September 29, 2014

Outkast ATLast Concert | Saturday {review}

What. A. Weekend. Honestly, I did not get much work done this weekend. It was one of those all play, no work kind of weekends and I am not mad about it. I was celebrating my friend's birthday and I also spent most of Saturday attending the Outkast ATLast concert. Maybe you saw "Outkast" mentioned on some form of social media this weekend? That's because for Atlanta and Outkast fans worldwide, this concert tour was a big deal. Outkast has been around for twenty years, but they just recently reunited to go on tour, ending the tour in Atlanta (their hometown). So as soon as tickets went on sale, I purchased them (literally 5 seconds after they went on sale). I listened to Outkast most heavily in middle & high school and have continued to love their music and collaborations since then. The Saturday (original) show date sold out almost immediately, so Outkast added a Friday show. And then that sold out! So they also added a Sunday tour which eventually sold out as well. Talk about a fan base.

Here's one of my Instagram posts from after the show, it's a regram of Big Boi's Instagram photo of the Saturday show. How cool is that? It's even cooler knowing I was somewhere in that mob of people enjoying the classic music that Outkast has created. They also showed similar images to this on the screen during the concert and the city looked so beautiful.

I went to the concert with my boyfriend and we got to Centennial Olympic Park about 30 minutes after the gates opened (4pm). The park was already packed! And the first opening act, Roary, didn't come on until around 5pm. We stood for a while, but eventually found somewhere to sit until Outkast came out.

I also ran into some friends from college, saw my roommate, and my cousin! I'm pretty sure most of Atlanta went to at least one of the shows this weekend.

The next act, Childish Gambino came on around 6pm and performed until around 7pm. I'm not a huge fan of his, but it was nice to have someone performing on stage and he definitely had a nice group of fans present. Kid Cudi came on next and since I know a few of his songs, I was more into his performance. Kid Cudi promised to have a short performance so that "we could get to what we were all there to see." He also had a very large group of fans who were standing and singing along as he performed. It seems like the opening acts were targeted for the different Atlanta R&B/Hip-Hop eras: Friday was the newer generation of rappers with Future and 2 Chainz, Saturday was more of the Indie Rock Hip-Hop genre, and Sunday was more of the old school crowd with Bun B, 8 Ball and MJG, and I heard Erykah Badu performed as well!

Photo via @by0utii
 Ah, and finally around 9:15pm, Big Boi and Andre 3000 graced the stage! Everyone who had been sitting down since 4:30pm jumped up and the crowd went wild. Big Boi was wearing some vintage Atlanta Falcons apparel (loved it). And Andre 3000 wore a statement jumpsuit that said "teachers deserve more," also loved it and agreed with it. His silver/blonde wig was another story...

Although they didn't play every song in it's entirety, they came close to performing almost all of their joint records and individual records, definitely playing the crowd favorites. I was happy because they played "Prototype," "Kryptonite," "Roses,"and "SpottieOttieDopaliscious" - my favorites! I have never stood/waited so long for a concert performance, but Outkast was totally worth it. I have a feeling that they will be retiring soon and that this concert weekend was not something to miss. I am so proud and happy to be an ATLien!

September 27, 2014

Commerce Club {Atlanta view}

Yesterday, I attended an event for the nonprofit I'm involved with, Foreverfamily, and the event took place at the Commerce Club in Downtown Atlanta. I've heard that the view of the city from the Commerce Club is out of this world, so you know I was pumped to see for myself. I'm so grateful for the Commerce Club member who hosted our organization yesterday!

For reference, the Commerce Club is in the building(s) above (191 Peachtree Street). I always see these   towers in photos of the Atlanta skyline, but this was my first time inside the building. It's a gorgeous building on the inside. The Commerce Club is on the 49th floor, way up there. I walked around most of the floor during the event, checking out the different views of the city. The Commerce Club has a bar, meeting space, and event space.

From this angle I could see from Downtown, to Midtown, and Buckhead! Beautiful

It was so cool to see the highways from above. Surprisingly, there wasn't much traffic!

From this angle I could see my campus (Georgia Tech) on the upper left side.

Now, I just need to go back to the Commerce Club when it's dark to see the nighttime view of Atlanta!

September 25, 2014

Fall internship outfit

Last week was such a fun week at my internship! I had some new experiences and got to attend a few events where I needed to dress to impress. With the weather getting cooler, I've had to adjust my internship outfits to be more fall-appropriate and that means adding a blazer or sweater to every look.

For this look I wore a simple navy tank top (H&M) under a vintage pink blazer and paired that with a vintage navy polka dot, knee-length skirt. I could've worn my go-to beige pumps with this look, but went for a spicier look with my favorite silver pumps.

