30 December 2013

Facing 2014

I can't seem to get a thought down. I love my blog. I love LT&C. I look back at my old posts, and sometimes it's as if a different person wrote them. Well, in a way they did. Clare as of December 30, 2013 is not the same Clare who traveled to Tanzania and started this blog. In college, I felt so safe. It was easy to write my thoughts down on the internet and not give a care as to the repercussions. That doesn't just apply to blogging. Everything felt safer. Then I graduated college. Now, I'm about to enter to 2014. Minus a few weddings, birthdays and due dates, there isn't much written in the calendar for the year ahead. Is that ok? Sure. Is it scary as hell? You betcha.

But you know what's worst than being scared? Refusing look your fears right in the eye and give them a big mean look back. I've spent this last part of 2013 feeling scared. Feeling hidden and looked past. Watching the world go by and feeling more like an observer than an active participant. It can't keep going on like this. The girl who started LT&C back in 2010 would be disappointed. So, 2014. I'm ready for ya. Excited. Curious. Nervous. If I'm scared, I definitely won't be showing it.


16 December 2013

Camping is in-tents


That's how most people responded when I told them my family had decided to spend a night camping in late November. I understand the confusion. It's very, very cold outside. Camping isn't necessarily a luxurious way to spend a night... but it sure was fun. 

The day after Thanksgiving, my Dad + sister + brother + their SO's + my niece + I drove to Amicalola Falls State Park, about thirty minutes from Jasper and Dawsonville. We bypassed the cabins and headed deep into the woods where we found a wonderfully preserved campsite, complete with a firepit, tree hooks and even a toilet lid balanced on 2x4's. No thanks. But luckily, I have some great family friends who lent us some camping supplies to go along with our meager belongings. Did I mention it was cold? I wore three pairs of pants/leggings, three tops + a jacket, UGG's, and a fluffy hat that I became incredibly grateful for.

looking west: view from the ridge
sister smiles: before the temperature dropped
Isabella's fire sticks: pine needles & leaves wrapped in newspaper. She's brilliant! 
dinner is served: beans & burgers on the "grill"
A lot of people try to escape their family, but luckily we enjoy our time together. We put the cellphones away (even though we had service...) and spent the time focusing on things we usually take for granted: the automatic flame on the grill, the knobs on the stove top, indoor lighting, comfy couches... But it was a special night. We drank hot chocolate, listened to music, told stories, and did our best to stay warm. For my 10-year-old niece, obsessed with Minecraft and One Direction, a night in the woods offers an peacefulness that she rarely experiences. Heck, it offered all of us some peacefulness.

The whistling of the wind through the valley all night? I could do without. But the stars? I hadn't seen them shine like that in quite a while. 

09 December 2013

2013 Christmas Card

Merry Christmas from the Callahan family! 

Photos (starting top left, clockwise): 
  • Natalie & Clare in Santorini;
  • Joy, Whit, Clare, Natalie in Cabo San Lucas; 
  • Joy & Whit at the Alabama/VT game; 
  • Clare & Natalie @ UGA Graduation; 
  • Darren, Isabella, Clare, Whit & Natalie camping @ Amicalola Falls; 
  • Natalie, Clare, Joy & Mammaw @ UGA Graduation

05 December 2013

A Year in Song

The end of the year signifies a time for celebration, reflection and luckily... the arrival of some great mashup videos. The recent trend of year long musical highlight reels (mashups have existed for decades) started back in 2008 when DJ Earworm released United State of Pop: Viva La Pop. Each year since, he's released a new United State of Pop, Blame it on the Pop, Don't Stop the Pop, World Go Boom, and Shine Brighter.

