Taking Things on for Lent

Unfortunately, I have to start now.

Last night was Shrove Tuesday (or Fat Tuesday, depending on your um, faith) which means today is Ash Wednesday and the official start of the season of Lent. Typically folks give something up between now and Easter Sunday, to honor the 40 days and 40 nights Jesus spent fasting in the Judean desert. And while there is certainly something worthy about giving up favorite things, avoiding vices, or temporarily abandoning bad habits, I’ve found it can be equally beneficial to take something on.Plus this can act as a good excuse to force yourself to do something you’ve always wanted, but were too scared, lacked the time, the motivation etc. (Because hey, if you can’t do it for yourself, at least do it for God.)

I’ve always wanted to run in the Peachtree Road Race. I fondly remember when I was a little boy… Continue reading

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Authenticity in Tough Times.

Getting Real with Readers: Joanna Goddard, of "A Cup of Joe"

Pursuing Twitter this morning we came upon a tweet from one of the more uplifting lifestyle writers out there — Joanna Goddard — the face and voice behind A Cup of Jo. It read: “A post about the hardest two months of my life. Difficult to write. (link)”

A notoriously positive and uplifting writer with a strong following, this wasn’t exactly typical fodder for her. But as you’ll read here, she honestly and openly talks about becoming depressed after the birth of her firstborn.

In a society that is always image-conscious, it was refreshing to read about an Internet mainstay, not hiding the turbulent times, but having the courage to tell her story in hopes that it might give optimism or comfort to others going through the same thing.

There isn’t a person on the planet that doesn’t occasionally have a tough go-at-it … this is such a wonderful reminder that hey, it’s okay to talk about it. And if fact, it likely helps.

Well done, Joanna. Well done.

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New American Standard: Schoolhouse Electric

Schoolhouse Electric: Redefining the American aesthetic, one Edison bulb at a time.

On a day that tends to be synonymous with both being American, and being a consumer (thanks, Presidents Day Sales everywhere!), we thought it would be a proper time to pay homage to a company that’s helping reinvent the reputation of American-made goods: Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.

What started as a company who took pre-war lighting molds and turned them into historically accurate luminaries (that also happen to be wired for modern day energy efficiency), Schoolhouse Electric has expanded through the years to make or curate home and office furnishings that are tasteful, simple, and downright charming.

Schoolhouse-style wall clocks, hanging maps of the United States, super-industrial Ace Pilot staplers, extension chords that are as beautiful as they are practical, minimalist fountain pens, drafting chairs, button-backed sofas … we could go on, but it’s better if you just see for yourself. But fair warning: prepare to be tempted.

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Simple Skiing: Alta, UT

Go retro: Alta.

Not that I don’t enjoy vibrant ski towns that are part sport, part social — Park City and it’s trend-happy downtown, Aspen’s world class shopping and celebrities, the shiny casinos that make Lake Tahoe nights quickly turn into morning — but there is something incredibly romantic about a get-away destination that puts a premium on snow, scenery and simplicity.

And there is no purer skiing experience, than Alta, UT.  Continue reading

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Instant Classic: Beer Growlers.

Beer growlers - hipster facial hair and scarf not included.

Some things in life just make so much sense. In-N-Out Burger, The Beatles, Parks and Recreation.

And now there is this humdinger for the drinking crowd: beer growlers. The low-down: First, you purchase these refillable (and kick-ass looking) jugs from your local brewery or hops emporium. Second, have them top it off with whatever fresh (read: ironic and local) beer they have available that day. Third, enjoy your 64oz of obscure beverage with fellow suds connoisseurs. Finally, return to brewery to refill your growler with an adventurous new beer. Repeat process.

And not only is the name “beer growler” fun to say, going anywhere with a growler – to your home, or better – to a party – is guaranteed to make you feel cool. Atlantans can pick up their own growler here.

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2011 Atlanta Film Festival Preview

This dude needs to see a good film or two. Photo: Thomas Grillo

Discovering new art is reviving… it’s simply good for the soul. And there’s nothing quite like finding a film that truly inspires you. Scanning Netflix or browsing trending videos on YouTube can certainly lead to occasional discovery, but seeing up-and-coming indie films in a filled theatre filled with other art buffs is priceless. Luckily for Atlantans, the Atlanta Film Festival (April 28-May 7) boasts a wonderfully broad scope of buzzworthy productions.  

Here are my favorite 10 picks of the festival, when and where they are airing: Continue reading

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Love ‘em or Hate ‘em, Duke Always Makes a Team Statement.

Duke: Hated but Classically Unselfish

It’s no secret that people are always divided about Duke Basketball. And for the most part, people tend to despise them. The Cameron Crazies, Coach K, the floor-slapping, the year-in-year-out success rate, the private school aura … like the Yankees, they’re a team that’s easy to hate.

But what I absolutely love about Duke is that in a sport dominated by one-and-done future superstars and young men who flaunt “where they’ll take their talents” next season, Duke still plays team basketball. Continue reading

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