November 30, 2013

NYE 2013 fashion {part 4}

I love how it's still the weekend, holiday breaks are the best! I'm having a pretty chill Saturday. Really excited to watch some college football later today, especially the Georgia Tech vs. UGA game. But I wanted to share my next five picks for my NYE outfit ideas series. I'm so happy you like this series and are sharing it on Pinterest and everywhere else - best of luck finding your #NYE dress! :)

Which one is your favorite?

Going home is good

I've been at my parents' house (30ish minutes north of Atlanta) since Wednesday and it has been such a change of pace from life in Atlanta. For the first time in a while, I've had time to just do nothing. And doing nothing is extremely difficult for a workaholic like me. Besides a few (unavoidable) emails and texting friends, I've been relaxing and enjoying precious time with my family. Home sweet home. Even in school, I loved holidays at home because it meant a familiar atmosphere filled with love.

Thanksgiving was really fantastic. Special memories with my family in South Carolina, delicious food, and family time. I did a little shopping Thursday night and more on Friday. And wrapped some presents!

My most exciting purchase for myself? A new camera! I've been saving up for a really good SLR camera to use for photo sessions with people and I finally got one for a great deal - #winning #BlackFriday. I played with my new camera for hours (like a little kid with a new toy):

Can you believe November is over? So crazy. 
December should be a really exciting month for me…I'm nervous but also so excited!

What have you been up to this weekend?

November 29, 2013

NYE 2013 fashion {accessories}

Happy Black Friday!! One of my favorite days of the year because every year my mom and I head out extra early to a few stores and get some incredible deals. It's kind of our special mother-daughter tradition, and I love it. 

Just wanted to share some cute accessories I've found that would be perfect for New Year's Eve! Now you've got my picks for #NYE dresses, shoes, and accessories! I can't believe this year is almost over!

Do you participate in Black Friday shopping?

November 28, 2013

My First Vlog! {Happy Thanksgiving}

Ah, my first vlog! These are so nerve-wracking to do, because I hate hearing my voice (doesn't everyone?) and they never come out perfect. But here goes, my first video post. It's short and sweet, just saying Happy Thanksgiving and putting a voice to the words of RCSOATL. Let me know what you think!

If you like it, I will plan another vlog to show some of the projects I'm working on and my favorite places in ATL :)

I'm so grateful for the readers of RCSOATL, wishing you all the very best day!

I have so much to share, so soon!

November 27, 2013

Happy 1st birthday, KJ!

Technically, my precious little nephew turns 1 year old tomorrow, but I wanted to send an early happy birthday to this little man before Thanksgiving takes over! Happy birthday baby KJ! Being an aunt is so much fun, especially when you have a nephew this cute (and a niece this cute).

KJ is the newest member of our family and I got to meet him and spend my week of Spring Break with him back in March when I went to Los Angeles.

KJ and his mom/my sister-in-law
 He is adorable in photos, but a heart breaker in person. Seriously too cute for words. I'm hoping I'll get more time with this cutie over Christmas break because I just can't get enough.

Happy 1st birthday, KJ - hope to see you soon :)

Are there any cute little ones in your family?

Obsessed with these {gold-dipped playing cards}

Something I can always count on, regardless of the holiday, is that my family will play a card game. I hope that playing cards remain a tradition in our family because it's such a relaxing, funny, and different interaction that technology cannot replace. I found these Gold-Dipped Playing Cards from Anthropologie and I am obsessed.

I think these are the perfect gift for the person on your list who loves cards, gold, and some sparkle.

I'm headed to South Carolina to spend Thanksgiving with my family and I cannot wait. I love going to S.C. every year (and not just because of the food).

Do you have a family tradition that happens at the holidays?

November 26, 2013

Eating clean for rookies {part 11}

You know why this series is called "eating clean for rookies" and not "eating clean for professionals?" Because I went to the grocery store super excited and determined to buy spaghetti squash to bake and eat with my clean meals. I picked up a vegetable near a sign that read "Spaghetti Squash," took it home, washed it, cut it open, took the seeds out…and didn't see anything spaghetti-like on the inside…

Turns out I had actually purchased pumpkin squash. Which explains why it looked like a greenish-yellowish pumpkin… #rookiemove #lol If you're wondering, I did eat the pumpkin squash. Even when I added pepper, I wasn't really a fan. And I now know hat spaghetti squash looks like and will be trying it (for real this time) after Thanksgiving.

