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boccalupo

Inman Park. Italian food. Covered patio. These are all words that entice me and probably every other 30-something living in Atlanta. 

Despite what my Instagram may have you think, we actually don’t eat out really all that much. Save for BuHi, but that doesn’t count! Asian food is my comfort food so BuHi is like going to a cozy mom and pop shop down the street. At least that’s what I tell myself. For Ben’s birthday, we decided to revisit a restaurant we had remembered enjoying – BoccaLupo.
I can’t remember what was in this cocktail (this is how old I’m getting) but I do remember that it was tart, bright, and Florida themed. I really really enjoyed it. The cauliflower appetizer was delicious but I was disappointed by how much it cost given that it wasn’t a huge amount and the flavors weren’t revolutionary. A roasted cauliflower is always good, but when you pay double digits for a vegetable appetizer, you kind of want it to be extraordinary. Or at least a healthy amount. The picture above is the full amount that was given to us.
What we DID feel was worth it was the pasta. Oooohhhhh that pasta. I’m a real sucker for flat wide pasta; something about the mouth feel I think just really hits the spot. With the ragu, it was just delectable. I finished the whole. Thing. Ben’s pasta (below) was lovely but mine was totes better.The good thing about not ginormous portions is that there was plenty of room for dessert. And it was Ben’s birthday so that called for TWO desserts!! What can I say. I like to indulge.

All in all, BoccaLupo was good but I think our choices from the menu were just not the top notch ones. I guess that happens when you don’t frequent a restaurant often – you are more likely to stumble onto some things that are not their best. I think it’s also a challenge given that the restaurant scene is growing exponentially in Atlanta so everyone is asking themselves, what is gonna make me come back here? I like this place, but do I love this place? Hard to say.

charleston meals: spero

Yes, believe it – I have MORE photos from Charleston. The lighting was a bit weird for this one, but I have to share this little gem of a spot with you. A little bit more under the radar, and best of all was the bread flight. Three kinds of bread and three kinds of spread – I was there in a heartbeat. Everything was pretty tasty and it was a good spot for a low-key beer and shared meal; filled us up really fast!

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walks in charleston

Bear with me on all these Charleston pictures. I don’t get to travel much so when I do, I go just a little ham on the photography. Can you blame me? Charleston is a beautiful landscape of pastels that is easy to walk and easier to enjoy. We stayed a 15-min drive away from downtown so every day we just drove on over, parked, and took in the scenery on foot.

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revelator atlanta westside

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Never thought I’d ever say this, but I think there might be more great coffee places in Atlanta than I can handle. They’re actually sprinkled throughout the whole city except, unfortunately, in my own neighborhood (although I think Press & Grind’s opening might have fixed that). I guess the universe decided to make it up to me with four amazing spots right by my workplace, one of those being Revelator‘s Atlanta Westside location.

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Feels like just yesterday they opened up (it was actually June of last year I think) because it does feel so fresh and bright in the space. It’s a stone’s throw away from my workplace and just when I think it couldn’t get better – they’ve just debuted a menu of small seasonal food offerings.

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I think the thing that pushes Revelator towards the top of the list for me is their genuine hospitality. Every barista who works there welcomes me warmly and treats me like an old friend. Some of you may not like that sort of immediate connection, but I appreciate it especially since it’s the same way I like to connect with others as well.

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The new food offerings feature small plates that are oh-so-perfectly lunch-sized. They are fairly priced and come with a little side salad as well! The ham and radish baguette sandwich I had was deeelish as was my friend’s avocado toast with lava salt. It looks like their menu is going to rotate depending on what’s available but I’ve already got my eye on this week’s menu.

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I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the delicious lattes that accompanied our meal. They were flavored with a honey cinnamon syrup that made them taste like a Teddy Graham. So from now on I will want a Teddy Graham latte at Revelator. Does all of this not sound like the best thing for your midday break?

new orleans in the spring

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I’m so happy that my good friend Kelly decided to unite her friends for a Bachelorette celebration in New Orleans! The weather was perfect and there just weren’t enough hours in the day to really soak all of it in. I’m convinced I need to go back for at least another long weekend for more long strolls and frozen Irish coffees (umm, DELISH).

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NOLA is one of those cities that just looks unreal because it’s so adorable without being cheesy. There are different colors and wrought iron railings everywhere and I didn’t have the time to really capture everything that I was seeing around me.

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The abundance of street musicians was also ridiculously charming. Yet another aspect I wish I had more time to enjoy.

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PEDICAB!! If I could get everywhere via pedicab, I wouldn’t mind.

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signal mountain, chattanooga, tennessee

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There’s a place in my heart
for every man on earth
still I feel, I feel like I am shrinking

There’s a hole in my soul
growing out of control
and I don’t know, I don’t know
how to mend it

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creative makers: charlotte smith

It took months of working with this woman to find out that she was a ceramist. And when I finally saw her porcelain pieces, it all made perfect sense. As is always the case, an artist’s work is a direct reflection of the person she or he is, whether intentional or not. Charlotte’s work is quiet, elegant, unexpected. Her live-work studio made me a bit jealous; with the sunlight streaming in through the loft, I felt a sense of calm and an overwhelming desire to get to work. My admiration for her diligence only grew.

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How did you get here? Why did you choose clay?
It was something to do while I couldn’t find a job, that was a frustrating time.

Do you remember the first time you worked with porcelain?
Yes, it’s because they were out of the stoneware that I normally buy. I’ve not used stoneware since I tried porcelain that day. Well, aside from my black clay.

