Looking For Coffee, Fearing Walkers, and Finding District 12 in Atlanta

One of the cool things about living in Atlanta is knowing that many major motion pictures and television shows are filmed here. There’s always a chance that you’ll stumble upon places where your favorites are shot.  One day I went hunting for a new coffee spot and (hopefully) a new WriteSpace and ended up on an unforgettable adventure!

Continue reading “Looking For Coffee, Fearing Walkers, and Finding District 12 in Atlanta”

The Cowfish Brings Burgers and Sushi Beautifully Together to Atlanta

The "Skinny Gonzales" margarita
The “Skinny Gonzales” margarita

On Mother’s Day weekend, I treated myself to lunch at The Cowfish Burger Sushi Bar. After months of salivating over their Instagram feed, I was over the moon when they announced they’re “NOW OPEN” in Atlanta. Burgers and sushi are two of my three favorite foods, so, of course, I HAD to find out if the food is as good as it looks. I am happy to report that is resoundingly… overwhelmingly… better!  Continue reading “The Cowfish Brings Burgers and Sushi Beautifully Together to Atlanta”

The Jungle Book – Another Disney Slam-Dunk

Earlier this week I got a sneak peek of The Jungle Book, the latest in Disney’s live-action reboot of animated classics.  Once again, Disney does not disappoint… for the most part.

I got to see this film in IMAX 3D and all I can say is WOW!  From an artistic perspective, this is a magnificent piece of cinema.  It is just freaking beautiful… and so REAL!  Seriously!  The only thing that reminded me that this was mostly created in a studio was that the animals talked!

So this is NOT your mama’s Jungle Book… or your grandmama’s either.  It is a very intense movie! Heart-pounding (and heart-wrenching) action from start to finish. Continue reading “The Jungle Book – Another Disney Slam-Dunk”

The Wine Cellars: Wine, Wifi… Why, Yes!

Writing always seems to go a little better with wine.

Whenever I’ve had the occasion to relax and do some uninterrupted writing, I’d swing by The Wine Cellars…another one of Smyrna’s hidden treasures… and grab a bottle of whatever Renee recommends.

Renee, the owner, is truly amazing.  In the 9+ years of my patronage, she’s never steered me wrong.  Her recommendations are always on point.  She and the rest of her staff make a point to get to know their customers by name and taste/preference.  She knows what I like but she also knows how to get me to step outside my comfort zone.

In the last year or so (maybe more), this quaint little shop nestled in the rear of Smyrna’s Market Village has grown from a “very-convenient-wine-and-gift-store-to-pop-in-on-your-way-home-or-out-to a place to relax, enjoy friends, and for me…to write.

Renee transformed the back half of the space into a wine bar with lounge seating and bistro tables.  Wine is sold by the glass and there is WiFi.  Can you say “had me at hello?”

You are reading this post on your screen now, but when I originally wrote it, it was written by hand while sitting and sipping a glass of Jam Jar sweet shiraz, an awesome South African wine Renee poured when I asked her to “surprise me.”  Assistant Manager, Stephen (who I adore and who is equally wonderful with recommendations), set a bowl of “munchies” before me and soft sounds of jazz soothed me as I mused in my journal.  Can you see why this is and ideal #WriteSpace?

If your travels ever take you past downtown Smyrna (booming metropolis that it is) you must stop by The Wine Cellars.  If you need some incentive, there are wine tastings every Saturday, 2:00-4:00pm, but really…any day is a good day to go. Tell Renee and Stephen I said “hello.”

Getting Focused for a Productive 2016

You say you want a “resolution,” well ya know…

(in my Beatles voice)

Tis the season for making New Year’s Resolutions. Making them is easy. Keeping them is a different story. One reason we may not keep most of our resolutions could be because we are not in the right “mindset” when we make them (and while we are attempting to keep them).

I recently wrote a story on Mode about some handy apps and tools to help you get your mind right BEFORE you make your resolutions. I have first hand experience with most of the apps I mentioned, but one of my new discoveries really stood out as something I want to try to put into practice now and hopefully be proficient in it by the time January rolls around.

Focus Booster is an app that helps you use the Pomodoro Technique. What’s the Pomodoro Technique, you ask? To put it simply… it’s like “high intensity interval training” (HIIT) for your to-do list!

First, you plan your day… write out the tasks you wish to accomplish and don’t forget to be realistic about them. Next, eliminate your possible distractions… silence your phone, close all unnecessary applications/windows, etc. Then begin! You work on ONE task… and one task only… for 25 minutes, then take a break for 5 minutes, then start again on the same or new task. After 4 sets take a longer 10-15 minute break (or like… maybe lunch), then start again. It’s productivity on steroids!

The Focus Booster app has features that track your time so you can see how long you spent on a given task. In the paid subscriptions you can even assign clients and use it as a timesheet for billing.

I’m not at all ashamed to admit… I need productivity on steroids. As a person who uses social media personally and professionally, distraction-less focus is hard to achieve.  So I’m trying it out and chronicling my journey… starting with the Periscope video below on one of my (supposed) 5 minute breaks. Below that is my Mode story, Apps & Tools to Get Your Mind Right for 2016.”

Check out Apps & Tools to Get Your Mind Right for 2016

by ChatterBox Christie at Mode