Kindness Confetti

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It is not too hard to make someone’s day. Seriously. It typically takes a simple smile, a kind word, or a random anonymous act. On the other hand, it’s not too hard to ruin a person’s day: with side eyes, with glares, and by back stabbing. I’ve been on the both sides of that coin, and I have dealt all of the above.

This past week was hell. No other way to put it. For many, many reasons. Mostly petty stuff, and none of it super personal. I had to make some pretty tough decisions and those choices were not overly popular. On one hand – you do the thing that would ultimately hurt and destroy a goal, yet make people happy, or you do the right thing that is going to make none of the people happy, yet the end result, in time, will be what is best for everyone.

I did the right thing and it was not the popular choice.

Adults can be bullies. Boy oh boy, most adults never really grow up. Passive aggressive and dramatic behavior is instilled in a lot of people at a very young age (they learn from their families,) and unfortunately, they do not grow out of this phase. I got to be the receiving end of such behavior this week. But that’s okay. It kind of goes with the territory. I know that this too shall pass.

Then in other areas of my life, I am sitting back watching someone else I love very dearly be treated incredibly poorly by people that mean a lot to this person. I’ve been watching for months – more passive-aggressive, petty behavior, as well as, manipulation like you have never seen. As adults, we know the best thing to do is turn the other cheek and put up invisible boundaries. Move on.. live and let live.

(But the fighter in me wants to rip all of these types of people, in both scenarios, to shreds.) But I can’t.

I could. 

But I would not.

What I would rather do is spread kindness like confetti. Just like some of the people who did the same to me this past week, and did not even realize how much of an impact, or how grateful I am.

You, unnamed kind people, I am incredibly grateful – and will never forget it.

For the rest of us, I think defining who we are and what we will allow into our lives in critical to our overall quality of life. Over the years, I have adopted the followed philosophies into my life. I am a writer and words are incredibly important. I have collected quotes for years, that eventually became my personal mantras or commandments on how I will live my life day to day.

Here is how I choose to live my life:

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With that, let’s all try to be kind to one another this week – regardless of others’ behavior.

HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY!!!

Marketing In The Mountains

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When people ask me about what I am working on, I respond in the worst possible way. I will look you dead in the eye, shrug my shoulders, cross my fingers and say, “Here’s hoping it will all work out.”

Bullshit.

There is not much in this world that I have not plotted and planned to make happen.

My dear,

Hope is NOT a strategy.

I know this and I live this. I am extremely (yeah… exTREMEly) strategic about my life, my work, even my friendships. I love finding opportunities where I can pick up new tools & resources to really kick butt at what I do for a living.

I got a pretty opportunity this past Spring. I was fortunate enough for my work to pay for me to enter a Marketing College specifically for the tourism industry. Yes, I am already college educated, but this takes it to a different level and affords me the opportunity to get an accreditation in my field.

Okay, okay.. enough with the official stuff. Let’s talk about my trip!

I decided to pop up the night before. I hate to arrive the day -of an event. It typically takes a day or two to acclimate and not feel rushed. So I packed my little bag, and drove the 4.5 hours to the North Georgia mountains. I booked a room at the very same Inn Tim & I stayed in for our engagement weekend. I stopped by the place, and lo and behold, was placed right back in the exact same room! What were the chances of that happening!?

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Oh yeah.. in all of it’s tacky heart-shaped glory! I changed clothes and immediately hit the town, wandering from shop to shop.

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Helen, Georgia has this faux-Bavarian look. It’s like a Disney-version of Germany. I love it… it’s really cute and the themed-out community is sort of fun. It was raining a bit, and I was hungry, so I wandered over to the Troll Tavern by the Chattahoochee River.

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The weather had gotten pretty bad and the electricity went out while I was at the restaurant. I had to sit for about an hour (before my credit card could go through,) so I settled in with a cup of soup (Beer Cheese soup,) and a Helen of Troll. It was Rummy to my Tummy… get it? Get it?

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I left the restaurant and wandered a little more. Did a little shopping and snapping of photos.

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Finally, I worked up enough of an appetite and stopped at a little cafe and ordered a brat with tons of mustard.

