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High Fashion, Low Budget: 7 Tips for Frugal Fashionistas
Style is a funny thing…one day it’s in, and the next day it’s out. Pulling off chic and trendy can be expensive, especially if you’re keeping up with the Kardashians. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be.
If you want to be a fashionista but still need to pay your rent, read on. We’re giving you tips that will help you fill your wardrobe with affordable styles that are nothing short of fabulous.
1. Visit consignment, thrift, and vintage clothing shops
Consignment shops are popping up faster than Starbucks coffee houses these days and for a good reason: there’s a big market for pre-owned, well- cared for clothing and accessories that are still current. Shop early and often in the more affluent areas and you might just find those to-die-for leopard print mules you drooled over last winter. In terms of quality and condition, consignment shop owners can be quite selective when choosing which items to accept, but you should always inspect items for imperfections.
Thrift store shopping is en vogue right now and a goldmine for the bargain fashionista. But, you have to be a person who enjoys the thrill of the hunt. From t-shirts to designer handbags, from chinos to ball gowns, they have it all. Items arrive in various conditions, so inspect your purchases carefully.
Vintage shops are trending lately, especially because the look is really timeless. Vintage clothing is unique and often one-of-a-kind. Fancy buttons, interesting fabric combinations, and hand-sewn embellishments are their trademark, which is what makes them so fabulous. Sometimes the clothing can take you back to another time or, combined with a modern look, it can add that pop of interest that ultimately makes the outfit.
2. Don’t discount the resale sites
Poshmark, Depop, eBay, ThredUp, Swap…they all offer pre-owned stylish pieces at deeply discounted prices. The secret, though, is to be specific about what you’re looking for. Search NWT (new with tags) or EUC (excellent used condition) and don’t be shy about asking the seller to post more pictures. Look for tried-and-true brands that always fit you well. Before you make a purchase, be sure to review the site’s return policy since you’re basing your purchase on how you imagine it will look. Accessories are a less risky purchase since they always fit!
3. Connect on social media
If you thought Facebook was just for catching up with old classmates and posting pictures of little Johnny’s first birthday party, you’re living a sheltered life. Facebook Marketplace sells everything from futons to fur coats, clothing to crock pots, all at rock-bottom prices. Usually, clothing items are those that sellers think could earn them a few extra bucks, especially the ones with designer labels. Join your local Facebook garage sale groups and you never know what you might find.
Love the Stitch-Fix personal shopper concept, but not crazy about their prices? There’s a Facebook group that resells new and gently worn items from the Stitch-Fix family of labels, and another that finds the same or comparable styles on sale at local stores. Are Anthropology, Free People, and Urban Outfitters some of your faves? Yup, they’re there, too! Go ahead. Use that search button and go wild.
4. Shop discount stores
Discount stores like TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack, Marshalls, and Saks off Fifth are ideal for the savvy, designer-minded shopper who doesn’t want to pay full price. Generally, these stores negotiate the lowest price on overstock and end-of-season inventory from other companies and then sell it at 20-60% below retail prices.
Discount stores are less concerned with purging last season’s inventory with end-of-season sales but they’ll usually markdown items twice a year, in January and July. At TJ Maxx, a price tag with a red dot means the item has been discounted only once, and a yellow dot means it’s been marked down to its lowest price. You might have to buy your winter coat in July, but it’ll be a steal!
Head to your favorite discount store and find out which days of the week they receive new inventory or when the next clearance sweep is scheduled. There’s no big secret; all you need to do is ask. Plan ahead and get there early for the biggest selection.
5. Plan a swap party
If you have friends that are the same size and have similar tastes in style, host a clothing swap party. Each season, head to your closet and choose items you haven’t worn, are bored with, or don’t fit your shape quite right. Swapping clothes with your friends can boost your wardrobe and bring new life to unloved and neglected pieces that are perfect…for someone else.
6. Take on the department stores
Department stores are not the worst places to find your style, but don’t buy anything without a coupon. Macy’s will price match Macys.com and you can still couple it with a discount code. They’ll also honor online prices for the same item from a list of competitors like Belk, Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, and Lord & Taylor.
Love the superior customer service of Nordstrom? Join their rewards club and earn points for every purchase. When you reach 2,000, they’ll send you a $20 Nordstrom note to use on a future purchase. While their sales may be few and far between, they offer free personal styling and free alterations. Price matching is standard policy as are ten-day price adjustments.
