookie-Jar/#p:null;c:95

– Peace, Love, and Cookies Medium Tin ( $44.99 ) – contains 30 Nibblers Bite-Sized Cookies, 18 brownie bites and 2 frosted wreath cookies. – https://www.mrsfields.com/gifts/Peace-Love-Cookies-Medium-Combo-Tin-2020/#p:25;c:95

– Peace, Love Cookies Tree Box ( $34.99 ) – contains 18 Nibblers bite-sized cookies with 12 brownie bites – https://www.mrsfields.com/gifts/Peace-Love-Cookies-Tree-Box/#p:25;c:95

– Use the Link below to shop all Mrs. Fields has to offer –

 https://www.mrsfields.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIp-CHxoG87QIVDE2GCh2PNQwmEAAYASAAEgK4T_D_BwE&affiliate_id=217336&click_id=3395625461&utm_source=217336&clickId=3395625461&utm_medium=pepperjam

Home Decor

Our Black Brick Home

When I first told people I was going to paint our house black I got two reactions, either “Wow! That is going to look amazing!” or they’d look at me like I’d lost my mind. We did it anyway and let me tell you, our home looks incredible. Actually, it looks way better than I ever imagined.

We paint our homes white, gray, navy or brown. Why not black? Black is a neutral color and in my personal opinion, the best color. It appears these days everyone building new homes are going with a white home with black accents. However, recently black on black or black with white accents is trending. Black paint emphasizes the architectural details of the home or building.

Our before and after is shockingly good. From the moment we purchased our home I knew painting the exterior was a must. For the last three years the interior of our home did not match the outside. We almost painted our home white when we first moved in and I am so thankful we waited. With a love for home decor and interior design each room of our home is decorated with mindfulness and style. The inside is classic using a black and white color pallet, mixed with glam and modern details. I knew from the moment I saw a painted black brick wall our exterior had to be black.

Since painting our home, we have had so many people stop to take pictures and ask questions. With being bold and brave we gave our home the ultimate makeover. We used Sherwin Williams outdoor paint in the color Tricorn Black. Make sure you hire a professional to do the painting. We used the company CertaPro and they did a fantastic job! I am a big believer that the outside of your home shares a little bit of who you are with the world. Our house now tells a story of our style from the outside in. If you are considering painting the exterior of your home black, I am here to tell you to do it.  The before and after photos really do the talking. See them attached below.

Xo,
Joelle

 

Motherhood

Toddler Gift Guide

Shopping for a toddler can be slightly overwhelming. With so many toy options on the market it seems impossible to choose. For me personally I don’t want to purchase junk. I want to make sure the toys we choose are items Meadow will love, but most importantly actually use. We want to spend our money on toys that help her use imagination & learn. Meadow is almost two years old. When discussing gifting with my husband he suggested we just wrap a bunch of empty boxes & Meadow will be just as trilled. She will never know the difference at age this age. So friends that is always an option ha but if you are more like me below is a great list of toddler gifting ideas! 

-Bath Toys 

-Musical instruments – Baby piano / guitar 

-Puzzles

-Toddler Bike 

-Stuffed animals

-Arts and Crafts / Paint table 

-Ball Pit & slide from Little Big Playroom use my code – Stylish10

-Learning flash cards, ABC, & 123 magnets 

-Bubble Machine 

-Lot’s of Books ( Personally we love Usborne books. You can purchase from my friend Sara Pulkownik – https://m9041.myubam.com/ ) 

If you have any questions feel free to email me! You can find direct shopping links to everything we are getting Meadow on my LTK !

https://www.liketoknow.it/joelle_masterson 

Xo,

Joelle

 

 

Lifestyle

Quick & Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Quick & Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Are you in need of a quick yummy meal tonight? I got you covered! With just a few ingredients you can throw together a delicious Chicken Tortilla Soup in under a hour. Time to warm up, this recipe is perfect for a cold Fall or Winter night. 

What you need:

1 can corn

1 can black beans

1 can kidney beans

1 can pinto beans

1 can beef broth 

1 package of ranch dressing mix

1 package of original taco seasoning

2 can of diced tomatoes ( I personally use Del Monte garlic and basil tomatoes) 

1 can of original Rotel 

1 rotisserie chicken pulled apart 

Mix all of the ingredients together in a pot over the stove. Cover and stir frequently for about 45 minutes. I always top with avocado, cheese, tortilla chips, & cilantro. Don’t forget a loaf of French or Italian bread for dipping! Enjoy! Be sure to tag me and let me know what you think when making. 

