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.