7. Love it or leave it
We all have our favorite stores and brands. The key to scoring the best deals is to know the opportune time to shop–when shipments arrive, at the end of a season, before your coupon expires, or during a promotional event. It’s also important to buy pieces that you love when you see them, not merely when you need them. Ever try to find a dress to wear to a holiday party during your lunch break? You’d pay double for one that simply doesn’t make you look like you’re wearing a trash bag just to get out of there.
Your wardrobe should also be versatile, lend itself to be easily mixed-and- matched, and include enough neutrals to balance the other colors and patterns. Wear a vintage embroidered blazer with a pair boyfriend jeans, or change it up and pair it with a pencil skirt. Match that navy tunic with a pair of white capris and a shabby chic denim jacket. Replace the tunic with a striped t-shirt and grab some tennis shoes for a whole new look. Maximize the possibilities and it’ll seem as if your outfits are endless.
Coffee & Canines: Q&A with Aaron Fisher of Atlanta Rescue Dog Cafe
Ne[x]t Magazine spent a few minutes getting to know one of Georgia’s Own, Aaron Fisher. Aaron is not only a pet-lover and educator; he’s also the Founder and CEO of the Atlanta Rescue Dog Cafe, an animal welfare organization with a unique mission. Keep reading to learn more about Aaron’s work in the community and how you can get involved.
Tell us about yourself.
I’m originally from New Jersey, but I’ve lived in Atlanta three separate times over 24 years. I first came here to attend Emory University, and something just kept calling me back. The changes I’ve seen over that time have been incredible.
What’s your favorite thing about the Atlanta area?
The food, art, and music scenes. The creativity of the residents. The individual character and charm of the neighborhoods. It’s hard to pinpoint one thing.
Could you tell us about the Atlanta Rescue Dog Cafe?
The idea behind Atlanta Rescue Dog Cafe (ARDC) has been in the works for the past 12 years, but it wasn’t officially brought to fruition until last November. I taught elementary school for seven years and spent more than 12 years volunteering and working in animal welfare. ARDC was born from these experiences. My students were often too young to volunteer with animals (but really wanted to learn more about pets), yet no single organization was dedicated to educating the community about animal welfare. Our programs reach nearly 500 Atlanta students per month.
Despite so much good being accomplished for Atlanta’s pets, the number of animals entering area shelters continues to increase, as does the incidence of animal cruelty. Few local rescue groups have the personnel to offer the educational resources to prevent animals from entering shelters in the first place. Simply put, we’re not going to spay/neuter, shelter, or adopt our way out of the pet overpopulation problem. ARDC addresses the cause of these issues by offering programs that emphasize empathy, responsibility, education, and prevention.
Is the Atlanta Rescue Dog Cafe an actual dog cafe?
The word “cafe” is in the name for two reasons: 1) A cafe is where conversation happens, and we’re trying to generate conversation on what we, as a community, can do to promote positive human-pet relationships and prevent animals from entering shelters. 2) Our three-year goal is to have a non-profit coffee shop with a dedicated educational space for programs on animal welfare issues, and a senior dog sanctuary co-located on the premises.
What makes the ARDC different than other animal welfare organizations in the area?
We focus on the front-end (prevention side) of rescue so that we can—through education and outreach—help prevent pets from ever entering shelters. Imagine how great it would be if someone opened an animal shelter and there were no homeless pets to be turned in. That’s our goal.
What are some of the ways individuals can get involved with the ARDC?
We wouldn’t be where we are if it wasn’t for the amazing support we receive from the community. There are so many ways for people to get involved with us: Teachers, scout leaders, librarians, youth group leaders, etc., can invite us to lead programs with their schools and organizations. Local businesses and companies can host us for team-building exercises, presentations, etc. Individuals and families can volunteer with us when we do outreach events. Invite us to lead a leash-making activity (our ‘One Leash Project’) with your group. The leashes get donated to police officers, rescue organizations, and are available for donations. Help us with fundraising campaigns and donation drives. The more money we raise, the more programs we can offer to more Atlantans.
What are some of the challenges you face running a non-profit? What keeps you motivated and makes it all worth it in the end?
There are many challenges, but that’s what also makes it fun. I’m learning something new every day. One day the focus could be on developing more programs, the next day I might have to concentrate on marketing and social media, and another day the focus might be on legal or financial issues. You have to become a mini-expert on multiple topics.