I'm excited fall is finally here and I'm looking forward to styling more outfits for my internship and sharing them with you!

P.S. Happy birthday to my sweet roomie, Alexandria! Check out one of her delicious recipes here!

September 22, 2014

How to manage multiple email addresses

Since started internship  a few weeks ago, I'm now responsible for six different email addresses. Yes, six! Trust me, I would combine them if I could, but they're separate accounts for a reason. On an average day I get between 50-100 emails total from all of the accounts.

Here's the breakdown for the email addresses I currently have

One is my personal email address that I use for school (I have my school email address forwarded to this account), family, close friends, bills, etc. One is my RCSOATL blog email address that I use for blog business, blog comments, news subscriptions, blog subscriptions, etc. One is for my communications company email address, one is for my graduate research position, one is an organization email address, and the newest one is for my internship.

Wow, that sounds even crazier after typing it. But managing all of them isn't bad at all. And I don't let emails go more than 24 hours without responding to them. 

So here's the method to my madness

1. Have a system | Like any other organization method, it's important to find and stick to a system that works best for you. I've gained new email addresses over the years and I've figured out what really works for my schedule and lifestyle. Below are a few tips based on the system I use to manage multiple email accounts.

2. Differentiate your accounts somehow | My biggest fear when it comes to having multiple email accounts is that I may respond from the wrong address or mix up emails somehow. To try and avoid this, I make all of my email accounts (on the web) look different by using different background images and default images. Google mail makes this really easy to do. And my two work emails naturally have unique appearances. I also really utilize the folders options on all of my email addresses. I do not like having an email in my inbox after I've read it and handled it. So it will either be deleted if I know I won't need it later or it will go in one of my folders if I feel I may need it later. Lastly, I use different email signatures for each account to help keep track of them when exchanging emails with other people on my phone or my laptop. 

3. Forward & link emails if possible | If you have the option of forwarding or linking email accounts, this definitely makes things easier! My gmail accounts are linked so that I can switch between inboxes quickly. However, forwarding does not work for my other accounts because I have to respond from the appropriate account.

4. Don't unmark it until you've responded or acted appropriately | I can't stress this one enough. People who I know that struggle with email seem to make the mistake of reading an email, not responding, and not remarking the email as unread. It's easy to do this and eventually forget about a message, causing you to miss a deadline or just seem unorganized. I always keep emails marked as unread until I have handled them, and it really helps me tackle every single email appropriately and in a timely manner.

5. Add the most used accounts to mobile devices | My personal, blog, and company email addresses are on my mobile device because I feel the most connected and invested in those accounts and the emails I receive from those accounts. And I am known for responding to emails at a lightening speed when it comes to these accounts because they come to my phone like text messages and I can't stand that little notification bubble. If the email doesn't require more than two paragraphs/eight sentences, then I will respond as soon as possible using my phone. However, for emails that will require more time, are really important and may require more proofreading, or emails that are easier to read on a larger screen; I use my laptop to answer.

6. Schedule a time to check the other accounts and stick to it | My three other accounts are not connected to my phone and I like it that way. I'm working on not feeling so obligated to being connected and plugged in, and keeping my work emails off of my phone has really helped with that. And one of my work emails is a government account and cannot legally be connected to my phone because of potential threats over unsecured internet connections. However, that means I have to make an effort to check and keep up with these three accounts. This is where my agenda really comes in handy. I naturally check those accounts on days that I am in the office, but on the days I am not in the office I mark down on my agenda to check those email accounts.

If you have any other tips for managing multiple email accounts, please leave them in a comment below!

September 19, 2014

Eating in ATL {King of Pops}

Before summer comes to an end, I had to post about one of the best sweet treats in Atlanta, King of Pops. The photo above was taken after one of my classes this week when I spotted the King of Pops stand on campus and knew I had to have one.I had my first pop from King of Pops a few years ago when they were on my campus and I instantly became a fan. I've tried five flavors, but the Chocolate Sea Salt (shown above) & Cereal Milk are my favorites.

Besides the unique and delicious flavors, I appreciate them using all-natural ingredients and offering these treats at an affordable price, $2.50! They also have some gluten free options.

 And, I love how King of Pops travels around the city and even to metro Atlanta to set up carts and sell pops. You can see when they will be in an area near you here.

P.S. King of Pops will be at Music Midtown this weekend so look for the rainbow cart and sign, you have to try these!

September 18, 2014

Leadership Lesson {Seeking affirmation from others}

This school year, I'm participating in a leadership development program on campus and it has already shed light on so many areas of my life. I thought it would be great to share some of the leadership lessons, in my own words, on my blog because I think they apply to people of all ages in any chapter of life. Consider this a new blog series for the year.