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After dinner, I walked back over to my Inn and settled in for a bath and tons of magazines!

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The next morning I made my way to my final destination for the week: Dahlonega, Georgia. Their tagline is “Pure Gold,” for their gold mining past. The marketing college, which is a three year program for one week a Spring, was held at North Georgia University. I checked into my room and this is what I had to look forward to for one week:

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Oh yeah… a bunk bed situation. I had a room mate, and honestly, next year, I might opt to not share a room, if that is at all possible.

Our schedule was jammed pack with orientation, dinners, parties, and classes.


One of the nights we were all thrown on a bus and ended up at Monteluce Winery.

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We were given the VIP treatment with a fantastic dinner and open bar.
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The view from the dining room was absolutely amazing!!! THIS is North Georgia.
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The food and wine was exquisite and I enjoyed relaxing and chatting with my new classmates!
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After dinner and wine, I opted to head back to the dorm room to get a good night’s sleep.
I’m not as young as I used to be, and I wanted to soak up all of the knowledge!
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Without a doubt, Monteluce was the most beautiful winery I have visited to date.
The next night we were treated to a big family-style dinner at The Smith House.
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The entire restaurant was reserved for us! We consumed a large amount of good-old fashioned Southern Food.
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After that dinner, I wanted nothing more than to crash. Carbs overload!
The following evening we were able to do what we wanted, so I gathered with some of my tourism contacts from around the state and we dominated a little Mexican restaurant on the square in Dahlonega,
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We were slurping up pitchers of margaritas and salsa!
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After we consumed enough to give us a happy little buzz, we drove over to the local hot spot for a little karaoke!
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One of our final nights there, we hit up another winery for yet another VIP private party. This time at Blue Mountain Vineyards.
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We had a delicious dinner and enjoyed live music on the porch overlooking the vineyard.
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The week was definitely one to remember. I have made dozens of new friends from all over the United States (yes, the students come from everywhere and the college is offered in Georgia!) I learned lots of new tips and tricks, and I can’t wait until next year.
Except for this part:
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The multiple stairs up hills.
They mocked me.

Woodstock – A City Unexpected

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This past Spring, I got the opportunity to spend a week in Woodstock, Georgia. It is a small city, just north of metro Atlanta. I went there for a business trip, specifically for the Regional Visitor Information Center conference, but ended up experiencing a very cool bleisure trip! (Just what is bleisure? It’s business mixed with leisure!)

The tagline for Woodstock is – A City Unexpected, and unexpected it was!

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According to Money Magazine, Woodstock was named one of America’s 50 Best Cities. It has a world-class trail system, excellent shopping & dining options, and apparently one of the best breweries in America!

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When I first checked into the conference, I looked at two other attendees standing there and asked where they were going for lunch. We decided to pop across the street to Canyon Burger Company. DELISH! Not only did I indulge in an incredible burger, I also made two new friends from Lake Lanier Islands & Dahlonega.

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The trip wasn’t all fun – there was a LOT to learn as far as Welcome Centers go. We were in classes for several days going over everything from brochures to branding, merchandising to events, and so much more!

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Backing up a little, the first night I was there, I had dinner alone at a little Mexican restaurant near my hotel. Hands down some of the BEST beef tacos I have ever tasted!

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Some of the highlights of Woodstock, that I got to see, included:

  • The Greenprints Trail System, a city-wide trail network. (Just a brilliant idea that I need to implement in Sumter County!)
  • The Elm Street Cultural Arts Village (where our conference was held.) Basically, they refurbished an old church and turned it into the perfect conference space.
  • The Downtown Woodstock Shopping & Dining District (which features over 20 restaurants and 35 stores.) Apparently, this community was pretty much nonexistent, and like the phoenix rising from the ashes, so did their downtown.
  • The Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta, the closest outlet mall to the city of Atlanta with nearly 100 shops

The City of Woodstock folks put us all on a bus and drove us around to see these sights and get a feel of what their city had to offer and the layout of the land. It gave me tons of ideas!