The important thing is to recognize that you don’t have to know everything. Seek out people who know more than you do. Reach out to them and ask for their advice and ideas. I’ve been lucky to have amazing support from family, friends, local businesses, and the community.
What is the biggest takeaway you hope people get from working with the Atlanta Rescue Dog Cafe?
That participants in our programs feel more comfortable, confident, and safer around animals; that they know how to avoid getting bitten, and understand what they can do with their pets, such as microchipping, spaying/neutering, vaccinating, and making sure their pets always have collars with proper identification—all of which help prevent animals from winding up in shelters.
What advice do you have for readers who have similar dreams of establishing and running their own organizations?
Spend time volunteering or working in the field you want to go into. Learn as much as you can and ask lots of questions. Ask yourself, “Is there already an organization doing what I want to do?” If so, why are you looking to start a new one? Make sure that what you’re doing has something unique to offer. And don’t ever think that just because something doesn’t exist that there isn’t a need for it or that it’s already been tried. Finally, no one does anything alone. You’ll need the experience, expertise, and support of others.
Georgia’s Own and Ne[x]t Magazine are all about helping our members make smart financial decisions. With running a non-profit, you have to be disciplined about managing money. Any advice you’d like to share with our readers?
You have to be organized and stay on top of your finances. I quantify everything, not just our income and expenditures, but how many students our programs have reached, the number of volunteers we have, hours they’ve donated, the amount of climbing rope we’ve received for our ‘One Leash Project,’ etc. Finally, even though we’re a non-profit, we manage our finances wisely, as any good business should.
If we’re not taking in enough to cover our expenses, we can’t have the maximum impact, and our shelf life will be pretty short. We run it like a business, but as a non-profit, our mission drives what we do.
Learn how you can help at AtlantaRescueDogCafe.org
Your donation goes directly toward educational programs to help improve human-animal interactions, reduce the incidence of animal cruelty, and relieve the strain on overrun animal shelters.
Six Summer grilling recipes you’ll love
It’s summertime, y’all, which means longer days, poolside entertainment and dinners on the deck. Get your grilling game in gear with these six sizzlin’ summer recipes that are sure to be a hit!
For starters, try these savory crisp crostini loaded with classic caprese flavor, compliments of Cafe Delites.
- 8 pieces sliced French or Italian baguette, sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 avocado, thinly sliced
- 9 ounces vine ripened cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3.5 ounces fresh bocconcini in water (or baby mozzarella balls)
- 1/2 cup basil leaves, divided
- 2 tbsp balsamic glaze
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Arrange bread on a baking sheet, drizzle both sides with olive oil and bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden. Flip toasts midway through to evenly crisp.
- Rub the crostini with the cut side of the garlic while still warm and season with a little salt and pepper.
- Divide 1/4 cup of the basil leaves on each slice of bread (about 2-3 basil leaves per bread),
- Top each with the avocado slices, tomato halves and mozzarella (bocconcini).
- Season with salt and/or pepper to taste.
- Grill for 3-5 minutes, or until cheese has started to melt.
- Finely chop remaining basil leaves and sprinkle over the crostini.
- Drizzle with balsamic glaze to serve.
Salad on the grill? Check out this heavenly combination of romaine, bacon, and blue cheese, compliments of The Garlic Diaries.
- 3 Romaine hearts
- 12 pieces thick cut bacon
- 5 ounces blue cheese crumbles
For the dressing:
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup light olive oil
- ¼ tsp dried thyme
- ¼ tsp dried parsley
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- Salt and pepper
- ¼ tsp Dijon mustard
- Fry bacon in a large skillet, reserving the bacon fat.
- Slice each Romaine heart in half and set aside.
- Heat your grill over high heat. (You want very hot grates so you get a quick char without cooking the lettuce too much or wilting it)
- Using a basting brush, lightly brush a little bacon fat onto the flat side of each Romaine half.
- When you are ready to grill, place the Romaine halves flat side down on the grill and keep them there until they have light char marks. (No more than 30 seconds)
- Remove the Romaine halves and place them on a plate.
- For the dressing, add all ingredients into a bowl and whisk together.
- To assemble the salad, top each Romaine half with bacon and blue cheese crumbles, and drizzle the balsamic dressing on top.
