Atlanta, 2015

I’ve added a new city to my list of favorites, and its name is Atlanta. I may or may not say this about most new places I visit, but work with me here. I’m just a girl who’s a bit smitten with the world, y’all.

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Atlanta Top 10:

1. Monday Night Brewing

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So unique. So fun. So many ties. For just $10 dollars a piece my husband and I received an adorable glass and six very generous pours of their tasty brews. Inside and outside were both full of lively crowds, sweet décor and string lights. And let’s not forget ALL OF THE TIES. So many good vibes. So many happy feelings. So got my husband drunk.

2. Brunch on the rooftop at Republic Social House

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Bottle of champagne. Cheesy grits. Biscuit with fried chicken and maple syrup. Rooftop views. Need I say more? NO I DON’T. (I’m sorry guys I sometimes scream at you when I’m excited.)

3. Ferris wheel ride at Skyview Atlanta.

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 I bought a Groupon for this one which also included a box of chocolates, making the evening all the more lovely and romantic. Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know how awesome it is until you’re eating it whilst on a ginormous Ferris Wheel showcasing incredible sights of Atlanta from high above. Pretty sure Forrest Gump said something along those lines once.

4. Coffee at Octane

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I choose the pour over, which was earthy and herbal and so tasty. Also loved the warehouse-like feel of this place. It was cozy and chill and made my heart smile.

5. Dinner at Canoe

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Located on the Chattahoochee, Canoe boasts exquisite views, an outstanding ambience and orgasmic delights. And by delights I mean food, just to clarify.

6. Exploring Senoia

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(Leaving my purple mark on Senoia)

The Atlanta area is where Walking Dead is filmed, and being geek fans, this was a definite added bonus for the husband and I. Robby especially turned into an excited man-child when entering the town of Senoia, Georgia – aka Walking Dead’s Woodbury. It’s a picturesque town, which made it all the more perfect for the creepy crap that went down in Woodbury. While buying fudge and cupcakes at the quaintest of ice cream shops, we talked to friendly locals and learned that filming was about to start in the next town over, a literal stone throw away from Senoia. Our next thirty minutes were spent getting as close to this town as possible without getting in trouble from the security standing guard all around. Rebels, the two of us.

7. Brunch at H. Harper Station

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Clearly, I really love a good brunch. Atlanta definitely did not disappoint. H. Harper Station is the most adorable of spots, located in an old train station and perfect for breakfast-lunch time. Strong coffee delivered to me in a French press, beautifully presented and completely delicious bagel with smoked trout, and the best, most buttery and crispy tater tots of my life. Yum, yum and YUM.

8. Watching the sunset and sharing kisses on Jackson Street Bridge.

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9. Joystick Gamebar

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On our last evening in Atlanta, Robby and I were brainstorming on what to do. Old man wanted something chill like bowling, and I was craving the nightlife. When he suggested an arcade, I did some googling and found the perfect in between. Joystick Gamebar provided a bar with old school games such as Pac-Man and Donkey Kong. I quickly gave up on the games, but fell in love with this place instantaneously just the same. As Robby played Ninja Turtles, I found drinks like chai soda with pecan vodka and ginger beer slushies. I chit-chatted with fun peeps and explored the lounge area, which was full of board games, tacky wallpaper and cat photos. It was pure kitschy, goofy cheese. Never have I felt so at home in a bar. I wandered back to the Pac-Man area in time to see my husband find a gamer buddy, and I inwardly chuckled with love for that nerd of mine. We then ended the night in very serious Connect Four and Jenga competitions.

10. Biking the BeltLine

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Um, only one of the best bike rides EVER. The views of downtown Atlanta were spectacular and the day perfect for a bike ride. From tiny doors to gorgeous graffiti and sculpture tree faces, the entire BeltLine is an insanely beautiful, zany, culture-filled work of art. I had barely passed one piece before I was captivated by another. Having a husband who repeatedly rang his bike bell, threw his hands up in the air and tried to play bumper-bikes only added to previously mentioned beautiful zaniness.

11.

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So I lied about the top ten because I have to add one more. As always, the moments in between are one of my favorite things about traveling with my dude. It’s fairly easy for me to get caught up in itineraries and doing ALL the things, but with his easygoing nature and calm spirit, Robby always reminds me about what makes our adventures the best. We do.

