Category Archives: Valerie

Behind the Scenes at Christie Cookies

Working at Nashville Lifestyles gives me the unique opportunity to go behind the curtain and experience some “unseen” territory in this town. A few weeks ago a small group of food bloggers and I aproned-up and witnessed the 30-year-renowned Christie Cookie recipe from start to finish. We toured. We tasted. And now we’re talking.

Christie Cookies
CC2Nashvillian and Vandy grad Christie Hauck opened his first retail store down on Church Street near the main library. Gussied up in a rented suit and red cumberbund, he plated up cookie samples and took to the street. Blame it on the Heath toffee or the real butter, but people were hooked. The Christie Cookie is now a booming mail-order business sending out “the perfect cookie” across the nation—about 89,000 tins of baked perfection during the holiday season. If a gracious client, friend, or family member has ever sent you a tin of Christie Cookies, you know they don’t last long.

Bite-Sized Facts:
• The factory and headquarters is located in the heart of Germantown at 3rd and Madison. They have free tasting every month—test their cookie of the month plus their existing flavors. These small batches are available for a limited time and you can a whole tin full of your favorite.
• Keep up with the new flavors of the month by ‘liking’ the Christie Cookie Facebook page. Coming up: August-Chocolate Chunk, September-White Chocolate Cranberry, October-Rocky Road.
• All the cookies are trans-fat free, Kosher certified, and do not contain high-fructose corn syrup or preservatives.
• Also available are brownies, muffins and a line of chocolates that have the same focus on quality ingredients, just like the cookies.

Inspired by the goodies they sent home with us, I put together a batch of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Sandwiches from food blogger Lindsay Landis’ Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook. I paired Christie Cookie’s chocolate chip cookies with Lindsay’s recipe (click here to get the recipe) for a decadent and amazing result. Cookie SandwichesA small plate of these cookies at the office was divided and conquered in less than 5 minutes which means next time I’ll have to make more…
DealThe nice folks at Christie Cookie are offering all Nashville Lifestyles readers a 15% discount! Use the Promo Code “LIFESTYLES” from now til September 9 at and surprise someone (even yourself) with something sweet!

— Valerie Hammond, Designer/Web Editor


Lady Antebellum Christmas Special — On this Winter’s Night


What better way to kick off the Christmas season than with a warm welcome at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center for Lady Antebellum’s very first Christmas special — On This Winter’s Night. Friends and I grabbed drinks and had a second to instagram the Nashville skyline from the Schermerhorn balcony before taking our seats.


As if the symphony center needed any accoutrements to add to its grandeur, the stage was glowing with twinkle lights, the trees were flocked, and the fans were eager to hear the country music trio share their treasured Christmas memories and songs. Hillary told the audience that she and her sister still get new PJ’s on Christmas Eve, Charles thanked his wife for making his favorite holiday cider and Dave revealed the recipe for the traditional Haywood divinity. They each had their families in the audience making the concert even more special: holiday, family, and home.

If I could post video, omgosh I would. But really you have to watch the show tonight on GAC (8 p.m. ET). There will be even more in the TV version that was filmed ahead of time, so even the live audience hasn’t seen the whole show.

Lady A

The best part of a live taping (at least for me) is the hilarity that happens when the cameras are off. These three were in rare form keeping us all entertained in between takes with short riffs of Mustang Sally and AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long.” I was just waiting for Charles to trail off into one of his crazy Aunt Bella sketches.

But that’s what you won’t see when the Christmas special airs.

What you will see: a glimpse of the W.O. Smith School of Music choir joining in on the title track, the Nashville Symphony Orchestra adding the most elegant touch to Christmas classics, and all of us in the audience clapping along to their rendition of Blue Christmas. My personal favorite, Silent Night, was the most gorgeous of all.

If you forget to Tivo, catch the repeat (the sounding joy?) December 6 and 8.
Also watch for Lady Antebellum on the CMA Country Christmas show on December 20 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC, then again on December 22 and 23!

Check out the latest holiday albums from your favorite country music stars!

Valerie Hammond, Web Editor/Graphic Designer/Instagram Addict

CMT Crossroads: Live in Nashville
 with Randy Travis and the Avett Brothers

One of the best things about living in Music City is the amazing things you get into, often times for free. A friend recently made me her plus one for the
 taping of CMT Crossroads with Randy Travis and the Avett Brothers and out of
 sheer excitement I was babbling about it to everyone. Probably told a few strangers on the street; I felt like Charlie with the golden ticket!

Randy Travis and the Avett Brothers

That Wednesday night we all loaded into Jamison Hall in The Factory at
 Franklin and heard one of the best shows that most people will never
 experience. That’s why Crossroads is such a unique experience‹because you get two see two bands that probably won’t ever play on the same stage in
 real life. Both played about four of their hits, each singing on the other’s tunes.
It was relaxed, it was beautiful and we all smiled like idiots and
 clapped wildly just as we were told.

Scott and Seth Avett chatting with the crowd between sets

Me & my friend (Thanks Faith!)

If you ever have the chance to get “in” to one of the CMT Crossroad shows, it’s honestly one of the best musical experiences only a place like Nashville can provide.

Also — have you heard the Avett’s new album ‘The Carpenter’? Click here to listen from our Spotify page!

— Valerie, Graphic Designer & Web Editor