Take your fish tacos to the next level with this tropical flavor combination, compliments of Cooking Classy.
- 1 lb Tilapia, cod or mahi mahi fillets
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground paprika
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- 6 corn or flour tortillas
- 1 large avocado, sliced
- Sour cream, cotija cheese, hot sauce or salsa, for serving (optional)
- 1/2 small red cabbage, cored and sliced thin (8 oz)
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 3/4 cup thinly sliced red onion (run under cool water and drain to remove harsh bite)
- 1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- In a mixing bowl whisk together canola oil, lime juice, garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne and season with salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper).
- Place fish into a gallon size re-sealable bag and pour marinade over fish. Seal bag and allow to marinate in mixture 20 minutes (and no longer than 30 minutes).
- Preheat a grill to medium-high heat.
- Grill until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side (cooking time will vary based on thickness of fish).
- Brush grill grates with oil and place fish on grill.
- Transfer to a plate, break into pieces and serve in warmed taco shells with cabbage slaw, avocado slices and other optional toppings.
- Add cabbage, red onion and cilantro to a medium mixing bowl.
- Pour lime juice and canola oil over top and season lightly with salt and pepper, toss to evenly coat.
- Recipe source: inspired by Chow
These spicy chicken kebabs are just the right heat when paired with the cool cucumber salad, compliments of Marian Cooper Cairns.
- 1 1/2 lb. chicken tenders
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 pieces naan
- 1 sliced English cucumber
- 2 sliced scallions
- 1/4 c chopped fresh mint
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 chopped garlic clove
- Plain Greek yogurt and lime wedges, for serving
- Heat grill to medium-high.
- Cut chicken tenders into thirds.
- Toss with canola oil, curry powder, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and kosher salt and black pepper.
- Thread onto metal skewers.
- Grill, turning occasionally, until charred and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Grill 2 pieces naan until warm and toasted, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Toss together cucumber, scallions, mint, olive oil, fresh lime juice, and garlic.
- Season with kosher salt and black pepper.
- Serve with plain Greek yogurt and lime wedge alongside.
Pair this sweet twist on an old favorite with your main meal, compliments of Good Life Eats.
- 20 ounces sweet potatoes, washed and dried
- 2 tsp oil
- 1 tbsp Homemade Southwestern Pork Rub
- 2 tsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
- With the lid closed, heat the grill to medium heat.
- Leaving the skin on, cut the sweet potatoes into large wedges, similar in size to thick cut steak fries. Transfer the cut sweet potatoes to a large baking sheet and drizzle with oil, tossing to coat evenly.
- Sprinkle half of the Homemade Southwestern Pork Rub evenly over the oiled sweet potatoes. Flip and sprinkle the remaining rub on the oppopsite side.
- Remove the sweet potatoes from the baking sheet and transfer them directly onto the hot grill. Cook, with the lid closed, for 3 – 4 minutes. Flip, and cook for an additional 3 – 4 minutes on the other side.
- If the sweet potatoes are not tender enough after grilling both sides, transfer to a top rack in the grill, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until tender.
- Remove the sweet potatoes from the grill, transfer to the baking sheet previously used and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve.
Top your dinner off with this sweet treat, compliments of Wine and Glue.
- 1/2 c honey
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 pineapple
- Grill pineapple slices over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes.
- While the pineapple is grilling, mix together the honey (softened in the microwave for about 30 seconds) and the cinnamon.
- Drizzle the grilled pineapple with the honey and serve.
Refund Mania! Here are six smarter ways to spend your tax refund
The April 17th tax deadline has come and gone, which leads us to the much happier half of the season – TAX REFUNDS! If you were an early-bird filer, you probably already have your tax refund in hand, while the procrastinators will have to wait a little while longer. Either way, you’ll need to come up with a solid plan for that chunk of change.
The average 2017 tax refund in Georgia is expected to be $2,793, slightly lower than the national average of $2,895. Regardless, that’s a hefty sum, especially when you receive it in one big fat check. You may think of it as new-found money, but you need to remember that you worked hard in 2017 and your refund is not just some random windfall. Will you spend it, save it, or invest it?
What’s the plan?
Consider your current financial situation and your priorities. What decisions can you make now that might positively impact your financial future? Here are six smart moves to think about.
