My camera shall live

February 20, 2015

For someone who takes so many photos with her phone, I'm a terrible instagram-er. My heart's not in it like it used to be. The memes, quotes, selfies and videos have taken over, and the stuff I like to post just don't seem to fit the mold anymore. Ah, well. That's why I have this space. To have and to hold as long as my camera shall live.

Sweet Melissa Records

February 18, 2015

I had some time to kill the other afternoon, and since I was in the area and the weather was right, I stopped by the antique shop in the Marietta square. It's got one of those small hometown-y store fronts that's just beaming with character. Typewriters and vintage cameras sit in the windows looking all classy and rustic, luring fine folks like myself through the front door. It smells like you'd expect an antique store to smell - like century old wood furniture polish. 

Way in the back sits the record shop. On my first visit I expected to find collectors edition albums going for upwards of $100, but I was (pleasantly) surprised to see such a wide variety of old and new music for sale. This is probably the case for most record stores these days, but I haven't been in enough of them to know for sure.

The smoothie bandwagon

February 16, 2015

photo »»

I have not-so-embarrassing confession to make: I'm a closeted smoothie freak. I make a smoothie at least once a day, sometimes twice. To clarify, I don't crossfit; I don't P90x; I'm not training for a marathon; I'm no raw vegan, and I'm not the cleanest eater out there. While I'm conscious of the foods I put in my body, I don't consider myself a health freak. I indulge, and I usually do it with little to no guilt. My obsession is specifically with smoothies. When you have the right ingredients, they super easy to make, and depending what you add to the mix, they're insanely filling! Quick, easy, filling and healthy (usually) - I don't get why more people haven't jumped on the smoothie bandwagon. My NutriBullet gets more use than any other small appliance in my kitchen, so I thought I'd take a minute to share my favorite recipes. 

I didn't pull these from anywhere else on the internet. Most of the online recipes I found called for ingredients I just didn't care for (kale, swiss chard, bok choy... I know they're supposed to be miracle leafs, but my taste buds said no, thanks.), which means I had to mix and match a few times to find what I really like. As far as greens go, spinach is by far my favorite. Arugula is a close second. Also, pineapple is the perfect sweetener for fruit smoothies, and bananas work well as a natural sweetener for creamy smoothies. I did not include measurements, mainly because I don't measure everything out. I just toss it in the base and go, and that usually works for me.

Alright, enough of me rambling. Let's get to business.

Men, this is how you make up with your lady

February 13, 2015

photo »»

Just in time for Valentine's Day! I was sitting and trying to come up with some love-related post to write, and for some odd reason this subject kept popping up. Sooooo... here it goes.

There are articles on this subject already, and most of them consist of phrases like “assess the situation,” “apologize,” “correct the problem” and other generic ideas that make you say duh. From my experience, men need things spelled out for them - explicitly. You can tell them to correct the problem. Yeah, sure… That sounds nice, but it seems to be the case that unless we explain how to do it and/or give specific ways to do it, they probably won’t get it. And that’s okay. That's why I'm here.

I don’t write this to diminish a man’s mental capabilities, but there’s a reason us women are considered so confusing. We’re not. I promise. It’s just sometimes the men really don’t have a clue. At all. Whatsoever. Sometimes the entire male population just seems like one, big disappointment to us ladies. And sometimes we really do sit around watching Waiting to Exhale, eating ice cream and talking crap about the gentlemen in our life. That’s very unfortunate, but it’s true. When a man messes up with a woman he really cares about, whether it’s his wife, girlfriend, friend, mother, sister, etc, it’s important to make it right. (It’s worth mentioning that this goes both ways. I am not holding men to a higher standard than us women, but this post is for all the kind Sirs out there). Again, I'm speaking from my own personal experience, but it seems that some men don’t know how to make it right.

Generally speaking, the amount of effort required to make things right is directly correlated to the severity of the offense. If you forgot her birthday or got caught kissing a coworker, a half bouquet of carnations from your local grocery store will not suffice. If you got caught flirting with a coworker, maybe. It’s a start, but it’s going to take more time and energy.

Every woman is different, though. Step one below is a given all the way around, but the others will need to be tweaked accordingly. The tips should be used as a template for success, not as an exact formula.

*This is all assuming you actually care to make it right. If you don't I guess you can just #kanyeshrug it off.

Experiencing the music - The Basement

February 11, 2015

I got a text message from Phil about a concert at the Basement on a random weekday evening. It's all the way on the other side of town for me, near Grant Park. The part of me that lies to myself and says I'll try to be in bed by 11pm said no, but the part of me that keeps it real about my night owl tendencies said 'heck yeah!' So, I went. 

The headliners were Swoope and Christon Gray, a duo I had seen once before a couple years back. The opening acts were Natalie Lauren, Alex Faith and B. Reith (my personal favorite - love me some blue-eyed soul). All in all, the show was solid. My photos, however, were not. When you're short, and standing in a semi-crowded and intimate venue, it's tough to see all the action, let alone document it. I did my best, but I mainly just snapped a few pictures and proceeded to enjoy the music sans camera. 