Here's my favorite. 2009 United State of Pop: Blame It on the Pop

Each video has a specific feeling, but they all celebrate love and happiness. That's kind of the point of music, after all. This year, DJ Earworm doesn't disappoint with 2013 United State of Pop: Living the Fantasy. He pulls the name from Lorde's "Royals". I believe it's the first year that a country group appeared in the video with Florida Georgia Line and Nelly (Taylor Swift doesn't entirely count). It's been a pretty cool year for music. Anyway, it's pretty intriguing to think about what the video could mean as a frozen moment of culture. DJ Earworm isn't trying to change the world with mashups, but he's showing us the world in a pretty cool way.

As if THAT wasn't enough, Pop Danthology came in and stepped up the game, combining 68 songs into a six-minute mashup. Some of the songs are the same as Earworm's 2013, it's inevitable, but still highly enjoyable. Decide amongst yourselves.

Thanks for the music and the memories, 2013. Let's just hope "What Does The Fox Say" stays behind... along with those Miley Cyrus cartoon bears. 

18 November 2013


Did you know the iPhone specifically pulls all your panorama shots from you Camera Roll into a separate album? I just discovered it! I loved these moments and the perspective that panorama gives the camera. Here are my favorites from the last year... Enjoy! 

South Beach, Hilton Head Island
Inside the Zach Theatre, Austin 
Banks of Colorado River, Austin
University of Georgia Commencement at Sanford Stadium, Athens
Sailing the Aegean, Greece
Beach Club on Perivolos Beach, Santorini
Panorama gone bad... Sunset over Oia, Santorini
Pisso Livadi, Paros
Tomorrowworld, Chattahoochee Hills GA
Rooftop Terrace at the Glenn Hotel, Downtown Atlanta
Room in the Topkapi Palace, Istanbul

15 November 2013

British Tour: York

Walking through The Shambles
I'll just start by saying: Lauren made an excellent choice by choosing The University of York for graduate school. I had an amazing time exploring York and learning its history. Lauren, being the incredible storyteller she is, was the perfect host. I arrived on Tuesday morning, still feeling jetlagged and met Lauren at the train station. It was so great to see her! 

The Yorkshire people are incredibly proud to be from York, and for good reason. There's a lot to be proud about. The place known today as York has been a home to different groups for several thousand years. During the Roman times, York was the seat of the Roman Empire in Britain. When the railway station opened, it was the largest in Europe at the time. Then, they have the Minster. The Yorkminster took 250 years to build, finished in the late 1400's. It's a massively beautiful building with immaculately detailed stained glass.

Even though Lauren had been in York about a month, she still knew so much and took me to some really cool places. Plus, having a guest gives you reason to go do the more touristy you may not normally do. So for that, you're welcome. The night I got in, the lead archaeologist on the King Richard III excavation gave a lecture at the University. Read the story here. It was just little moments like that, that made me shake my head and laugh. Life is pretty damn cool. One night, we went on a ghost tour through the city and heard tales of ghost soldiers walking though basements built on Roman roads, torturing in insane asylums, orphaned children in the Plague... you know, light stuff. While Lauren was in class, I went to the York Museum and explored.
King's College, the building where Lauren has classes
There was some great food in York. I had just started my 'gluten sensitive' diet the week before so I tried to stick to that as much as possible. Then Betty's Tea Room happened and whewwww those scones. Betty's Tea Room is an institution for baking, tea and all things British. While they serve food, the price tag (dollars to pounds makes me want to cry) suggested we opt for Afternoon Tea. We received a large kettle of tea, two scones each and plenty of jam and clotted cream.
Look at that presentation!
We also went to a cool gluten-free vegan restaurant called El Piano. Certainly not traditional British cuisine but awesome none the less. There was a warmth and quaintness to York that felt timeless. Even though I'd never been, it seemed familiar and that's pretty cool. I'm so glad that Lauren has plenty of time to explore Yorkshire and places in the UK. I wish I could have stayed longer! Especially now that the Christmas Markets are running. But alas, I got on another train bound for Kings Cross Station in London.
There was a chill in the air, but the blue skies made for beautiful days in York. 

