ATL Adventures

Last weekend, my husband and I took a great trip to Atlanta with some precious friends. Us ladies were so excited because the men planned our lodging and our outings. Coming from a woman who is obsessed with planning every second of my day, it was nice to let go of the reigns and enjoy the things the men had on the agenda. Don’t underestimate your men ladies. Men are great at planning, just let them and try not to ask 500 questions 🙂 I think Atlanta has always been an underrated city in my mind. A location for six flags youth trips, the city to go to for that conference, the city you pass through to get to more pleasing and exciting trips….like the beach, and most unfortunately, the city you spend three hours sitting in stand still traffic on a Friday afternoon. I must mention a trip is always more fun when you have great company, but besides the company, our adventures made it a trip to remember. I wanted to share these fun adventures with you so the next time you’re in Atlanta you can try out a few if you haven’t already.

Instead of staying in a hotel, the men decided it would be fun to stay in an Airbnb. I have always been pretty skeptical simply because I have never felt completely comfortable staying in someone’s home with them there. Instead of renting out by the room, we got the entire house. The owner lives out of state and rents it out throughout the year. The house is an adorable bungalow just 2 miles from downtown. This house is really a diamond in the rough. I’ll be honest here, the neighborhood is certainly a little questionable, but that didn’t keep me up at night. I would definitely recommend trying out Airbnb, especially when splitting the cost with friends. Because we got the house, instead of a hotel, we were able to make breakfast in the cute kitchen on both Saturday and Sunday morning and dinner on Saturday night. Therefore, we saved some money when it came to food. Take a tour of this family friendly bungalow here!

Speaking of food! I ate the best meal I have ever eaten in my life on Friday night…and don’t think I am kidding. My husband, Patrick, and our friends felt just the same. JCT Kitchen and Bar is a wonderful farm to table restaurant. The perfect mixture of modern, industrial flare meets southern Georgia charm. I was immediately impressed by the menu graphics, so I had a feeling this was probably going to be a great meal, and boy was I right. I guess menu graphics don’t automatically mean great food, but I like to think that’s a good rule. To start of the meal, the most amazing parmesan truffle fries, and cornbread muffins drizzled with honey and served with jalapeno butter. For my entree, I ordered chicken and dumplings. This was not the normal creamy chicken and dumplings most of us are used to, rather a whole chicken leg laid on a bed of hearty, roasted vegetables with a few dumplings mixed throughout. FABULOUS. I had a bite of my friend Jennifer’s Wood Roasted Burger with caramelized onions and whipped blue cheese spread and it was equally as tasty. We thought we might get ice cream after dinner, so we opted out of dessert, but I can only imagine how amazing it would have been.  To look at more menu options check out their website here

On Saturday, the guys made the girls really happy and took us to Lennox Square. This mall has over 200 specialty stores. We literally spent 4 hours here on Saturday. I suppose we could have fit some more fun adventures in if we hadn’t spent so much time here, but it was so overwhelming, we had to take it all in. Favorite stores of mine include, Urban Outfitters, Anthropology, The Loft, and Banana Republic and a really great looking Nike store with a really neat old basketball court as the floor. For now, I’ll just dream of the specialty stores like FENDI, Louis Vuitton and Neiman Marcus. 🙂

On Sunday, we decided to grab something quick for lunch after our wonderful outing at the Atlanta Aquarium. I fun place to take advantage of even if you don’t have children. I think deep down we all felt like kids at heart. Penguins and sea otters get me every time! 🙂 After about two hours of walking we were ready to eat before we hit the road back home. We decided to eat at The Varsity. Since 1928, The Varsity has been an Atlanta diner style favorite. Now…The Varsity is no JCT Kitchen, but you cannot go wrong with a burger and fries and the chocolate shake may have just been better than a Wendy’s frosty. Did I just admit that?! Check out their Website here

If you only take one thing away from this blog post I hope it’s that you will try JCT kitchen next time you are in the ATL. Comment and let me know what your favorite ATL spots are so the next time I go, I can try them out.

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lots of love,

Audrey

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Give Grace

Sometimes I wish I could record the things I say to myself and play them back. I think I would hate being friends with me, at least on some days. I have just recently started a job that requires me to be compassionate on a daily basis, a spiritual gift that has always come very naturally to me. From as long as I can remember, I have been compassionate to all but one…me.

I have read that often times the most compassionate people, have the least amount of compassion for themselves. I like to think I am nice to myself until I hear myself say, What were you thinking, That wasn’t good enough, They probably think you’re a total idiot, etc. UMMM would a compassionate person ever say that to their friend? I’m thinking absolutely not. Has anyone else ever caught yourself in this vicious cycle?

Over the past month, I have been studying scripture on a deeper level than I ever have before. Truly grasping the unimaginable amount of love and grace my Savior gives me on a daily basis, helps me realize, I don’t have to have it all together. Praise God! He gives me grace, so I need to give myself grace. We fail, we try again, we fail, and we will never be perfect. However, we serve a God who was and is and always will be perfect and for that reason, we can rest on the fact that we never have to measure up to that standard. The Lord has created you for greatness. The Lord has not set you up for failure, and he has definitely not created you to bad mouth His beautiful creation. These are the things the Lord says about you… You are cherished, beloved, you have been redeemed, you are not condemned, you are set free, you are chosen and blameless before God, you have boldness and CONFIDENCE, the peace of God will guard your heart and mind, God loves you.

This week I challenge you to talk to yourself like Jesus would. Give yourself grace after you mess up! You are valuable.

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