Xo,

Joelle 

Motherhood

Toddler / Baby Nail Cutting Tips & Tricks

I know you have heard it time and time again, “Cut your baby’s nails.  They are sharp.”  But take it from me, again, cut your baby’s nails.  They are sharp and make sure you get the sharp, little corners.  While this might seem like a strange blog post topic, it’s something I wanted to shed light on based on my personal experience.  One year ago Meadow severely sliced my cornea.  It was hands down one of the worst, most painful injuries I have ever experienced.

Just like our usual mornings, Brian got up with Meadow.  He usually takes the early morning baby shift to let me sleep a bit longer before being on mom duty all day.  (I really hit the jackpot in the husband department, but I’ll save bragging about him for another post! ;)). When it was time for him to get ready for work he laid Meadow on my chest.  I opened my eyes to start the day and was greeted by a baby finger to the eye.  Because I was just waking up I had no idea Meadow’s fingers were that close to my eyes and her little, sharp nail sliced my eyeball.  I knew immediately something was seriously wrong.  At first I thought something was in my eye.  It felt like a horrible burning, scratchy feeling.  Brian had to go to work, as he had patients waiting.  I pushed through the first part of my day practically blind to take care of my baby.  My eye was watering nonstop and extremely sensitive to light.  After a few hours I made an appointment with an eye specialist.  Luckily, my dear friend Liz was free and was able to drive me to my appointment.  By the time we got to the doctor I was all but blind in my right eye.  The pain was unbearable.

I would like to give a major shout out to Dr.Beckman at Spring Hill Eye Care.  She saw me immediately and was not only super knowledgeable, but very caring.  Without her attention to detail and care I don’t know how I would have gotten through the healing process.  Dr. Beckman did an eye exam and informed me I had a severely sliced cornea right across the center of my eye.  I was shocked such a little nail could cause so much damage.  She had concerns that if it didn’t heal properly, I would have scarring which could effect my vision.  Everyday for two weeks I had to visit her for an examination.  She called and checked on me consistently.  She even met me after office hours when I had a reaction to our first attempt at placing a bio tissue lens.  After a few days we had to do another round of bio tissue lens, which luckily worked.  Essentially, I had an object in my eye the size of nickel for about 4 days.  My eye has healed pretty well and I am very thankful.  Occasionally I’ll get sporadic watering and it will bother me, but overall I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.  One thing I learned through this accident is eye injuries from baby and toddler nails are very common.  Apparently Dr.Beckham sees these type of accidents frequently.

This is why I feel it’s so important to share my story and a few tricks I’ve learned on how to cut your baby’s nails!  It’s definitely not an easy task.  I get it, you are scared you might clip skin.  Most of the time your baby or toddler will cry though the process anyway which causes anxiety.  However it’s something that must be done.  Don’t let them deter you from the task or you will have issues down the road.  I always think about what if Meadow sliced her own eye and not mine.  That would have been absolutely horrible.  Now, I always make sure to take the time to check her little hands for her protection and ours.

Tips & Tricks

1.  Distraction is key.  Give your child a toy, put on a show and do anything to take the focus off of their hands.

2.  Make it fun! I have found myself singing songs.  I literally sing “1, 2, 3, 4, 5” and then switch hands.  It might seem silly, but no one is judging you.  Do whatever it takes to keep your baby laughing.

3.  Cut their nails while they are playing in the tub. Not only are they distracted and having fun with water toys, but babies nails are softer when they’ve been in the bath which makes them easier to clip.

4.  Cut your nails and show them it doesn’t hurt.  Let them hold the clippers if they are old enough.  Make it a game.  I tell Meadow “Pretty!” and then do a mini manicure.  Monkey see monkey do.

5.  If needed, don’t do it all at once.  Sometimes I’ll knock out one hand and one foot, then go back later for the others.  Just don’t forget to go back and do the rest!

6.  Cut their nails while they are sleeping.  I have done this a few times when my other tricks didn’t work. Babies and toddlers sleep so soundly they usually have no clue you’re clipping their nails.

DON’T FORGET TO CHECK FOR SHARP CORNERS! I hope these tips help.

Xo,
Joelle