11 November 2013

British Tour: Manchester

Hello world, I'm back! In October, I had a once in a lifetime opportunity. When those things happen, you can't just watch them past. Clare the Nanny is no more, but no matter. On to the next. I'll let you know what the next is when I figure it out. Enough with the bad grammar. So, I had some time, flight benefits coming to an end and two best friends in England. What's a gal to do? I planned a 10 day trip in about 2 days and all the while, my sense of adventure and excitement came rushing back. I was ecstatic to see my friends and explore some new parts of the beautiful world. I couldn't have done it without knowing Lauren and Mallory were waiting for me on the other side of the pond. It helped that my mom was scheduled to work a flight to Manchester from Atlanta. 

Getting on the flight flying standby is always a relief. It's even more fun when Mom's a flight attendant, working in her element at 35,000 feet. We arrived to Manchester early Monday morning and took a nap at The Midland Hotel. It was a beautiful hotel, famous for hosting a meeting between a Mr. Rolls and a Mr. Royce that started a car company. I probably could have stayed up, but Mom was tired after working all night. When we got up at about 2PM, we walked around the cold and windy city. I visited my first Caffe Nero, grabbed a coffee and some tomato basil soup. I love Caffe Nero now. Please come to America. Then came the usual stops: Boots, Primark, Marks and Spencer. After a great Thai dinner along with her friend Cathy, we headed to the Palace Theater for a night I'll never forget.

Wicked is one of those cultural phenomenons you hear about. If you've seen it, you get it. If you haven't seen it, you may think you get it... but you don't. I've seen Rent, Mamma Mia, The Lion King on Broadway but there was something about the beauty of the Palace Theater and the sheer brilliance of Wicked. I don't mean to sound dramatic when I say it may have changed my life.

The next morning, I hoped on a train to York...
...more on that tomorrow!

19 September 2013

Looking back at Zanzibar

The island of Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania, is one of the most beautiful places I've seen. I studied in Tanzania with UGA's African Studies Institute. It was the reason I started my blog! I read through my posts from Zanzibar again this morning and it brought such a smile to my face. Read (1) & (2).

Zanzibar's been having some problems recently. It's an island that heavily depends on tourist revenue, but they've had a hard time getting tourists because of acid attacks. Earlier this year, two British girls had acid thrown on them in the middle of the city. Their bodies are badly, badly scarred. Check out this article to learn more. Luckily, the Zanzibari government has arrested 15 people associated with the attacks. Because I loved Zanzibar so much, this news was deeply troubling but hopefully things will be better with the arrests. 

I never uploaded pictures onto LT&C of Zanzibar, so better late than never. Enjoy...

Exiting the port

Our hotel!

That sunset...

Freddy Mercury was born in Zanzibar! He has/had a restaurant in Stone Town. 
Red Colobus monkey

Miles of Mangroves

Still not sure how this didn't win the UGA Photo Contest. 

My waterproof camera case came in handy while snorkeling.
It's always nice to take a stroll down memory lane. 

18 September 2013

Seven Sites 9/18

Last post, I mentioned I spent a lot of time on the internet. It's not the best thing, but I do stumble upon some pretty interesting/shocking/strange/helpful stuff. I'll save you the time of scouring HuffPost and Slate and (insert media site here). You're welcome or I'm sorry, depending on how you feel.

1. My best friend Mallory is in London being awesome (and klutzy) in London. Check out her blog and follow her memorable year from the beginning. It's called "A Patriot Among Loyalists", which is amazing because Mallory is probably the most patriotic 22-year-old I know.

2. Ok. Ew. Every girl is guilty at least sometimes of not washing their makeup off their face before bed, but this video from The Doctors about the premature havoc that makeup can wreck on your sleeping face will change your perspective. Ew. Ew.

3. I love my Birchbox, but I think the beauty sample delivery market can be shared. Enter ipsy. Same price, slightly different area of product focus but the end result looks great. And who doesn't love getting more packages?

