Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dinner With Nerds is turning 1!

Dinner With Nerds is Turning 1!

Que Stevie Wonder's Classic "Happy Birthday" Song and join me for a cocktail to celebrate Dinner With Nerds' 1st year birthday!!!

            I cannot believe it has been an entire year since I officially launched Dinner With Nerds! What started as a combination of a couple of my favorite passions and hobbies has become a creative outlet and opened up more opportunities for me that I never could have imagined. The idea for Dinner With Nerds actually came to me about 2 years ago as I thought of a way to share more of my food photography with a larger audience, network, meet more people in a city that was still relatively new to me, Nashville, discover great restaurants and be inspired by other people and their stories.
Dr. Carmen April

          Immediately prior to officially launching in August of 2012, I was actually nervous about pushing that "publish" button on the website. After all, plenty of implications would come with pushing that little button on my laptop screen. First of all, even though it sounds so counter-intuitive to have a blog and be afraid of sharing info, that's how I felt. The whole point of a blog is to share and disseminate information, but I became a little nervous because there is no filtering who reads my blog posts once they are published. Believe it or not, that is a little scary.

          Secondly, I was a bit nervous about having time to produce consistently good content on a regular basis. After all, blogging is not my full time gig LOL! I am a doctor who owns my own medical practice and that certainly keeps me busy. However, I've always been great at time management and know that we can make time for things that are important to us....PREACH!

        Thirdly, I was a bit apprehensive that once I started to present the fun, creative side of myself through this blog, people may not take me as seriously in my medical practice. After holding back a bit in my initial blog posts, I said "To heck with it, this is who I am!" I am smart AND creative AND like to have fun. Where is it written that I can't be all of the above?? Trust me when I tell you that behind the scene, doctors can party and have more fun that anyone on the planet....It's a coping mechanism that developes from the educational overload of med school LOL!
Dr. Carmen April

          I launched the blog with the intention of publishing 1 blog post per week = roughly 52 post per year. Well, to date, I have exceeded my expectation and published almost 3X that = roughly 130 posts!!!!!

      I was totally amazed the first time someone I had never met came up to me at a random event and asked, "Aren't you Dinner With Nerds?" "Yes, that's me!"said with amazement that someone I don't know is a regular reader of my blog!!

Dr, Carmen April

         ...And, I'll be darn if later on that same week, another young lady whom I had never met before walked up to me and said something very similar, "Aren't you the one who runs the Dinner With Nerds Blog?" Talk about flattered :-)

Dr. Carmen April

           I've interviewed some great Restaurant owners, Executive Chefs and, through my "At The Table" and "In The Kitchen" segments, people who have nothing at all to do with food like a graphic designer, former NFL player, a Hollywood actor, author, radio show hosts, a theater make-up and wig artist, entrepreneurs and fellow bloggers. I hope you have been encouraged by their stories like I have!

            It's been an honor to have been recognized and featured in local and national media such as The Nashville Business Journal, Loop21, The Tennessee Tribune, and Mutual of Omaha's "My Aha Moment" National Campaign

             I've enjoyed being interviewed by others in the blogging community such as with Laurel Staples of "The Day I Quit"/ "Go Fire Yourself" to share my story of leaving a really bad job situation and taking the leap of faith to start my own medical practice. Being interviewed and featured on the Nashville City Club Blog has been great because not only is the food great, but it is one of my favorite places for networking and conducting some of my interviews! I've shared foot and ankle care tips for runners on The bRUNcher blog. The Blog Nerds featured me as one of their favorite blogs to read. Most recently, I shared the story of my "career kinks" and what I learned from that experience with Lori of A Positive Curl. There are a couple more currently in the works, but I can's spoil those surprises!

           I've added a feature to the blog called "Food For Thought" where I share inspiration to help and encourage myself and all of you, my readers! I have struggles and hardships just like the next person and none of us are immune to hurt and disappointment - I've certainly had my share over the past couple of years. That's why I'm thankful for this platform to share, uplift and encourage when and where I can :-). Trouble doesn't last always and the sun will come out tomorrow!

