Atlanta Brunch Festival Takes Food and Fun to the Next Level

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Imagine more than 60 food and beverage vendors, uber bright ATL “selfie” conducive skies, long lines for filled to the top liquid elixirs which, from what I hear were absolutely worth the wait, mind-blowing and mouth-watering food choices ranging from pork belly and french toast to duck proscuitto on buttermilk biscuits to fried pork skins to Irish-themed fish and chips to chilaquillas with fried quail eggs to shrimp and grits to chicken and waffles to red velvet pancakes to crab and shrimp ceviche to housemade sorghum glazed bacon and Every. Single. Thing. In Between. Now imagine that Saturday setting under the beautiful backdrop of Atlanta’s Historic 4th Ward Park, with perfect temperatures in the mid-60’s, the hip shaking/moonwalking sounds of Electric Avenue blasting from the stage amidst an open field and 6000 of your closest friends (as in shoulder-to-shoulder and back-to-back) and there you have the 1st Annual Atlanta Brunch Festival.

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The initial installment of what must be a repeat performance was nothing less than spectacular. It was Heaven on Earth for a foodie like me. My friends and I, some of which came in from Baltimore and Charlotte just to experience the experience, were thoroughly pleased with this perfect park feast. It truly was a festival in every sense of the word. The mood was the electric. The crowd was eclectic. The food samplings were superb and the people watching at an all-time high. My one complaint, if any, is that I must wait a year in order to again enjoy all that this trendsetting event has to offer. Kudos to the organizers and the brains behind the Atlanta Brunch Festival.

Enjoy scenes of some of what I enjoyed…and make plans to be there next year. Get there early. Pay extra for VIP. Bring your best friends and your best walking shoes. Clear space on your camera and clear space on your proverbial plate for all things Atlanta Brunch Festival. Your tummy will thank you.

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@AngelaMMoore316

Thanks, Dudes!

Here’s a growth moment for you…

I was sitting on the phone chatting with a dear friend, something I rarely do, and that friend mentioned a hang out in Atlanta I used to frequent with an “ex-of-old.” Boy, oh boy, did we use to have a ball at this Georgia establishment, especially if it involved him riding off on his motorcycle looking all Larenz Tate-ish from Love Jones with the Fugees blasting from the nearby Saturn, Eclipse or 300ZX. (Notice I said, “him riding”, your girl was a chicken and would follow or meet him there in my champagne gold Maxima.) Bless my heart. Anywho, I digress.

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In remembering those fun days, the sting of whatever separated us was nowhere to be found. The “oh-my-goodness” my world is over (or so I thought) that I probably thought at the end of the association didn’t cross my mind.  The antics I ensued in in my humble form of “revenge” was now reduced to a mere giggle (or gut buster depending on who I was recalling the memory of the immature things I’ve done in the past).  And let me just be real, because that’s what a blog is for after all, I am super sorry for all the get backs I tried to give. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t do anything remotely worthy of LMN (Lifetime Movie Network) because remember, I’m a chicken, but I could come up with some mischievousness so quickly it would even shock me. Don’t believe me? Then don’t dare ask my sister about how I messed up her first acrylic nail appointment with my 20-something tomfoolery. And don’t dare talk to my old friend who was like a brother in and shortly after college or my bestie since kindergarten. LOL!!!! (Bless my heart and my quick thinking mind.) 

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I racked my brain following that conversation about that Atlanta hot spot. I starting scanning my “relationship” file and realized that flaws and all on both sides of the coin, circa the late 90s, I was blessed to closely know and grow from some really cool dudes who have all grown into some really great husbands, fathers, businessmen, leaders and the likes. Some I would even comfortably call my friend with no ungodly thoughts attached one way or the other. Whodathunkit?!?!?

I realized that, while none of my past relationships of long ago were forever (thankfully) they all left me with some great memories, needed growth and some pretty swell guys who are etched in my life’s story, forever, whether they knew it or not. What they didn’t leave me with are any scars, damage, regret or remorse which we often believe we must carry through life like some badge or “been there, done that” honor. That’s a blessing and the beauty of choosing to grow. God will grant us the ability to see and settle on the good in others because that’s exactly what He does for us. The good is all I see, because at one point they were good enough for me. (And I think I’m pretty grand, which means they must be too.) So thanks, dudes. I would shout you out or tag you by name, but that wouldn’t be wise. You know who you are.

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@AngelaMMoore316

 

You Better Catch Your Breath Before You Lose It

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I typed this blog post on the heels of a much-needed, weekend getaway in March of 2013. In the throes of some personal and professional life changes, I found myself nestled in the middle of the celebration of my 41st birthday, while also being surrounded by a bit of “March madness” from many different sides. Having not had a great escape since October of 2012 I was blessed to be able to cruise down I-20 for a brief reprieve.

While the trip wasn’t to a far away destination and while it was definitely the definition of frugal it was FUN and that’s what I needed. Posing for pictures in the ATL sun, soaking up the rays and the scenery, sipping delicious Coca-Colas (which I’m sure taste better in Atlanta than anywhere else I’ve been) being thankful for an opportunity to simply see a sea of different license plates, experiencing new cuisine and doing a little shopping on a budget made me think about the plight of the person that doesn’t take time to breathe. “Waiting to Exhale” was only a movie!

So I offer this humble recommendation, “You better catch your breath before you lose it”. People often say, “life is short.” I’d like to suggest that life is as long as you live it. Please know, that by nature of being life, life is going to bring some things that will try to take you out or keep you under. It’s up to no one but you to do what you have to do to carry on, especially in the midst of chaos. The days of the woman or man not taking time to focus on personal help and personal rest/relaxation are over.

  • I’d rather spend $60 to relax with a hotel Groupon than $300 to recuperate with a hospital co-pay.
  • I’d rather save to go to a spa than pay to see a doctor for stress.
  • I’d rather share a fancy or frugal meal with a friend than sit in silence dining alone.
  • I’d rather sacrifice to have a hair or nail appointment from time-to-time than splurge for prescription drugs to help them grow through whatever I’m going through.
  • I’d simply rather live life than merely exist.

The bottom line is, the life you have is yours to live. Live it! Do whatever you have to do (in a healthy, productive, refreshing, and relaxing way) to live. Plan if you have to. Save if you have to. Prepare if you have to. Share if you have to. Be creative. Be crafty and be sure you catch your breath before you lose it. Now breathe:)

@AngelaMichele316