Affirmation from others does not confirm your worth. There will always be someone who doesn't like you, doesn't like your work, or doesn't think you're good enough. And sometimes those people are more vocal than the ones who do like you, do like your work, and do believe in you.

This is why you cannot live for the affirmation of other people, especially people who do not truly know you.

In school, work, and blogging I absolutely appreciate feedback and interaction. However, I have learned to never let that feedback be the determining factor for my validity. Because often times, when people try and diminish you or your work, it's often because of insecurity within themselves. When confronted with these people, it's best to either quickly and politely respond then move on or not respond at all. Not everything or everyone requires a response.

And if we all did things the same way, how boring would the world be! If Picasso had listened when people told him to stop painting,,, if Oprah had listened when people told her she wouldn't succeed in being on television and was aiming too high, and if Steve Jobs had listened to people when they said the Macintosh was a terrible idea and he should just quit…we wouldn't have the art, inspiration, and technology that plays a pivotal role in our society today. 

The same thing goes for you and for me. When we seek affirmation from others and let others determine your quality, in a sense you are giving them power over your life and your potential.

So you may be asking, "how is this a leadership lesson?" By understanding your own worth, without leaning on the empty comments of outsiders, you are displaying leadership. Great leaders don't seek affirmation from strangers. They simply taking positive and negative feedback with a grain of salt and continue working on self-development that works for them.

I'm encouraging you, and reminding myself to determine my own self-value, worth, potential, and success. At the end of the day, all of the outside affirmation in the world is meaningless if you haven't first affirmed yourself. 

Because life is too short to live by the standards of others when you're happy creating and meeting your own.

September 17, 2014

Weekend in Harlem New York

Photo I took in my taxi coming from the airport!

I've been to New York maybe 10 times now, but visiting that city never gets old. And this time I visited Harlem, an area that I haven't spent much time in during previous trips. I went up for my friend Paul's birthday weekend and to visit one of my best friends, Nick. It was such a great weekend because I got to see other friends from college, another best friend, and try new things in the city.

As soon as I got to Nick's place, we headed to get dinner and ended up at an adorable restaurant in Harlem called Lido. I loved this place! The menu had several pescatarian-friendly options and it all sounded so great. Nick ordered the chicken parmesan and really enjoyed it.

I ordered the spicy shrimp pasta, so good!!

Later that night, Nick and I went out for Paul's birthday and met up with friends.

We got hungry after hanging out and found this little spot called Wolfnights Gourmet that specializes in making incredible wraps and creative sides. I had a cauliflower and veggie wrap and it was out of this world. They also have lots of tangy sauces to add onto your wrap. It's a perfect spot for late night dining because they are open until 5am on the weekends…seriously!

Saturday morning, we had brunch at 5 and Diamond Restaurant in Harlem. This goes down as one of the most unique and delicious meals of my life. They have a brunch special for all you can eat pancakes with vanilla bourbon syrup for just $10. And fyi, they bring out the pancakes 3 at a time, topped with fruit. I couldn't even finish one plate, but I wanted to so bad. And, this place is known for their macaroni and cheese. Me being a macaroni and cheese addict, I had to try it. Y'all. It was worth every calorie and honestly changed the way I feel about macaroni. I'm determined to recreate it since I can't easily revisit this restaurant. It's a must try!

It rained all day Saturday so we spent most of the daytime lounging around and watching GIRLS. So appropriate for visiting NYC. And Saturday night, we made the trip to West Village for dinner at Joanne Trattoria. This restaurant is owned by Lady Gaga's father, who we saw while dining! That was awesome. But honestly, the food made me even more excited.

Nick ordered the chicken parmesan (sensing a pattern?) haha. And I did not eat that bread even though it looked so yummy!

I took a leap of faith by ordering eggplant meatballs with linguine, which I'd never tried before. I knew it could either be a really good or really bad decision. Omg, it was a great decision. These meatballs and this pasta dish was everything. It inspired me to make my own eggplant meatballs (post coming soon!) once I got back to ATL. If you don't eat meat or if you do eat meat and you haven't tried these yet…do it, now!

Sunday came way too quickly, but I'm so grateful for another fun, adventurous weekend in NYC!

See my other trips to NYC here and here with recommendations

September 15, 2014

Obsessed with these {weekender bags}

I just got home from a crazy fun weekend in New York City. I can't wait to share the highlights of my trip very soon! One low of my travel experience was my favorite weekend travel bag pretty much biting the dust. As much as I love that bag, I don't think it will survive another plane ride and that means I'm on the hunt for a new one. Here are three weekender bags that I'm considering. They're all under $100 and seem durable, yet fashionable.