I say all that to say…I'm learning, exploring, and making mistakes on my clean eating journey just like most people. I get the most emails asking how I do it?..I do my best. Make an effort to eat clean twice a day, and naturally I eat less processed foods. Take a look at some of my favorite clean meals from the past week or so:

Chicken breast in mushroom sauce (made by my dad!)
Chicken breast
Green peppers

In a pan, add water, mushrooms celery, green peppers, black pepper, green grapes
Then add the chicken and bake to 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until cooked through

This was one of my favorite chicken dishes!!

Chicken breasts baked in tomatoes (made by me!)
Chicken breasts
6-8 Tomatoes

In a pan, add smashed tomatoes, raw spinach, onions, pinapples
Then add the chicken that has been sprinkled with basil
Bake in the over on 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until cooked through

This was a hit! I made it for my family and everyone loved it.

Honey Chicken with Spinach Salad
Baked chicken breast dipped in honey
Two handfuls of spinach (one raw, one sautéed)

Squash, sliced and smashed. Sprinkled with black pepper. 

This is my meal when I ate a clean meal with my parents! We had squash, salmon seasoned in basil and black pepper, chicken cooked in mushrooms and celery, and green beans. I drizzled some lemon juice over my plate. It was so good and I felt great after eating it!

This was a quick meal I made last week after work. I keep spinach/carrots/mushrooms stocked in my fridge because they can make so many quick meals. This was a simple spinach salad with mushrooms, sliced tomatoes, and carrots. And I added a side of sweet potato fries sprinkled with paprika and black pepper.

Slicing up ingredients for salad and a soup I made using mushrooms, asparagus, pineapples, and tomatoes.

Another photo of my quick simple spinach salad.

I love doing quick sautéed meals. For this one I added the following to some olive oil in a skillet: white onions, black pepper, white mushrooms, carrots, basil, spinach.

I let it heat up for 3-5 minutes then drain the olive oil and eat it. Super easy, super quick!

My mom made a really cool clean meal using spinach and kale, yum!

She put washed and cut spinach & kale in a pot with red onions and  garlic.

She let it cook for 15-20 minutes. It was seriously so good and such a great green side dish!

I've gotten lots of emails asking what to do about the Thanksgiving day meal and the clean eating lifestyle. It's all good. Thanksgiving food can also be clean food. I'll be going for the green veggies as my main dishes and having a spoonful of other dishes. Because I will never turn down my aunt's macaroni & cheese :)

But be sure to stay active over the break! It's easy to put back on the pounds quickly over this kind of holiday if you're too stationary!

How is clean eating going for you?

Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow by Emily Claman

My friend Megan from high school shared this video of her friend, Emily Claman, on Facebook. Normally I don't watch videos that people share (honestly), but I checked this one out because I'm always interested in hearing new voices and trust Megan's opinions.

I loved it! The video is simple, yet beautiful. And her voice sounds really great. I love listening to this kind of music while working or studying because it's relaxing, soothing, but also upbeat.

I've played it a few times at work already ;)

Listen to her cover of the song and let me know what you think!

November 25, 2013

I'm going to grad school!

It's been difficult to keep this big news from so many people, including my readers. 
But I can finally share that…I'm going to grad school!

If you've been reading my blog, you know that going to grad school was the next step in "my post grad plan." I really wanted to go to Georgia Tech (where I did my undergrad) for many reasons, but mainly because of the awesome Public Policy program and the work opportunities I'd have while doing the program.

I took the GRE once and applied to just one school. It was a big risk and a leap of faith, and I'm really happy and grateful that it all worked out. Getting into grad school was much less stressful for me than getting into college for my undergrad.

I told you about a tough decision I was making a few weeks ago. I had to choose between going to grad school and getting a variety of new work experiences while also working on some of my entrepreneurial projects or taking an awesome full time offer in the political field (and I love politics!). It was difficult, but I'm really happy and pleased with my decision and I appreciate everyone who has been there for me while I dealt with these post-grad issues!

I'll finish up my fellowship at the Capitol in mid-December and start grad school in mid-January. I can't wait to be a student again, learn more about communications and policy, have flexible hours, and really have time to work on some projects I have planned that I think you'll love.