4. I found this cookie butter popcorn recipe on Pinterest, and I can't wait to make it. Trader Joe's has the Speculoos Cookie Butter that tastes exactly like a Biscoff cookie. I'm obsessed. I think it could be substituted for peanut butter in almost any recipe. This lady made it a Easter themed recipe, but I think the fall-esque recipe could be better.

5. Have you heard of ScoutMob? Go ahead and download the app to find some of the best deals in Atlanta and a dozen other cities. It's like the cool Groupon. No offense. One of their current "Curated Local Experiences" offers a ride on the new SkyView Ferris Wheel in Centennial Park and a cocktail at the Glenn Hotel for two. Sounded like a great date night to me!

6. I love Whole Foods, so I chuckled through this entire HuffPost post by comedienne Kelly MacLean.

7. Millennials leaving the church?  Where are they going? Guest contributor, Rachel Held Evans, writes for the CNN Belief Blog about the authenticity that my generation longs for in the church. Hint, we want more than a rock band and casual dress code.

I may keep this Seven Sites thing going. Ciao! 

17 September 2013

Lucy's a GYPSY... and I think I am, too.

"Write what you know."

That's what anyone will tell you. Unfortunately, I'm feeling like I know nothing at the moment and it's a pretty uncomfortable feeling. My blog previously featured the Harun Yahya quote: “I always wonder why birds choose to stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth, then I ask myself the same question.” Then I took it off. I'm not wandering, so it made me sad. Good thing blog format is easy to change. 

I thought this post-graduate life would be more fun. It's not and I was having a hard time putting it into words on the page. I feel like I should be happy. Great family, friends, boyfriend, stream of income... Then I check facebook, and twitter, then I pin, look at blogs, check twitter again and gasp because I haven't been on instagram in a while. I spend about four hours a day on social media. That's just an estimation. It may be a little high, but not too high. That's embarrassing. What it also does is bring to my attention about 1,000 other people who are choosing to highlight their best moment, photo, thought, or joke for the world. But what I've been finding, is that it's making me feel like crap. Then today in the carpool line while I'm waiting on the Mercedes SUV in front of me with those ridiculous stick figures cutouts of the mom, dad, son daughter and dog to move forward, I find this article about Lucy. Sadly, she reminds me a lot of myself and almost all my peers. That's the point.

I usually cringe at the word yuppy, but this article hit so many nails on the head. I can't even hate. The bottom line, the article states, is that GYPSYs (Gen Y Protagonists & Special Yuppies) Are Wildly Ambitious... Delusional... and Taunted. So don't feel sorry for us, but feel sorry for us a little bit. We like compassion. 

11 September 2013

Me Encanta Cabo San Lucas

On our trip to Cabo in 2012, (read about it!) my family fell in love with Cabo. So before Natalie went back to school, we decided to go back to Cabo and bring some more people we love. It was the first time Renato and I had gone on a trip together, and we all had an amazing time. After last year, we had a lot of the basics down and knew where to go to eat and shop. We loved Maria Corona and Baja Brewing Company

One day, we went to Los Cerritos Beach about forty-five minutes north of Cabo on the Pacific Ocean. It was the perfect day trip with great food and tons of surfers. But we didn't surf. I'm not that cool. 

I'm already looking forward to the next time we make it to the Baja. Third time's a charm! 

06 September 2013

Southern Girls With Roots and Wings

Kathryn Stockett, author of The Help (heard of it?), wrote an op-ed last year about the beauty of living in the South titled "Don't You See?". How am I just now finding this article??  My favorite part:

I one time got in an argument on Sixty-Sixth and Lexington because somebody claimed DUKE was a “party school.”
I says: “DUKE? Have you been to an LSU football game? Have you seen the lines at the package store on a Monday night in Athens, G.A.?”
She's right. Essays like this and the Patterson Hood writing I recently featured remind me of how, may I say it, blessed I am to live in such a strongly conflicting place. Today, I'm flying south to Valdosta to celebrate three of my best friends before we set off on our different journeys. Two of us are headed to the UK and two to Atlanta. I can't wait to see what and where the next year brings us!