1. Transfer it. One of the best recommendations we can offer is to immediately move your refund from your checking account to your savings account. This seemingly insignificant move could be the smartest step in the entire process. Why? Because it’s easy to spend $20 here and $50 there, and when it’s all whittled away, you’ll have nothing of real value to show for it. What to do next is up to you.
2. Catch up on your savings. B-O-R-I-N-G, we know, but excitement isn’t always the goal. Do you have an emergency fund that needs a little boost? Have you fallen a little behind on your child’s college fund? Need to replenish your personal savings? Paying bills and saving for the future is essentially a requirement when you’re adulting. Plus, having some cash stashed away for an unexpected expense would give you some financial peace of mind, and that’s incredibly valuable in today’s economy.
3. Invest in your future. With the help of a financial advisor, find an investment that will help you earn more money in the long-term. Consider an IRA, a 529 plan, or even a traditional brokerage account. Whichever option you choose, be sure to discuss your risk tolerance, time horizon, and ultimate goals before making a decision.
4. Pay off your high-interest debt. Revolving debt is one of the heaviest financial burdens you can carry. As interest compounds monthly and you rack up new charges, your existing balance climbs fast. Now is the time to knock down some debt and regain control over your finances.
5. Spend it on your home. After all, it is one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your lifetime. Shouldn’t you take care of it? Consider some maintenance or improvements that will increase your home’s value, or double up on your mortgage payments so you can pay it off sooner and reduce your accumulating interest.
6. Have a little fun. You need to make a smart decision and use your refund wisely, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself, too. Go out to dinner, take in a Braves game, opt for some wireless earbuds or a trendy new pair of kicks. Just make sure it’s not too extra.
Check out our list of the 35 best indoor activities in and around Atlanta
Spring in Atlanta is the perfect time to play outdoors, unless, of course, you’re one of the 25 million Americans who is allergic to trees, grass or ragweed pollen. Maybe we shouldn’t mention this season’s higher than normal rainfall or the sweltering summer temperatures that come with living in the southeast.
While we would never give up the SEC, Chick-fil-A, or sweet tea, sometimes you have to head indoors — at least for a little while. Here are 35 of the very best, fun, wacky, weird and unique things to do in the ATL:
1. The World of Coca-Cola – You’ll be amazed at the history behind the iconic drink, visit the Secret Formula vault, and have the chance to sample 100+ Coca-Cola beverages from around the world. Have a coke and a smile!
2. LEGOLAND Discovery Center – Visit the 4D Cinema, experience the thrill of the interactive rides, check out the race car Build & Test area, and join the Master Builder Academy to build with experts. It’s the ultimate indoor playground for both adults and kids.
3. College Football Hall of Fame – 95,000 square feet, a 45-yard indoor football field, and 50+ interactive exhibits dedicated to the greatest players and coaches in the history of college football.
4. Center For Civil and Human Rights – Explore the history of the civil rights movement and how it’s impacted civil rights around the globe.
5. Georgia Aquarium – Dive into the underwater world of tens of thousands of sea animals, including 500 species from around the world. Be sure to check out the Behind the Seas tour, too!
6. Andretti Indoor Karting & Games – Take adventure to a new level with Andretti-style action, speed, and excitement. From go-karting and ropes courses to zip lines and racing simulators, it’s fun at every hairpin turn.
7. Dad’s Garage Theatre – Enjoy the hilarious improv comedy–or jump into an 8-week class–at this award-winning non-profit theatre.
8. Delta Flight Museum – Tour vintage jets and explore rare artifacts, learn about aviation’s cutting-edge technology and fly the only Boeing 737 flight simulator open to the public.
9. Fox Theatre – The hour-long guided tour will take you back to the golden era of the Fox Theatre. Learn the secrets and the history of the largest movie palace in the southeast.
10. High Museum of Art – One of the nation’s leading art museums, the High houses 11,000 pieces comprised of classic and contemporary African, American, and European art, decorative and folk art, and photography.
11. Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum – The only Presidential Library in the southeast, you’ll be able to visit a life-size replica of Jimmy Carter’s Oval Office and study the historical memorabilia that showcases the former president’s time in office.
12. Atlanta Movie Tours – For all you movie buffs…hop on a comfortable, climate-controlled bus and visit your favorite movie and television locations. Their insider tour guides are great at share fascinating behind-the-scenes stories you won’t hear anywhere else.