I will say though, it was interesting to see how many people were too busy taking a video recording of each set with their phone, instead of actually listening to and enjoying the moments. Honestly, if I were to record two or three live songs on my phone, I doubt I'd even go back and watch it more than once. I probably wouldn't even watch it once! What's the point? The video quality couldn't come close to experiencing the music with your own two eyes and ears, and showing it so someone else doesn't have the same effect as taking someone else to the show with you. Does it? Why do so many people go to concerts these days and hold their phones up to record the whole time? Am I missing something?

Holeman & Finch

February 9, 2015 Atlanta, GA

I finally found my way to Holeman & Finch. After years (literally) of hearing about it, seeing raving reviews and trying to get there during that golden 10pm burger hour, I finally got my chance. It used to be the case that their signature burger was only available after 10pm. Once 10pm hit, the restaurant would only produce 24 burgers, and once all 24 had been ordered, that was it. No more burgers for the evening. It's always available on the Sunday brunch menu, but their Sunday brunch ends at 2pm, and personally, I don't have a taste for a burger during breakfast/brunch. They've recently put the burger on the menu full time, but they still take their time crafting the little masterpieces so everyone can enjoy the goodness. 

The burger was everything I could have asked for and more. Between the house-made buns are a patty, a layer of cheese, another patty, another layer of cheese, topped with onions and pickles, and a side of mustard and house-made ketchup. I ordered mine without cheese, but I took a bite of my date's, and the cheese really does make a difference. Still, even without that gooey layer, it's tied with Umami for the best burger I've ever had. It knocked Shake Shake down a position on my list, and that's saying something serious.

Also, the caramel bacon popcorn was... just... let's throw in this gif again.

I left that place with the biggest food baby I've had in a long time, but it was well worth it. I'll definitely be putting Holeman & Finch on my list of favorite places to eat in Atlanta.

The atmosphere is nice and low-key as well. If you're in/near the Buckhead area looking for a solid burger, this is thee spot.

Now Playing: Hozier

February 6, 2015

This man's voice...

*insert this gif*

Hozier has gotten lots of mainstream airplay, but he's considered an indie artist. I had heard Take Me to Church a few times on the radio before, but it wasn't until some contestants on that show The Sing-Off sang an a cappella rendition that my ears really perked up for his music. Here's a link to the video - skip to 1:00 and prepare to be impressed. I love how the smallest people seem to have the largest voices.

As for Hozier's album, it's a solid debut in my book. He wrote and produce all but one of the 17 tracks (on the deluxe version - the standard disc contains 13 tracks), and that's quite a feat for a 24-year-old.

The Beatles started the British Invasion on America's music scene, and the new wave is back. Between Hozier (by way of Ireland), Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and the countless other female Brits working their way into our airwaves, there's clearly some real talent across the pond.

 photo signature_zpscde14841.png

photo source »»

About soulmates

February 4, 2015

photo »»

I’ve been doing some thinking about soulmates. 

I just sat and stared at that sentence for a few minutes, as I’m not quite sure where I’m going with this post, so please bear with me. 

Infatuated with my town

February 2, 2015

 It's been almost two weeks since I've posted any updates, and maaaaaaan, I've missed this space! It's crazy how a little ol' blog can start to feel part of your world so easily. I've been busy. I've been getting out. I've been doing things. Big things? Not really, but things - still. Since my last post, I've had to change to catch more of those amazing city views around downtown Atlanta. I spent one weekend at the Omni (view from the lobby level below), and Saturday night was spent at the Hyatt, which might just be my new favorite hotel inside the city. Downtown Atlanta is so outrageously beautiful by twilight. While I still have my heart set on California as my ultimate residential dream, and I understand ATL is no New York City, or Las Vegas, it really does have a lovely skyline. When it's all lit up and glowing, it's certainly photo-worthy in its own right. 

Lately I've been thinking more and more about moving closer to downtown. Well, lately i've been thinking more and more about moving in general, which is kinda what happens when your lease is coming to an end in the next few months. I loathe moving. I'm also ready for a change in scenery, so decisions need to be made, but I trust that everything will happen as it's supposed to - all in due time.

Aside from spending my nights infatuated with my town, I've been helping my mother move into her new place and spending time with friends. I took a day at the spa for Meredith's birthday, caught a mid-week concert with Phil (whom I hadn't seen in ages) and went to my first book club meeting. All of these were supposed to be blogged about, but today I looked up and realized The Active Spirit had a little tumbleweed rolling past the screen. Naturally, I had to fix that. 

A n y w h o. I'm off to Trader Joe's to replenish my refrigerator. 

Happy Monday!

 photo signature_zpscde14841.png

Latest Instagrams

© The Active Spirit. Design by FCD.