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On one of the afternoons, we stopped by the Historic Dixie Speedway, which is ranked one of the best dirt tracks in America. It seems to be a family owned business, and we were told all of the great NASCAR drivers, at some point early in their careers, got to race here. It was also featured in a movie. It has a 3/8 mile clay oval track, and hosts stock car racing every Saturday night, May through October.

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One of my favorite nights in Woodstock was at a private party hosted by and at Reformation Brewery. I just loved their mission – “is a values-based company that seeks to reform beer culture and liberate beer from societal extremes.” How cool is that?

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The brewery was established in October of 2013 and is located within the renowned Etowah watershed of Woodstock. They offer tours, tastings, and take home beer options. We pretty much had an open bar and were given these fantastic custom designed craft beer glasses. (It’s a hard life.. I know.)

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We had a BBQ catered meal complete with homemade banana pudding. The folks from all over the state of Georgia that run Welcome/Visitor Centers were in attendance.

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One of the coolest things that they did was have an artist on hand to draw each of us! Boy… am I sassy!

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One of the other private parties was at Madlife Stage & Studios. We had a specially catered meal and open bar and got to watch a really awesome band perform.

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After the dinner and drinks, we headed to the VIP room of Stars & Strikes in Woodstock.

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Again – open bar, tons of catered food, and a private bowling alley, unlimited game card, bumper cars, and laser tag!

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I was like a kid in a candy store! I love places like this. All that was missing was Mini Golf!

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Overall, the trip was very informative, I met a ton of awesome people who do exactly what I do, won a bottle of Habersham wine in a silent auction, and explored a city I probably would have never visited otherwise.

If you get a chance, or are passing through Atlanta, give it a try!

August- You Saucy Minx, You.

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I feel kind of bad for the month of August. It’s sort of a throw away month for those of us not participating in an academic year. Kind of….. blah.

Basically, I have no expectation for the month of August at all.

Maybe I need to use the month to sort of kick off new habits or add some new and exciting hobby to my life….. sort of like we did back when we did go to school.

I used to love shopping for the new school year: New book bag, new pencils and pencil-case, a shiny new Trapper Keeper, and of course, new threads to show off. I especially loved making book covers and taking my favorite stickers and plastering them all over my notebooks. I also remember getting so excited about the first day, because then I would get to see all of my friends in class and hopefully get assigned to sit next to the cute guy I might have had a crush on. Ah… those were the days.

Well… here we are. Day One of August. Nothing special. Nothing to plan. Nothing to look forward to.

Or is there?

Food for thought.

Alright… as promised, I was going to catch you guys up on my Summer. In my last blog post, I wrote about our new home! (Or rather, the construction of our new home!) We are scheduled to close on the construction loan this week sometime. I’m even heading out to Plains this afternoon to meet the water meter guy. So many details, so little time.

We’ve spent a majority of our weekends at the cabin. We decided to take advantage of this last Summer by the lake.

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We had some friends over to go fishing one Saturday. My co-worker Qaijuan and his uncle came over and caught 20 brim! Not a bad way to spend a Saturday!

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Watermelon by the pool has been a delicious way to spend a hot South Georgia Summer afternoon.

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Meet Jolene – A stray kitty that somehow showed up deep in the woods at our cabin!

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A cooler, some floating apparatuses, and friends. Typical Saturday.

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And we grill out – A LOT!

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Great conversation with great people!

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We have even invited friends out on the boats!

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Conversations on our front porch are always a ton of fun!

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We even prepped the girls for a Greek Goddess inspired Mama Mia party! Tim took them to the Fabulous Fox Theatre to see Mama Mia and to prepare, we had faux wine, candles, and Greek attire!

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My niece came for a visit.

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My other niece came over for a slumber party!

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Oh… and dear, sweet, grand baby – Cotton. PS – Today is her 2nd birthday!

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And we spent some money on… well.. we bought MORE land!

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Sangria and Golf Cart trips around the farm!

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Overall – we have relaxed quite a bit. I’ve only taken two trips thus far (which I will blog about later.) Since the construction is taking a chunk out of our budget, we have to sort of Staycation more often than not.

As you can see, I took my goal very seriously! I am attempting to develop new friendships and I’m spending lots and lots of time with the people I love the most!

Happy August, my friends!