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What does a perfect day in the studio look like to you?
I mostly work in the studio on Thursdays and Fridays along with the time I have off during the weekend. A perfect day in the studio is when I can complete enough things that I feel satisfied when I have to go back to work on Monday. I enjoy sunny days with my big windows. I also enjoy days that start with coffee.

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If you could pick one functional item to make for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Well, I’ve enjoyed making cups for the last year, so why not more cups. They’re almost instant gratification, and I enjoy using them as small canvases to do patterns on or experiments with new techniques. 

scarlett hill: wildfire

One of the many things that make my life worthwhile is the chance to connect with talented creative individuals who make the world look, sound, and feel more beautiful. Be it through canvas or song, creative expression is at the core of our humanity. So when I’m able to share my dedication and love for it with another person, there is an instant bond and understanding of spirit. This is what happened with me and Scarlett Hill.

scarlett-hill-album-43ascarlett-hill-album-71aThey just get it. It’s not about a desire for fame or money (although some money would be nice). It’s about forging genuine connections and putting out more good into the world. Perhaps that sounds lofty for people like us – just starting out and trying to make a mark wherever we can – but it’s an aspiration I think we all could be more mindful of in the things we do. I’m honored that they gave me the opportunity to do this photo shoot for their album, Wildfire, coming out August 1st.scarlett-hill-album-15ascarlett-hill-album-7ascarlett-hill-album-36a

scarlett-hill-album-28aCheck out their music video “Whiskey” and follow them on Facebook to stay up to date on their new releases!
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creative masters: rachel k garceau

If I sat down and tried to count all the talented people that I’ve met in my life, my mind would probably implode. And yet still, I find more artists to admire, more hands to watch. As I move through different stages in my creative career, I find that there is always someone riding alongside me, just ahead of me, or right behind me. We’re all connected and relate to one another through some form of aspiration or insecurity. This instant bond over “figuring it out” is key to moving forward.

You may have noticed that some of these interviews are termed “creative maker” and some are termed “creative master”. What makes someone a master versus a maker? For me, these two terms are very fluid and subjective. I don’t know if any artists I could relate to consider themselves masters. If they did, they probably wouldn’t be moving forward. For me, a master is someone who is sure in their practice, sure in their voice, and sure in the goals they set before them. By now, all the Creative Makers I’ve featured are probably now Creative Masters.

I fell in love with Rachel’s forms before I met her in person. Over last year’s holiday season, I picked up a porcelain mug at Crafted Westside and my cabinet was then forever changed. It was smooth, elegant, and easy to hold, the perfect size. I had to have it. Not long after, I found out that Rachel was actually a mutual friend. It was then that I realized the universe was telling me that I had to meet this woman. Well.. I ended up meeting her and the time I spent with her was everything I anticipated it to be. When you connect with someone’s work, you are ultimately connecting with them as a person. So obviously, I knew I was going to like her. 

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Can you describe the earliest memory you have working with clay?

It was second grade–we had Art class once a week, on Friday afternoons. I sculpted a whale out of clay and, just as I was instructed, I hollowed out the inside so that be wouldn’t blow up in the kiln. After a long week of waiting, he emerged from the bisk with a giant crack extending in both directions from his blow hole. Mrs. Rosetti suggested that I fill in the crack with glaze. That seemed like a good idea, so I selected the glaze called “blue-speckled gray” because, naturally, that was the best fit for my whale. I kept filling and filling and filling that crack with the blue-speckled gray glaze but the crack just kept absorbing and absorbing and absorbing the glaze. I did the best I could and put it on the cart with the others. The next week, I met my freshly fired whale, who was now indeed a beautiful shade of blue-speckled gray, with a crack extending in both directions from his blow hole. To this day, he lives on a shelf in the closet of my old bedroom in my parents’ house.

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What do you love about porcelain and why do you continue to work with it as your preferred medium?

So many things….it’s as though porcelain is this other material which lies somewhere between clay and glass. We treat it like clay when we manipulate it in its raw form, but when embraced by the fire, it begins to dance in the fluid realm of molten glass. And when it emerges, it contains luminescence. It is not transparent like glass, but it lets the light through and it glows. When vitrified, a sanded surface becomes as smooth as skin–such a pleasure to touch, to hold, to place to the lips and take a sip… In the process of slip casting, there is a certain predictability–when the porcelain is released from the mold, the form will be that of the hollow space of the mold. However, once turned over to the kiln, the porcelain may shift and transform in unexpected ways. It maintains mystery in that way. Porcelain also contains the paradox of extreme fragility and ultimate strength–it can be the finest teacup, locked safely in a cupboard, pulled out for only the most special occasion, and, if dropped, will shatter into a million pieces. It is also rugged and durable–a toilet that we sit on or floor tiles that we walk all over. And it is everything in between–it’s all in a matter of how we approach it, and what qualities we choose to expose.

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malvi monday

Can you imagine what your life would be like if your job was to make and sell craft marshmallows?… I think it must involve a whole lot of s’mores and smiles (I obviously try to alliterate whenever the opportunity presents itself)! Aside from that though, Malvi Marshmallow Confections adds finesse to a treat we’ve always known to come out of a huge plastic bag. For the better portion of our lives, marshmallows have been a throwaway food relegated to act as a sugar filler, just a topping. Malvi, on the other hand, takes them to a level we’ve never been able to dream of.

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Inspired by the wonderful simplicity of their flavor origins, I decided to doodle and paint around these little confections. I only wish the quality of these pictures was a little better! We’ve got chocolate mint, vanilla, and raspberry hibiscus…

malvimallow_mint_1malvimallow_vanilla_1malvimallow_raspberry_hibiscus_1If you haven’t gotten the chance to try this pillowy goodness.. get you some!