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 On the way back from our small road-trip to Senoia, I was itching to get back for dinner and plans for seeing more of Atlanta. But when we briefly stopped at a gas station and Robby sweetly asked, “Will you buy me a Toostie Pop?”, I just had to smile and slow down. Small a moment as it was, it caught me. Here are the things that are the greatest. Sitting in our rental with my favorite person in a random Georgian town. Making new memories, laughing about things that only make sense to us and enjoying our respective (mine was the bubble gum variety) Pops. We chose to forgo many of the big touristy attractions for things like bike rides, an arcade bar, a brewery covered in ties, little road-trips and strawberry-flavored suckers. And this was the very best of decisions.

Another one of my best decisions? Choosing the above guy as my lifelong partner in crime and travel buddy. My heart fills with joy when thinking about the memories made throughout our many explorations in the past seven years. Thanks for adding some pretty spectacular adventures to that list, Atlanta.

Hot Air Ballooning And Other Grand Adventures

“I have found adventure in flying, in world travel, in business, and even close at hand….Adventure is a state of mind- and spirit.”  – Jaqueline Cochran

You know what’s awesome?

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Hot air ballooning is awesome.

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You guys, what an insanely incredible experience this was. From getting up at the crack of dawn to watch a gorgeous sunrise in the park to soaring in the sky in the early morning light, every moment spent with Austin Aeronauts left me humbled and wonderstruck. At one point, our pilot had us nearly touching a lake, as the city was waking up around us and the reflection of the balloon shone in the water below. I’ve always known this world was lovely, but seeing it from high above right as the day began made me fall head over heels in love all over again. I will always be incredibly thankful and humbled to be given opportunities like this one as an event blogger.

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Oh, you know what else is awesome?

Being alive.

Life, in general, is just this really beautiful thing that I am ever so grateful for.

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Our little lady just turned one, though I don’t really see how that is even remotely possible. We were just welcoming her to the world the other day, I swear it. Though time is the sneakiest, I couldn’t be more proud of that vibrant and cheerful little redhead girl of ours. She is a small wonder that looks just like her daddy, a blue-eyed ball of light who is as curious and infatuated by the world as her mama. She is walking and babbling and stealing our hearts on the daily, and the joy that fills our house is a force to be reckoned with. As I type, I can hear my husband chatting with Bryn in the other room, and my heart is just as full as it could possibly be.

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Another awesome thing— Tomorrow the husband and I leave for Atlanta, Georgia, a new-to-me city and state that I absolutely cannot wait to explore. With my favorite travel buddy by my side and plenty of plans in tow, an abundance of magic is sure to be had.

If life is what you make it, I plan on making this life one big, grand adventure. So far, so good.

Pst—Atlanta, here we come!

Anything for Adventure

I am smitten with 2015.

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It’s only February, and already the year has been completely packed full of magic.

I’ve brunched in Arlington, Virginia and toured monuments in D.C. with my best friend of thirteen years. I’ve dined–and met the famous PIEMAN– in Round Top, Texas with my handsome hubby at Royer’s Café.

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I’ve sipped wine with gal pals in the adorable town of Georgetown, Texas and near an extinct volcano at Pilot’s Knob Vineyard in Bertram. That particular night was spent with my Rachel face and her sweet mama, drinking a delicious red and watching the sunset with a scenic view. It was one of those gorgeous, flawless evenings that I know I will keep with me for a very long time.

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I’ve gotten puppy kisses and happy feelings whilst volunteer dog-walking at my local animal shelter, and good conversation with great people while volunteering at my nearby Alzheimer’s Center.

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Covering media events has given me the chance to do things like drink wine while trying on fancy-shmancy jewelry, drink more wine in a cooking supply store and eat plenty of delicious food.

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Running my first 10k of the year gave me the opportunity to eat complimentary donut holes once crossing the finish line. I do it all for the chocolate glazed, yo.

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My little lady is 10 months old now, and she is this outgoing, silly, happy, vivacious bubble of fun. She is a redheaded, blue-eyed version of her daddy, and has us constantly laughing with her antics and sweet personality. Watching her grow has been and continues to be this beautiful, wonderful, wild journey. And raising her with my best friend gives me copious amounts of joy on a daily basis.

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This past weekend I had a photo shoot in downtown Austin with one of my favorite photographers. Being navigationally challenged, I got lost trying to meet up with Dave and he had to find me. While shooting, I simultaneously explored new nooks and crannies of my beautiful city. And at the end of the shoot, I had wedged myself into a tiny little nook and cranny in an alleyway by a dumpster to get a good shot. Anything for adventure, y’all.