03 September 2013

Arden's Garden 2-Day Detox

I just feel bleh. My mind is moving faster than ever, but my body isn't catching up. I've been doing some classes at Bikram Yoga in Marietta and I love it, but the three hour commitment is a little exhausting. I need a quick jump start, especially after a gluttonous weekend in Athens.

Sunday at Fresh Market, I stumbled upon Arden's Garden 2-Day Cleanse. It was $15 for a gallon, so I picked it up and started Monday morning. I bought another gallon for Tuesday after work on Monday.  Arden's Garden is an awesome company that makes all their juices in their Atlanta headquarters. They have several stores around Atlanta and most of their juices are available in grocery stores.

Here's the deal: Drink a gallon of juice a day, a glass every hour along with a glass of distilled water.

The juice tastes pretty good- if you like grapefruit!
Two days. You can do anything for two days!

Two days can seem longer.
No variety in flavor.
No food.

I did okay but a rescheduled interview on Day 2 made me rethink my decision. I didn't want to feel less than my best during an interview so I snacked a little on the second day. Strangely, I started feeling a weird pain in my back below my rib cage. I thought I may have pulled a muscle but after some Internet research, I realized it was a swollen kidney. It stopped hurting by Day 4 but still, weird. 

I finished both bottles with a lot of distilled water by mid-Day 3. Despite the kidney issue, I'd do it again but plan around a 2-Day time when I have no commitments.

Have you ever done a cleanse? How did it go?

31 August 2013

August Rush... to the Blog

Thanks to all the lovely people out there reading my blog! lions tigers & clare hit over 1,100 views for the month of August. I'm enjoying writing and sharing my world with the world. It just makes me wonder... Who are the faces behind those 1,100 clicks? 

Even though I still consider myself a novice in this bidness, I've found some strategies that have helped me. I'm hesitate to share my secrets, but I'm not greedy. What goes around, comes around.

1. Sharing to social media: Share to Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and add a little extra teaser to the post. Simply reiterating something in the post isn't as interesting.

2. Pinterest for pictures: I've been fortunate enough to take a lot of great trips where I have taken A LOT of great photos. I've created pins of these photos and they've gotten pretty popular. It's cool to think of a whole different community of people getting to see beautiful sights from my point of view.

3. Link, Link, Link: If I write about a restaurant or a place with a web presence, I try to link back to their page. It helps my readers get a better idea of what I'm talking about and it helps my blog get on their radar as a stream of traffic.

4. Talk about it: I get the best ideas and inspirations when I talk out loud to friends, family and sorta strangers. Sometimes, I feel like I'm writing to a vacuum disguised as a white screen. But, by talking, the blog becomes more of an extension of myself.

Thanks yall! Happy football!!! Go Dawgs. 

28 August 2013


"The paradigm is shifting in the South. There is plenty to dislike or feel bothered by, but there is also more to be excited about down here than ever before."
-Patterson Hood

The lead singer of Drive By Truckers band, Patterson Hood, recently wrote a commentary titled THE NEW(er) SOUTH for the website The Bitter Southerner. As an Athenian and my former neighbor, I enjoyed reading Hood's article and the past, present, future and a way to work though it all. 

I highly recommend reading the article! Hood's a powerful musician and a brilliant storyteller. 

Enjoy y'all!

26 August 2013

A Beary Fun Weekend in Athens

I can't lie, I was nervous. Four the last four years, Athens had been a place of happiness, excitement and energy for me. It was home. One my favorite quotes says, "There's nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways which you yourself have altered." I don't want Athens to alter but how selfish is that?

This weekend put all my nerves to rest and Athens didn't dissapoint. It started with dinner at Trappeze with my dear friend Chelsey. Thier Indian Summer cocktail is heavenly! On Saturday, Renato and I went to one of our favorite brunch spots, The Grit. Vegetarian or not, The Grit has some of the best food in Athens.