Which one is your favorite?

September 11, 2014

Eating in ATL {BurgerFi} Midtown

I first told you about my appreciation for BurgerFi when I recapped my trip to Ft. Lauderdale. This place makes the best veggie burger I've ever had while eating out. And I've asked other friends about their meat burgers and every single one of them agreed they are delicious!

So a new BurgerFi location opened in the Midtown Atlanta area and I've already been three times. It is one of my favorite spots for cheat meals. I also love the option for ordering online to pick-up the order. View the full BurgerFi menu here.

I'm sure you're wondering what makes them so special because there are burger joints all over the place, right? Here are some facts & photos from their website:

At BurgerFi® our burgers are never frozen, never cooked in a microwave oven and are guaranteed fresh, juicy and delicious! 

BurgerFi® is changing the way we think of the burger. 

BurgerFi® picks up where the other "better burger" franchises leave off. First, BurgerFi® focuses on all-natural, free-range beef. We do this because it tastes better, and it's better for you- with no chemicals, and no additives. Also, where others limit their menu to just the basic, no-frills options, BurgerFi® has built a menu with specialty items like Kobe beef hot dogs, gourmet toppings, delectable desserts, craft beer & wine, and an overall focus on a healthier menu selection. 

More than just great food, dining at BurgerFi® is a unique experience- one you can feel good about. Each BurgerFi® store is built according to environmentally sustainable best practices, and includes earth-friendly elements, like chairs that are made from recycled Coke bottles, tables made out of compressed recycled wood, and large fans that use 66% less electricity. BurgerFi® maintains a low carbon footprint, and maintains strict recycling programs for oil, cardboard, bottles and cans. 

They also serve hot dogs with delicious topping options.

These fries are my favorite. You can request them to be cooked stiff or limp and add parmesan and herbs, yum!

Don't forget to try dessert. They make these delicious custard treats in lots of flavors. And, be sure to try the items on their secret menu, truly indulge!

September 08, 2014

Back on the healthy track {part 5}

Happy Monday! I'm sharing some recent, delicious and healthy meals. I also wanted to share a few things I do to motivate myself to eat healthy and be physically active. I've been getting some emails asking for suggestions for motivation to have a healthy lifestyle:

Tips for getting back on the healthy track

Find a health/fitness role model 
( I really like MankoFit - her personality, tips, and workout clips are great!)

Try different healthy foods & find a favorite 
(I try a different fruit/veggie every month based on what's in season or on sale.)

Get a workout buddy and healthy eating buddy 
(Instead of just eating out to meet up with friends, I like to workout with friends who I know enjoy fitness. And, I have several friends who I go to when I need a healthy eating accountability partner.)

Work your way back to a healthy lifestyle - doing it cold turkey is hard!
(I started off by eating one clean meal a day, then 2, and now it has become a lifestyle.)

Reward yourself for following through on healthy eating

Read and remind yourself of the benefits of healthy living
(The CDC has some great facts that always make me feel good about living a healthy lifestyle. Read them here.)

Start a healthy eating/fitness Pinterest board
(I am inspired by my healthy pins and they are proof that healthy food can be delicious! Follow my healthy eating board here.)

Keep healthy snacks around, toss the sugary ones
(Fruits, veggies, nuts, and dried veggie "chips" are all great snacks to replace the unhealthy ones that make us gain so much weight.)

Recent meals 

Salmon, black beans & sliced potatoes

Same as meal above + broccoli and squash

Cabbage cooked in olive oil with black pepper & sweet onions (one of my favorite side dishes & it's so easy!)

Arugula with sliced cheese, tomatoes and olives w/ a lemon vinaigrette dressing

Romaine lettuce with onions, orange and red peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers & poppyseed dressing

I made this meal for my friend and I (very first photo) after a really hard workout.  I cooked veggie crumbles in olive oil with onions and purple cabbage. I also made us an arugula salad with pepper jack cheese, tomatoes, avocado, and poppyseed dressing.

FYI, this is the size of the salads I have for lunch (about 2 handfuls). I like to pair these with a veggie burger patty, (grilled chicken would be great too), or a side of vegetables.

September 06, 2014

Wedding rehearsal photos {VKV Communications}

A couple of weekends ago, I had the honor of taking photos at bride-to-be, Megan's, wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. Megan is a friend of my friend and it's always exciting to branch out my clientele to new people & growing my company's portfolio. I'm sharing a few of my favorites from that evening and I'm so happy Megan loved all of the photos. I have another session this weekend! 


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