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After the shoot, I sat myself down with a good book, a notebook and a delicious cocktail at Halycon Coffee Lounge. Reading and writing in a coffee shop with a tasty, boozy drink felt a little bit like paradise.

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A little over a week ago, I started a project called Adventure Of The Day. I’m challenging myself to try a new escapade every single day, and am chronicling it all at adventureofthedayatx. I can’t tell you how inspirational and invigorating this self-made challenge has already been. Within a week’s time, I was given a spontaneous inside tour of a tea trailer, purchased plane tickets, made a quick jog down to the area of a cave preserve, and climbed to the top of a staircase to get a lovely view of Buda, Texas. Today I tried lavender hot cocoa for the first time, ate a truffle made with six different peppers and took a selfie with a barista. It’s the perfect excuse to do something great even on Mondays. Every morning brings with it the knowledge that something delightful -and often unplanned- will be happening in the very near future. Though I’ve made a career as a social media representative, I’ve been slow to the Instagram game in my personal life and have only occasionally posted on my first handle. Now I find myself giddily anticipating plans and excitedly wondering what my next new experience to post will be.

And I just can’t wait to see what adventures will be awaiting me in the next twenty-four hours. And the twenty-four hours after that. And the….okay, you get it. ADVENTURES AWAIT!

For the Love of Local Adventures

I worried when I first became pregnant that I would no longer be able to travel as much as I wanted to. I’m learning that most of my anxieties turn out to be unwarranted ones. Not only have I been able to travel frequently both while pregnant and with a little one, but I’ve also found a new love for adventuring locally. Whether five hundred or five miles down the road, I feel blissful as long as I’m in a new place with a good book and the smell of morning coffee. Add some nightly wine and a loved one or two or four into the mix and then the world just sparkles with magic.

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This past weekend was spent just miles down the road in the little city of Lago Vista. My grandparents live here, so I’m fairly familiar with the area. It took a quaint resort and my mother-in-law’s fresh eyes to allow me to truly see how beautiful this hilly, green, deer-residing town really is. Add to this a heartbreakingly gorgeous read, plenty of coffee and wine, a morning walk to the lake, thrift-shop hunting and a surplus of happy family moments, and much enchantment ensued.weekend1babyloveweekend9

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Vegas Highlights 2014

Vegas Highlights 2014:

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  • Exploring the mountains of Nevada/Vegas outskirts with pumpkin beer in tow. Oh, the festive, happy feelings.
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  • Drinking coffee and rum+pineapple from the balcony of our breathtaking mountain resort.

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  • Our first night in the mountains: Picking up some homemade bread pudding from the resort’s restaurant, and coming back to our room to find that my husband had moved some furniture around to make room for dessert. “I made us a table.” he said. It was the best bread pudding of my life, shared with the dude who still gives me warm fuzzies after five years of marriage.

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  • Doing the Vegas strip thing with the hubby, round two. (Round one was our first wedding anniversary, 2010)
  • vegasvoucherWinning a hundred bucks on a Walking Dead slot machine. I NEVER win anything and have deemed myself unlucky when it comes to similar games of chance, so this was a big deal for me. I hate gambling just a teensy bit less now.

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  • Renewing our vows at a Little White Wedding Chapel (professional pictures of this coming soon!), which was immediately followed by attending a nearby happy hour, still dressed in our wedding dress and tuxedo. After happy hour, we went to a local grocery store to grab beer and liquor for the mountains. We got a few stares, some questions, a handful of verbal congratulations and one in the form of a car honk and wave. The whole experience was silly and cheesy and lovely, and most of all, it was just so very us.

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vegas12I’m giddy to spend the rest of my life exploring the world and creating cheesy memories, makeshift tables and endless adventures with my lifetime crush. And I am forever grateful for that one tipsy night in a garage at a stranger’s party. It’s led to this big, beautiful, goofy love that I’ve found in Robby Boudreaux. A lingering glance that would eventually turn into countless stories and laughter, a redheaded baby girl, exploring the world hand-in-hand, a pumpkin beer shared in the mountains. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

What I Want Her To See

My baby girl is three and a half months old and already, she is becoming accustomed to her mom’s shenanigans.

When I was pregnant with her, I traveled to Puerto Rico, Colorado, Mississippi, Milan, Florence and Venice. I went indoor skydiving when she was only a bean in my tummy. I ran a handful of 5ks, covered a red carpet event, met Willie Nelson, posed for photo shoots, dived into my first post-college career and self-published a short story.