             I started writing a Restaurant Spotlight feature every other month for Mocha Market Magazine here in Nashville and also just signed on to do a monthly Foodie Spotlight on a local radio show, Pumps & Politics!
Dr. Carmen April

       I have an amazing group of family and friends who have been reading my blog from the beginning and for that I say a HUGE Thank You! Thank you for the encouragement and for reading the blog consistently! Thanks for sharing it with your networks and helping me spread the word about my blog!
Dr. Carmen April

              Thanks to you, all of the Dinner With Nerds readers, who read and comment on my posts, my photography, and take me up on my suggestion for restaurants (I love it when restaurant owners and managers tell me their first time customers heard about them through my blog!!). Thank you for sharing the posts on Facebook, emailing your favorites to friends, and Re-tweeting posts to your Twitter followers!

So, cheers to the terrific year that has been and my great expectations for the year to come!!!!!!

My good friend, Nita The bRUNcher, took my photos during this shoot! Thanks Nita!

Happy Birthday to ya, Happy Birthday to ya!!! Saaaaang it Stevie!

--Dr. April

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Les Gemmes Last Summer Fling

Les Gemmes Last Summer Fling

Chartered in 1968, Les Gemmes is a national organization for women committed to promoting positive influences within the community, especially youth programs. The Nashville Chapter of Les Gemmes recently hosted their Last Summer Fling and invited me to attend. I know a couple of the members and coordinators of this event so it was certainly my pleasure! There were numerous food vendors (my interest meter immediately went up when I heard this!), art vendors, a live band and great fellowship with existing and new friends. The event was held at the beautiful home of Tennessee Tribune Publisher, Rosetta Miller-Perry.

Proceeds from this event will benefit the Les Gemmes program "Lighting The Path For Girls". The Nashville Chapter members sponsor young girls in the Nashville community ages 11-16. The Chapter provides enriching activities, field trips and workshops throughout the year, focusing on Education, The Arts, Technology, Youth & Society and Economics. The goal is to direct these young ladies in their chosen fields of study and encourage success in their future endeavors.

What a beautiful back drop for this event!

Let the dining begin!!!!!!

My 1st stop was to the table featuring Catering Company, Savory Supremacy

This Bruschetta was delicious!

Frying up great Chicken Risotto Fritters on the spot!

The "Summer Splash" is a fantastic drink from Savory Supremacy Catering! Can I have another one, or two, or three....... please and thank you?!?!?!?

My 2nd Stop was to A+ Catering

Dip made with Mesquite smoked ground turkey with queso cheese, peppers and Vidalia onions with tortilla chips made on site

My 3rd stop was to Harper's Restaurant for some good ole' fashioned soul food

Fried Chicken Drumsticks, Mac & Cheese

Yes, please!

My 4th stop was to "Personally Yours" Cake Decorating and Catering

Beautiful custom cakes for weddings, birthdays, etc

Traditional White Cupcake with Buttercream Frosting

How cute is this baby shower cake!

....and this one!

Yellow Cupcake with Carmel icing

5th Stop - One of my absolute Favorite places - The Cupcake Collection!

Do you remember when I participated in the Cupcake Eating Contest at The Cupcake Collection last month? Visit my instagram page to see the pic (circa, July 6th, 2013). This is the flavor that I indulged in for the competition - Sweet Potato!

Red Velvet Cupcake

My 6th Stop of the day was to Flava Thyme Spice Shop and Catering

Pulled Chicken with homemade BBQ Sauce

On to my 7th Stop - Love Cake?

Coconut Cupcake



Strawberry Margarita

Banana Pudding

8th Stop - Seafood Sensation

Fish, Broccoli, Corn on the Cob and potatoes in that famous Seafood Sensation Butter Garlic Sauce

9th Stop - Coleman's Dynamic Products

Coleman's Dynamic Cole Slaw & BBQ chicken with Coleman's Kitchen Cabinet BBQ sauce

10th Stop - Panache' Catering

Chicken Tostada with Refried beans, chicken, lettuce, tomato, salsa and feta cheese

11th Stop - V&C Grill

Curry Chicken

Black Eyed Peas and Rice

Seasoned Rice

Pulled Pork

Mac & Cheese

12th Stop - Stacey's Wines

Now that my belly is completely full, I get to check some great artwork from talented local artists!

What a great Garden Party!

Whew....that was a LOT of good food! It was a pleasure to learn more about Les Gemmes and all the good things they are doing in the community. I hope through this post, you learned more about them too!

--Dr April