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It's not often that I get the chance to brag about a dining experience to my ITP Atlanta friends. In my town, the choices beyond restaurant chains and fast food joints are indeed limited; that's the trade off for a comfortable life in the suburbs. So when I found a spot this weekend to rival the eateries in Midtown or the coveted Highland stops, I was beside myself with joy.

Granted, I did have to drive about 40 minutes from my actual house to get there but there was no high-speed traffic or problematic parking to be had, so that in and of itself is a win. Everything is about an hour from house, that's just the way it is.

One of my very best friends was passing through town on the way back to her Florida abode and we decided to meet up for brunch somewhere during her travels. I did some research along the I-75 route, and was about to resign to the thought of a typical Waffle House pit stop, when Google Maps blessed me with a true gift. Just a few miles off the interstate in a town called Locust Grove, about half an hour south of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, sits a little strip of quaint shops along the railroad tracks including, The French Market and Tavern.


 
 
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I have a terrible, almost obsessive habit of stowing away empty glass bottles under the impression that I will be able to recycle and repurpose every single one of these empties into vases, candle holders, art, you name it. Then, after about a month of these empty wine bottles stacking up in my room (misleading guests into thinking I have a MUCH worse habit), I relinquish the dream and recycle the old-fashioned way. 

But this week, I was able to save one! I finally sat down and went to work to creating this southern-inspired flower vase and it was a breeze! I followed an easy and quick tutorial from Kirstin at Craftiments. All you need is an empty wine bottle (that's the easiest part!), some vintage doilies, scissors, glue, a paintbrush and clear acrylic spray (I didn't have this last one but used liquid all-purpose sealer and it turned out ok).

Since you have to do a few coats of glue, it takes about an hour from start to finish, including dry time. It makes for a fast and fulfilling project for a Sunday afternoon.


 
 
PictureThis grasshopper had much to learn.
You graduated! Huzzah to you! You've turned in your final paper, pulled your last all-nighter and finally that diploma is in your hand (or it is being shipped to you and will arrive in the next few weeks). You're packing up your college apartment and moving on to an internship or grown up job that is sure to be your big break in the biz. 

All that hard work has paid off. Right? It's a long way to the top but I'm sure we'll smile back on these unemployed/under-employed times one day. Until then, here are a few things you've been trained to do over the past 4 years or so that you will NEVER need to know after graduation. So go ahead and make space in your brain for more useful stuff. 



Helpful tip: Please don't put these on your resume.




5 Useless Things You've Learned in College




 
 
Last week, I spent a good part of my weekend volunteering at a local animal shelter through a group called Community Bucket. I was introduced to this organization through work and was excited for the opportunity to volunteer along with other young people in Atlanta looking to make a positive impact in their free time. 

I recently wrote a post about the organization for my professional position with GA Gives. Rather than duplicate my efforts, I thought I would just share the post with you on here. I only promote things that really get me excited - generally this is Braves baseball or UGA football - so you have my word that this is a cool program. I'll definitely be volunteering with them again soon because it is a great way to meet genuinely good people and my soul always needs more of that. 
 
 
Happy National Volunteer Week, y'all.

It must have been fate that led me to PAWS Atlanta this weekend because I had no clue this week was devoted to celebrating volunteerism - but, boy, did I kick it off the right way this Sunday. 

This weekend my friend Cassidy and I were inspired to try something new and meet some new people along the way. And being that we are kind and gentle souls, our adventure was fulfilled through volunteering at a local animal shelter. We went with a bunch of young folks, just like us, through a cool organization called Community Bucket. More on them later. 

First, the pups.

My, oh, my. All of these puppies were after my heart. Each and every one. As soon as I parked my car I could hear their barks and, upon later translation, I discovered they were, in fact, calling out my name. After a little chit-chat with the other dog-loving volunteers (there might have been a cat person around but, for obvious reasons, we had nothing in common), we went to work. The staff member at the shelter threw out a few options for us: organize newspapers to be used in the crates or clean windows or do something I was immediately ineligible for because it required heavy lifting or play with the cats (gross) or walk the dogs.

 
 
PictureActually finished painting. It now showcases flowers!
Crocheting is hard. The patterns can be hard to figure out. You lose count of loops and stitches and rows. The yarn gets in knots every five seconds.

Pinterest isn't much help when it comes to my expectations for hobby-ing. I've rationalized my need to buy more craft paint and yarn based on the idea that these DIY projects are so easy even I can do it. I mean, the blogger said she only had a few years of experience with an electric saw before repurposing that old door into a corner shelf. I'm SURE I can pick it up quickly. I'm a fast learner - just look at my resume!

The truth is, jokes about heavy machinery aside, keeping up a successful hobby is no easy task. It used to be so simple, back in those sweet elementary school days, when eating paste could pass as a normal hobby. It was even easier in high school. Our hobbies were "hanging out with friends" and "watching TV" or "music (not necessarily playing music, mind you, just music)." All acceptable hobbies in teen society, mostly because getting more than a grunting response from a teenager is deemed a success. 




 
 
PictureStranger on the Atlanta streets in the summer of '74, www.archives.org
I leave my office in downtown Atlanta around 4:30 p.m. each day and, depending on my timing, I sometimes get caught behind a long line of city buses right by the state capital at 4:42 p.m. It happened today. There I was, happily cruising through the streets, humming along to my favorite string band and tapping the wheel, living like the happy-go-lucky fool in a romantic comedy. Then, just like in those so-called romance tales, I take a left and the plot thickens. My body sinks as I realize the frustration that lies ahead. BUSES - the nemesis of any inner city motorist.

I wait impatiently as the crowds dilly dally their way onto the vehicular kryptonite to my downtown travels. Finally, once everybody is seated and my frustration has run out after missing the green light twice, the bus driver slowly pulls away, giving me the gap to freedom and the freeway. 

This happened a few days in a row one week. Around the third day, I got over my first world problems and turned my attention to the bus passengers. I quickly began to realize that they too had been participating in this roadside ritual all week. 

Then I started recognizing faces. 


 
    “When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.”

    -A.A. Milne

    About Amanda

    I just love Winnie-the-Pooh quotes. A.A. Milne had an incredible way of capturing an exact feeling or thought so universal and complex and convey it in the simplest of terms in the voice of a humble Bear. When I decided to start a blog, Pooh's words popped into my head and expressed the exact base of my worries behind starting a personal blog: My Thingish Things won't make any sense to other people! But oh well. Here goes nothing.

    I intend for this blog to be where I share my thoughts, opinions and inspirations in a casual personal voice. For a more professional take on who I am and where I want to go in life, check out my online portfolio. You won't find as many recipes, crafts, and sarcastic remarks about life there, but it is a good portrayal of me too.

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