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She was with me for all of these things, and that was incredibly special to me. Now that she’s here, I still love being able to take her along on adventures with me, but I also know that she can’t come along for all of them.

She wouldn’t have been able to soar through the sky with me as I went hang-gliding, nor could she have been my plus one as I covered an Ed Sheeran performance for my event blog. She can’t really come with me to food tastings, and she can’t tag along when I attend a social media conference for work tomorrow. It wouldn’t really be appropriate for her to join in on every excursion I have with friends, and she probably wouldn’t have been nearly as amused as I was, had I brought her along to shower under a waterfall with me.

This weekend, my girlfriends and I will be road tripping it to another state, and Brynlee will be spending this time at home with her amazing daddy.

Since Bryn has been born, my whole entire world has been overflowing with joy, more joy than I ever even knew was possible. She smiles and I turn to goo. She laughs and my heart melts. I watch her with my husband and I feel as if happiness is seeping out of my ears. I made my favorite little person with the help of my very best friend. I look into her eyes and I can see that she is mine. It is the absolute best thing I’ve ever had the chance to experience.

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And yet, I still feel so capable of living my own life to its fullest. I heard recently that moms who work full time today spend more time with their kids than women who were stay-at-home moms decades ago. I find that admirable and selfless in many ways, but I also know that this isn’t the way in which I will raise Bryn. This is partly because I don’t feel that my daughter’s existence makes mine disappear. I am still here, as are my dreams, desires, loves and passions. Also partly because I have a sweet mommy who watches Baby Bryn while I’m at work and a loving husband who whole-heartedly wants to share responsibilities 50/50 with me as a parent. I am a little shocked by how rare said sharing still is in our day and age. But more than anything else, it’s because there is so much I hope my daughter will learn from watching how I try my best to live life.

I hope that she will always be open-minded and accepting, and that she’ll realize that everyone finds their happiness in different ways.

I hope she will see that marriage, despite the statistics, can work out. That actually, it can do so much more than just work out. That it can be beautiful, fulfilling and most of all, so much fun. I hope that she won’t settle when it comes to love, that she will only be with someone who is able to give her as much joy as she saw her parents give each other.

And more than anything, I hope she will see me living my life and be inspired to live her own. That she will have confidence to follow her passions, the courage to go after her biggest, craziest dreams and the desire to make a mark on her little piece of the universe. What I want her to know is that this world is hers for the taking, if only she has the eagerness to go out and take it. What I hope she notices is my hunger for life, and that this will make her appetite grow wild too. What I want her to see is me, the person who loves her more than anything, showing her how to fall in love with the life she lives.

Soaring Through The Clouds, And Other Life Things

What a completely incredible past couple of weeks it has been.

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I spent two weekends in a row with my crazy, wonderful family. This includes my girl cousin whom I grew up with, vicariously living our grown up lives through Barbie dolls. Now we are grown up, and our two baby girls, only five months apart, have started smiling at the other. It probably won’t be long until they’re playing make believe together too. And that is kind of beautiful.

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I showered in a waterfall. It was exhilarating and laugh-inducing and it also kept trying to take my bikini bottoms off. Which, of course, made it even more exhilarating and laugh-inducing.

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My best friend of thirteen years (more than half of our lives!) came to visit from Virginia, and we spent our time adventuring together. Whether this be tubing the river, brunching with mimosas, watching the sun set on the lake, hiking the Austin greenery or road-tripping our way to winery tastings, every moment spent with her was an absolutely lovely one. Meg mentioned that, at one time in her life, she held every guy she dated up to the standard of her friendship with me. Then she realized she could never date a dude who was like me. I tend to be the free-spirited to her grounded, the insanity to her stability, the jumping into things to her thinking things through. We balance the other out, and it is ideal in that it would only ever work healthily in a friendship scenario. And though we would probably eventually murder the other as lesbian lovers, she is and always will be my female soulmate.

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Speaking of being free-spirited and slightly insane, I checked off a pretty exciting bucket list item by going hang gliding for the first time. I was literally soaring through the clouds, y’all. It was breathtaking and stunning and scary too. But then, I think all of the very best things in life are often this way. Whether it be raising a child or almost running full force into a tree branch while floating the river or loving people with your whole, fragile heart that could very easily be broken, all of the beautiful stuff tends to be just a little bit terrifying. Because, yes, soaring through the clouds can take some courage. But once you’re up there, you won’t want to come back down.

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