YES!Atlanta 2nd Annual Night of Lights

On my own time, I serve as the PR chair on the board for YES!Atlanta. YES! (Youth Experiencing Success) works to increase graduation rates among Atlanta’s at-risk youth by helping program participants see the possibility of a better life and providing a foundation for personal success.  Its programming also addresses key issues facing youth such as lack of motivation in school, hopelessness about the future, and a distrust of adults.

On October 20, 2012, YES!Atlanta is hosting its second annual Night of Lights fundraising event. The event will celebrate YES!Atlanta’s history and accomplishments, while also honoring several individuals for their service to the city of Atlanta and commitment to youth development.

The 2012 “Night of Lights” ceremony takes place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20 in Phipps Tower. Overlooking the city’s skyline, the event will include cocktails (open bar) and catering from Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse and Prime Wine and Spirits. The event will feature an extensive silent auction, fun-filled games, and live music from local acts. Tickets are $100, tables (of 10) are $1,000 and all proceeds support YES!Atlanta’s programming.

We’re expecting 300 attendees from all over the Atlanta area including representatives from large Atlanta corporations. My mom, dad and Robert as well as multiple friends are attending this year. After attending last year’s event, I can confidently say that you won’t want to miss this awesome event. It’s a great way for everyone to come together to help the youth of Atlanta.

Take a look at a few reasons why you should attend this year’s YES!Atlanta Night of Lights. I personally think it’s because of THE VIEW! 🙂

The Next Stop on the Fab 4 Tour: Charleston

I fell in love with Charleston this past weekend when I visited my sister. First of all, if I haven’t said it before, my sister attends physical therapy school in Charleston, has lived there since May and is kicking butt in her classes. She lives in an adorable apartment with one of her best friends in a perfect location.  Her apartment is smaller, and older, but my mom and I both agree that it has a lot of character.  The bright colors and fun artwork give it life and the hardwood floors are just crooked and uneven enough to make you stumble when you get up in the morning to brush your teeth.

Merrick was a perfect host. She explained the best path that took me straight to the Battery on my morning run. She introduced me to her PT friends and took me out to a couple of her favorite bars.  And she took me to the beach on Sullivan’s on Friday where we speculated about Reese Witherspoon’s house (how often she visited, who took care of the house when she was away, whose car was parked in the driveway, etc.).

Early Morning Battery Run

Reese Witherspoon’s House on Sullivan’s Island

When Sam and Robert arrived on Friday afternoon, we all went to one of Merr’s favorite downtown restaurants, King Street Grille, and then headed to her college friend’s apartment.  The rest of the night consisted of Mynt, Trio, taking in the beautiful weather at an outside bar, dancing to a live band,  running into old friends, Merr playing the tambourine with the band, Bubba Styles and a long walk home. 🙂

Bramblewood Girls from Greenville

Madison, Robert and Sammy

At Mynt on the VIP Green Couch

On Saturday, Merr took us to the Charleston market and to breakfast/lunch at Toast with awesome bottomless mimosas. After scooting around DT Charleston, we headed back to Merr’s apartment to watch our Tigers beat down (kind of) BC and to watch USA beat down on Europe in the Ryder Cup (before the let down on Sunday). Since Merr usually doesn’t let Sam eat seafood when he goes to Charleston because she despises it, and since Robert and I both like it, Merr sucked it up and we went to a crab house for a late dinner. It was easy to tell that Sam hadn’t had seafood in while because homeboy hammered down on some crab legs.

After our double date, Merrick took us to a church that had been turned into a bar.  This, of course, sparked multiple questions from all four of us: “Are the booths made of old pews? Where did the priest used to stand? What is the shining light behind the stained glass windows? Is it sacrilegious to be cheering for a football game and drinking Bud Lights while a guitarist plays Pearl Jam in a former house of God?”

The drive home on Sunday wasn’t too bad, but I was sad to leave my sister, Robert, Sam and Charleston. I think the next time that the Fab 4 will reunite will be around Thanksgiving and, “I don’t like it.”

That’s Tiger Ball!

A couple of weekends ago, my family, Robert, Sam and I went to the East Lake Tour Championship golf tournament in Atlanta. On Saturday, we hung out on the #1, #15 and #18 fairways and watched all of the golfers come through while waving at Rory, Rickie, Phil and of course, Tiger.  Once the day was finished, we headed to Hudson Grill to celebrate Merrick’s birthday and watch my little baby Clemson Tigers lose.

Sunday, Robert and I went back to the course for the championship round and stayed til the very end. We walked around to multiple holes and somehow saw Phil Mickelson about 6 times. I think he’s my new favorite golfer behind Webb Simpson (because I love his wife) and Adam Scott (for obvious reasons).  Below is our weekend in pictures.

In front of the Tour Championship on Saturday with Robert

Family minus Dad!

The Rickie Fowler Fan Club

Following Phil Mickelson on the course

Merr’s Birthday Cake (She and my mom got a little hungry on the way to the tournament and ate a piece.)

The Tour Championship on Sunday for Robert’s Birthday

Our perfect seats on the 18th green where we watched Brandt Snedeker take home the trophy (and $11.4 million!)

Mountain Weekend in Asheville

A few weeks ago, my roommates, sister, Brandon, Parks and Sam joined Robert and me for a mountain weekend in North Carolina.  It was a great way to kick-start the Fall season and spend a little bit of time OTP (outside the perimeter).

On Friday, Robert grilled out ribs and Merr and Sam made shish kabobs for the group at Robert’s house in Hendersonville. It was such a crisp, cool night and my pyro-man, Robert, built a big bonfire for us. I love seeing him drag limbs/wood to feed the fire- he always seems totally in his element. We blared music, danced and screamed lyrics to 90’s songs all night while dressed in sweatshirts, jeans and boots. (I love Fall.)  Good thing Robert doesn’t have close neighbors because the singing (screaming) voices of Margo, Merr, Lauren and myself would probably drive them nutso.

Bonfire + Dancing

We woke up at a fairly decent hour on Saturday and everyone quickly (and surprisingly) got ready to head into Asheville for the day/night.  I rocked my side braid, new little brown booties, side purse and hippie printed skirt to walk around the city. I fit right in. We stopped at Biltmore Park to grab lunch (and blue moons, obvi) at Hickory Tavern and then continued into the downtown area.

While the guys shot pool and watched football at an Asheville bar, Merr and I took Lauren and Margo to the cute boutique dress shops around town.  There is a major difference between boutiques in A-ville and boutiques in the ATL. While most boutiques in ATL show dresses appropriate for cocktail parties and college football gamedays, most Asheville boutiques show dresses appropriate for attending outdoor concerts and festivals.

Girls in Asheville!

Mountain Man and Madison

We met up with the guys and then all headed to the hotel to check in and get ready for the night. By 8:30, we were ready to go again. We headed to a Cuban restaurant for a little fiesta and then to Scully’s for drinks. After we chilled on the back porch for a while, everyone got the itch to dance, so we headed to Mags for the live band and watched a bachelorette dance a pretty planned out routine to “Billy Jean”.  One of my favorite things to do when we go out is dance with Robert. He constantly twirls me, we make up random moves and rarely leave the dance floor. 🙂

On Sunday morning, we all woke up, packed up our stuff and headed to Cracker Barrel. After breakfast, I’m pretty sure two thoughts were running through everyone’s  heads: “Why don’t we go to Cracker Barrel more often?” and “I’m tired.” I’m so thankful that Branny drove the ATL girls back to the big city.  But I’m even more thankful that Branny and Lauren kept the “Jackson 5” Pandora station on a low volume so that the two princesses could sleep in the backseat.