Weekly Top 5: Hayley Simmons
Oh, hey there—I’m new here. My name is Hayley, and I’m a native Texan who’s gearing up to celebrate my big 10-year Nashville Anniversary (that’s a thing, right? Party details will be coming soon, and I prefer cash over gift cards. But I’ll take either, honestly.) After a decade in our fair city, I basically consider myself a Nashville native at this point—after all, I lived through the Great Flood of 2010, I’ve watched many a bar come and go on Demonbreun, and I was around when Cantina Laredo was literally the coolest restaurant in town.
I met my husband here (who’s a true Nashville native) and we now have two little girls (also true Nashville natives), so needless to say this city has my heart. These days you can find me popping in to write for Broad Varieties from time to time, and I couldn’t be more excited about it. So to kick things off, I’m sharing with you five things I’m really into right now!
1. Industrial-Strength Moisturizers for Winter
I don’t know about you, but as soon as there’s even a slight chill in the air my skin as I know it immediately says “peace out, yo!” and morphs into one body-sized piece of itchy sandpaper. My face gets so incredibly dry and flaky that putting on makeup becomes near impossible, and my hands get so rough and cracked that even I’m not sure if I’m a 30-something mother of two or a cinder block slinging construction worker. (My dry hands might also have something to do with the fact that I wash them upwards of 75 times a day due to my extreme germophobia, but that's for a whole other article entirely.)
Anyway, with cooler temps rolling in, it’s time to pull out the big guns, y’all — and that’s when I turn to heavy-duty moisturizers that make me look and feel a little more human. For my face, my current favorites are Drunk Elephant’s Protini Polypeptide Cream (one of the “cleanest” moisturizers I’ve found with zero parabens or other harmful ingredients) and Nashville Skin’s B Restored (a rich, creamy vitamin B enhanced recovery complex). As for my hands and other body parts, my favorite overall moisturizers for dry, flaky skin are inexpensive and can be found at your local drugstore: CeraVe Cream (created by dermatologists and even works on psoriasis and eczema) and Eucerin Advanced Repair Hand Cream (fragrance and dye free!).
Men, wanting something a little more manly? Grab a tube of the Jack Black Industrial Strength Hand Healer for hands as soft as a baby’s bottom (is that enticing or just weird?).
A delicious all-day café, a dreamy coffee bar and a specialty cocktail menu, ALL under one roof? Yes, it exists; yes, it’s called Stay Golden; and yes, we live there now. Sent to us straight from Heaven (or, from the team that gave us the popular Germantown coffee shop Steadfast Coffee, close enough), Stay Golden features an on-site coffee bean roastery, hydroponic gardens, a private event space and a gorgeous interior aesthetic that’s bright, clean and beautifully modern.
The new Berry Hill favorite features everything from waffles to farro grain bowls to burgers, plus I give it major bonus points for being super kid-friendly. (My children are legitimate psychopaths disguised in innocent bright pink bows, and I’m pretty sure we’re blacklisted from 85% of the Nashville restaurants at this point, so Stay Golden’s friendly, laid-back vibe is a breath of fresh air for us.) When you go, make sure to order the breakfast sandwich, topped with a tangy salsa verde marmalade, and just try not to eat every last one of the crispy potatoes that come with it. And don’t forget to caffeinate with “A Good Morning,” a mix of rested espresso, creamy corn milk, chili lime salt and warming spices. OR, go for “A Better Morning,” the same coffee drink except they’ll sneak in some bourbon for you (no judgment here!).
Skinny jeans are so last year, y’all (or at least that’s what I’m telling myself since I can’t fit into my favorite pair currently… so, just go with it). But really, lately I’ve been noticing a different style of jean that’s super on-trend, goes with everything and looks flattering on every body type: I give you the Holy Grail of jeans, the Cali Demi-Boot Jeans, Chewed-Hem Edition from one of my favorite stores, Madewell.
You guys, I’ve truly found the absolute best pair of jeans for the fall, and I’m not sure I’ve taken them off since I purchased them two weeks ago (should someone stage an intervention?). Lean and modern with a cool, destructed chewed hem, these jeans have a mini-flare that looks amazing with your favorite pair of comfy sneakers (my personal preference) OR with a pair of loafers or heeled mules, the “it” shoe for fall. Lately, I’ve been throwing them on with a graphic tee, my favorite Madewell jean jacket and my go-to low-top Nikes. And the best part? If you bring in any old pair of jeans (ANY BRAND, it doesn't have to be Madewell brand) they will take $20 off your purchase of a new pair of Madewell jeans!
My newest guilty pleasure resulted from spending last Saturday night sick as a dog in bed, desperately searching for a Netflix show to take my mind off of my violent coughing and aggressive sneezing. Instead of watching an episode of New Girl for the billionth time (Nick and Schmidt give me life), I randomly clicked on Jane The Virgin—and life as I know it will never be the same.
I might be late to the game on this, but the pseudo-Telenovela has become my new obsession for its complex and brilliant storyline (though somewhat dubious, it’s charming), lovable lead character (Jane), her ridiculously attractive male love interest (Rafael), and didn’t-see-that-coming twists and turns around every corner. Plus, I love the quick-pace plot layered with humor as well as real, relatable human emotions. Honestly, I’m a little bummed that I seem to be feeling much better, because I was looking forward to another Saturday night date with Jane, Rafael and the whole crew—now I’m going to actually have to be social or something. Ugh.
5. “Sicko Mode” by Travis Scott ft. Drake
For me, the sign of a good song is one that can actually keep me on the treadmill for that final excruciating push—and Sicko Mode easily checks that box. Yes, I have a soft spot for hardcore rap, so maybe I’m biased, but I can't stop listening to this song.
If you don’t already find yourself with a penchant for dirty rap, this track could be a good way for you to ease into the genre. It’s got a catchy, toe-tapping beat (except you probably shouldn't tap your toes to rap music...twerking would probably be the more appropriate dance choice), it references the 90s cult favorite movie “Clueless,” and it features Drake. Because who doesn’t love Drake with all their heart and soul? (And if you don’t, I’m sorry, I know we just met but you’re dead to me.) Blast this one at the gym and go burn off all that Halloween candy you inhaled this week!