Tofu Scramble... and those biscuits!
Banana Pancakes
Four years and I'd never been to the Athens Zoo. It wasn't huge or spectacular but it was definitely worth the trip! Even better, it was free.

A Gator in Athens, GA...
I couldn't help myself. 
They look so peaceful when they're sleeping, but look at those paws!
Later that day, we saw The Spectacular Now at Cine. The film deserves it's own post. So Athens, thanks for a great weekend! Go Dawgs.

22 August 2013

Clare the Nanny

"Nanny" or "babysitter" make it sound boring. I prefer to call myself a "personal assistant" to a fifth and a sixth grade boy. I've been taking care of B & E since their mom went back to to work last week; doing chores around the house, picking them up for carpool, cooking dinner, helping with homework and most days taking the boys to hockey. It's not exactly what I thought I'd be doing with a UGA degree four months after graduating but I'm going with the flow and enjoying the ride. It could be a lot worse.

As with anything, the first few days were pretty overwhelming. No one does a better job with their kids than their parents, so relinquishing that control can be uncomfortable. But so far, things are going great. I'm exhausted, but they're a lot nicer than the boys I remember in fifth and sixth grade.

It's impossible not to think about this job as some sort of preparation for the future. Being with two young boys five days a week makes me more than a nanny, it makes me a pretty powerful influence in their lives. It's not something I thought about beforehand but now that I see the three of us getting more comfortable together, it's pretty cool.

I also get the chance to interject myself into a really strong family with a husband and wife who have loved eachother since college, a beautiful home and a precious little pup. Being a 'personal assistant' has me thinking about the day I'll relinquish control of my children to another person. This may sounds crazy. I don't have kids. I'm not married or engaged but as a woman your mind goes there. It just does.

I'd like to pull a Sheryl Sanberg, Lean In and have it all. Everything around me says it will be hard, but totally possible. So I admire their mom for setting an example for me, too. When I'm working, I mentally fast-forward fifteen or twenty years. How would I want someone to treat my house? my kids? That's the way I do it. I guess it all goes back to The Golden Rule. My mom taught me that. 

20 August 2013

TED Talk for twentysomethings

A few days ago, I stumbled upon this TED Talk by Meg Jay aimed towards twentysomethings and anyone who loves a twentysomething. While slightly daunting, Jay's charge is more inspiring than critical. It stems from a place of compassion that is impossible to ignore and I thank her for the challenge. 

In honor of my interview at Turner in the morning, I think it's time to share this video. Here's to landing in Fiji, not Alaska. 

06 August 2013

Greek Grub

Did yall think I could write about Greece without mentioning the FOOD?

This kebab plate was a staple in almost every restaurant and eatery in Greece. This dish was one of our first meals in Santorini. Complete with tzatziki, potatoes, fresh pita and meat (either chicken, pork or lamb). 

 We had this snack at the beach bar in Perivolos. Feta, tomato and oregano. What could be better?

This was our welcome drink to Santorini: a fresh peach daiquiri! Perfect for the Georgia girls.   

The Greeks do a lot of things well. Running an economy? Not so much. Coffee? Not so much. Greek coffee is... unique. It's a cup of incredibly dark but sweet coffee with the entire bottom of the cup covered in thick coffee grounds, like a syrup. I was not a fan but it made me more than ready for an Italian cappuccino. 

For breakfast, Athens, Georgia has Mama's Boy. Fira, Santorini has Mama's House and Mama is awesome. She ran around that restaurant as a force to be reckoned with; calling guests "sweetheart" or "my kids". I felt like I'd known her forever and wish we would've gone before our last day in Santorini! Most of our breakfasts in Europe consisted of coffee and a light baked good. Not at Mama's House. My spinach, feta and tomato omelet with a side of hashbrowns was spectacular. 

We had more delicious meals, of course: Feta stuffed calamari, fish, seafood pastas and gyros. Looking back, I should've taken pictures of every bite.