13. Mercedes-Benz Stadium – Catch an Atlanta Falcons game or an Atlanta United Soccer game at the best sports and entertainment complex in America, or sign up for a guided tour that will give you a behind-the-scenes look into through the state-of-the-art facility.
14. CNN Center – Take the behind-the-scenes tour of CNN’s world headquarters. See how a live broadcast works and how the world’s largest news organization operates.
15. TopGolf – Swing by this climate controlled, luxury, driving range complex to challenge your friends to fun, point-scoring golf games that appeal to every skill level. You don’t need to be a scratch golfer to have fun at this venue.
16. Michael C. Carlos Museum (Emory University) – Study the legacies of ancient civilizations when you visit the Southeast’s largest collection of antiquities and artifacts from ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Near East, and the Americas.
17. The Painted Pin – It’s not only an upscale boutique bar and bowling alley, but you can also try your hand at indoor bocce ball, ping pong, shuffleboard, skeeball, giant Jenga, darts, southern skittles, and more!
18. Margaret Mitchell House – Whether you love literature or frankly, don’t give a darn, you’ll be intrigued by the history behind the most well-know and beloved southern soap opera—both the novel and the movie–of all time.
19. The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse – Eat, drink, and nourish your inner poet. Costumes, sword fights, live music, and an enchanting night of theatre awaits.
20. Atlanta History Center – This 33-acre experience explores historical homes, exhibitions, miles of garden trails, and interactive activities that lend themselves to Atlanta’s historic relevance.
21. Bodies the Exhibition: Atlanta – Amazing, weird, educational, and beautiful, the exhibition offers an intimate and respectful view into the extraordinary uniqueness of the human form.
22. Starlight Six Drive-in Theater – Watch a movie in the comfort of your own…car! Take a ride back into the 1950s at this multiple screen drive-in that offers double features every day of the week.
23. Pop The Cork Wine Tours – Wine connoisseur of not, you’ll learn how to swirl, sip, and savor during your public or private tour of the North Georgia Wine Country. Tours include chauffeured transportation, a gourmet picnic lunch, and a full day of wine tasting.
24. Fernbank Museum of Natural History – Explore cultural artifacts, marvel at the prehistoric world of dinosaurs, enjoy science interactives and experience the thrill of the IMAX® Theatre.
25. iFLY Atlanta Indoor Skydiving – Not the daredevil you’d like to be? You can still experience the thrill of skydiving as you free fall on a smooth cushion of air. No parachute, not tether, but super safe and super cool!
26. Cascade Skating Rink – An integral part of Atlanta’s music scene, you’ll discover a whole new world of roller skating dance. Family, teen, and adult nights feature both regulars—of which you’ll be in awe–and novices, so go get your groove on.
27. Decatur Glass Blowing – Nate Nardi, glass artist, owner, and operator has created a full showroom of stunning glass blown art. Stop by to marvel at his creations or sign up for a glass blowing class yourself—or make it a date night!
28. Bury The Hatchet – Learn about the competitive sport of axe throwing, practice wielding an axe at a wooden target, and participate in a tournament-style game with your friends! Take out your frustrations and have some fun. Don’t worry; most everyone is a first-timer.
29. Board & Brush – You don’t have to be an artist to create a masterpiece. Head over to this creative studio to build, distress, and paint custom, on-trend, classic farmhouse style décor. Come on your own or bring a group of DIY-ers. No experience necessary!
30. Paint the Town – Eat, drink, and paint your way to a beautiful piece of art. This BYOB paint and sip art studio, staffed with friendly and talented artists helps to create a fun and relaxing night with friends.
31. Salud! Cooking School – Whether you’re a seasoned chef or prefer to make reservations, these hands-on cooking classes teach culinary skills, techniques, and recipes, that are educational, practical, fun, and most importantly, delicious!
32. The Booth Western Art Museum– The only museum of its kind in the southeast, the main art galleries feature the Western artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Come see America’s story.
33. Medieval Times – Travel back to medieval Spain as you’re entertained by brave knights who compete in a 2-hour jousting tournament while you enjoy dining with the royal court. Who will be crowned champion?
34. Room Escape Atlanta – If you can follow the clues and solve the puzzle, you might just be able to escape. But can you do it in time? An exciting and thrilling test of teamwork, cooperation, and out-of-the-box thinking.