This is definitely a dream come true and the next chapter in my life story.

Oh, and I'll truly be a Real College Student of Atlanta again ;)

Have you ever thought about grad school? If so, for what?

November 24, 2013

Feels like the holidays in Atlanta

Last night was so much fun. Atlanta is definitely starting to get into the holiday spirit and the celebration last night at Atlantic Station (an urban shopping/eating/living area in Midtown Atlanta) was just the beginning.

My friend Alexandria and I made plans to go to Atlantic Station and witness the tree lighting and fireworks, grab dinner, and finally see the Best Man Holiday! I'm a big fan of lights/colors, so this was my kind of event. I love food. And the movie was really, really great!

I felt like a kid again taking photos of the trees, decorations, and fireworks.

 But even Atlantic Station (literally) liked my fireworks Instagram photo.

It was the perfect way to kick off the holidays in my favorite city. I can't believe Thanksgiving is next week! Be sure to check the blog tomorrow for a BIG announcement :)

November 23, 2013

Starbucks holiday drinks {giveaway}

November has been such an awesome month, and it's not even over! I'm really grateful for the tough decisions I've made, the new people I've met, the new followers of my blog, and all of the family time I've had this month.

To celebrate the holidays, RCSOATL is giving away TWO Starbucks gift cards! This is my favorite season for Starbucks because of all of their delicious holiday drinks. My favorite is the Peppermint Mocha (I've had two this week).

And the great thing about Starbucks gift cards? You can connect them to the Starbucks app on your phone, earn rewards, get notifications for specials and download free music. I'm two drinks away from earning my Gold Card! It's all around fantastic.

Thanks for reading RCSOATL, I have lots of great posts and exciting updates to share!!

Upcoming music shows in ATL

If you've been keeping up with the blog, you know I LOVE concerts and I'm always keeping upcoming shows on my radar. A few weeks ago, I saw Drake in concert and it was phenomenal. Last year I saw Regina Spektor, also fantastic. Check out some upcoming Atlanta music concerts. 

MGMT with KuromaSun, Nov 24, The TabernacleBuy Now
Janelle Monae with Roman GianarthurTue, Nov 26, The TabernacleBuy Now
Jay-Z: The Magna Carter TourFri, Dec 27, Philips ArenaBuy Now
STS9 (Sound Tribe Sector 9)Dec 27 - 31, The TabernacleBuy Now
New Years Eve with Widespread PanicTue, Dec 31, Philips ArenaBuy Now
The truTV Impractical Jokers ft. The TenderloinsSat, Jan 18, The TabernacleBuy Now
DisclosureWed, Jan 22, The TabernacleBuy Now
moe., Sat, Feb 1, The TabernacleBuy Now
Pixies with CultsTue, Feb 4, The TabernacleBuy Now
Kings Of Leon with Gary Clark, Jr.Wed, Feb 5, Philips ArenaBuy Now
Flogging Molly: 10th Annual Green 17 TourSat, Feb 15, The TabernacleBuy Now
Robin Thicke with Jessie J & DJ CassidyFri, Feb 21, Fox Theatre AtlantaBuy Now
Demi LovatoFri, Feb 21, Philips ArenaBuy Now
EaglesMon, Feb 24, Philips ArenaBuy Now
Imagine Dragons with The Naked and FamousWed, Feb 26, Philips ArenaBuy Now
The Band Perry with Easton Corbin & Lindsay EllFri, Mar 7, Sav. Civic CenterBuy Now
Miley CyrusTue, Mar 25, Philips ArenaBuy Now
The WantedWed, May 7, The TabernacleBuy Now

Are you a fan of any of these bands or performers?

November 22, 2013

NYE 2013 fahsion {my shoe picks}

While browsing for dresses, I've also been browsing for shoes for New Year's Eve. Here are my top 7 picks!

(Click on the image to get a closer look!)

Find the links to these fab shoes below
One - Two - Three - Four - Five - Six - Seven 

Like #NYE dresses, #NYE shoes go quickly - so order soon!

Which pair is your favorite?

November 21, 2013

NYE 2013 fashion {part 3}

I keep finding amazing dresses for a night in the city on #NYE! Let me know which one is your favorite and remember, order quickly because these go fast! Dresses I picked in my last two posts have already sold out! Eek!

What's your pick?


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