35. SkyView Atlanta – Sitting 20 stories above Centennial Park—in a climate-controlled gondola–you’ll enjoy the most spectacular panoramic view of downtown Atlanta. Upgrade to the VIP ride and your gondola will sport Ferrari style seats, a glass floor, and longer flight time.
Living the Dream: Q&A with Renee Montgomery
Fresh from a title-winning seasonâ€”her second in her professional careerâ€”with the Minnesota Lynx, point guard Renee Montgomery is excited to bring her championship experience to the Atlanta Dream. Ne[x]t took a few minutes to chat with Montgomery and get to know her both on and off the court.
First of all, congratulations on signing with the Dream! After winning the 2017 WNBA Championship with Minnesota, what made you decide to sign with Atlanta?Â
I signed with Atlanta because Iâ€™m from West Virginia and I wanted to be closer to my family and friends. I also have a house in Atlanta. So, being able to go home every day was a selling point.
How did you know signing with the Dream was the right move for you?
After speaking with Coach Nicki [Collen], I knew signing with the Dream was right for me. We spoke on the phone for quite some time, and I loved the direction she wanted to take with the team.
What do you think you bring to the team?
One thing I will always bring to the team is high energy â€“ thatâ€™s something everyone can control, and I have this thing I say, which is, â€œControl the controllable.â€ Another thing I plan to bring is leadership, and hopefully, Iâ€™ll make some shots along the way.
Whatâ€™s your favorite thing about Atlanta?
Thereâ€™s always something to do. You can go to a nice restaurant, watch a comedy show, go to a sporting event, etc., and never run out of things to do.
Youâ€™ve won two WNBA Championships with the Lynx. You play overseas during the offseason, and youâ€™ve even been invited to Princeâ€™s estate for a private performance. Sounds like youâ€™ve had some exciting moments throughout your career. What has been your favorite moment? (Itâ€™s Prince, right?!)
One of my favorite sports-related moments has to be getting a private concert from Prince. Yes, you read that right â€“ I still canâ€™t believe it happened! My second favorite moment was taking my Snook (Mom) to meet President Obama. Itâ€™s one thing to be able to experience something amazing on your own, but itâ€™s way more fulfilling when you get to bring your family with you.
Could you tell us how you got into basketball?
I started playing basketball around nine years old because my sisters were playing. Iâ€™m the youngest and everyone knows the youngest in the family wants to do everything their older siblings do. Later on, they started cheerleading and joined the majorettes. Thatâ€™s when our interests parted ways.
When did you know you wanted to make a career out of playing ball?
I knew I wanted to make basketball a career during my senior year at the University of Connecticut (UConn). I know itâ€™s a late start, but I come from an academic family, and when I was younger my whole goal was to go to school for free. My Snook is a college professor, so academic performance was pressed just as much as athletics. I have two sisters, and one is a doctor and the other is an accountant; I guess Iâ€™m the loser on the academic side.
What keeps you motivated day-to-day?
What keeps me motivated on a day-to-day basis are the sacrifices my family made to take me on all of those AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) trips and everything when I was younger. There was no such thing as a family vacation â€“ family vacation meant going to AAU Nationals.
What is the biggest lesson being a professional athlete has taught you so far?
The biggest lesson Iâ€™ve learned is how to be consistent in the workplace. Whether Iâ€™m sick, sad, or tired, I know that I still have to go to work and perform at a high level.
What is your best advice for young girls who are aspiring professional athletes?
My best advice is to control the controllable. Your attitude and energy are something you have control over every day. Shots might not go in, and you might make mistakes, but you can control how you respond.
What do you do in your free time off the court?
In my free time, I like to spend as much time as I can with family, but if Iâ€™m out of town, I enjoy watching movies.
If you werenâ€™t a professional basketball player, what do you think you would be doing?
If I wasnâ€™t a professional basketball player, I think I would be acting and/or providing commentary for games.
Georgiaâ€™s Own and Ne[x]t Magazine are all about helping our members make smart financial choices. Any tips or tricks youâ€™d like to share with our readers about managing money?
One tip I have about managing money is that if you canâ€™t afford to comfortably purchase two of them (excluding homes and cars), then donâ€™t buy it â€“ youâ€™re not ready yet.
Just for fun â€“ whatâ€™s something that many people might not know about you?
Iâ€™m a baby whispererâ€¦ the only problem is I donâ€™t change diapers!Â