Southern Belle Farm

Hot beverages (that may or may not be spiked, no judgment here). Candy apples. And over-sized sweaters, all signs that FALL IS HERE!
Fall is easily my favorite season for the reasons mentioned above, but I especially love the number of outdoor activities there are to enjoy without dying under Atlanta’s sweltering, summer sun.
So when a girlfriend suggested we do a corn maze or a maize maze (see what I did there?) this week, I was definitely down. I’d only ever seen them in movies and I thought it’d be a fun variant from our usual night of simply grabbing dinner, which we did as well, but I digress.

Friday evening we went to Southern Belle Farm in McDonough, Georgia. I had never heard of Southern Belle Farm. I’d actually never been on a farm period, so I went in with an open and no expectations. However, I did not expect the price of admissions to be $14, I mean, what is there to do on a farm that would warrant a $14 admissions fee?

Entrance of the farm, sign reads: Do Not Climb On Hay. I mean, how'd they know?

Entrance of the farm, sign reads: Do Not Climb On Hay. I mean, how’d they know?

When we walked in, we noticed they had a wide variety of pumpkins of all sizes for sale. We continued on and noticed they also had quite a bit of activities, most suitable for smaller children… But we decided to release our inner child with one in particular, the seesaw! Now it didn’t exactly go as planned as we were both quickly reminded that were weren’t tiny 8 year olds anymore but we tried.
In addition to the seesaw there was the cow train, pedal carts, jumping pillows, pig races, and so much more.

We were there for the corn maze though and not really interested in much else so we moved it along. On our way over, we stopped and grabbed a small bag of their delicious kettle corn for $3 to keep our mouths occupied as we strolled.
When we got to the beginning of the maze we were told that there were 3 different mazes and you were allowed to choose whichever maze you wanted to try based on their difficulty. Being the badasses that we are, we chose the most difficult one. In the maze there are corn and agricultural trivia questions to answer as you make your way through which I thought was pretty cute, but what I loved most about the maze was the bridge we stumbled upon. The bridge is a tall platform that allows your to overlook the entire farm and the view from the top was absolutely beautiful.
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We found our way out in a little under the 25 minutes, overjoyed by the accomplishment as we were told that  that’s about how long it takes to complete. We then took a few pictures in front of their gorgeous flower bushes, and left. 20151016_184910
All in all I had a good time, it was worth the experience, but I doubt I’d go again. For $14, there isn’t much for a childless adult to partake in but I think it’d be a fun and educational outing if you have younger children.
Check out their website here for additional information regarding hours of operations and other farm activities for the fall!

Aerial view of corn maize taken from Southern Belle Farm’s website.

Vulnerability

I am still learning how and what it means to be vulnerable. Its importance in building meaningful, intimate relationships makes complete sense in my mind, however I seem to fumble with it in practice.
To most I’m an ice queen, but those that know me well know better; my feelings are easily hurt and I will cry at the drop of a hat. You just won’t ever see it as I will certainly excuse myself.
But therein lies my main issue: expressing my hurt. I feel it reads as a sign of weakness, however, this rationale only applies to me. When other people are hurting I want to comfort them, I tell them it’s natural to feel whatever it is that they’re feeling. When it comes to myself, I don’t allow myself the same sensitivity. I’ve noticed that my inability to be vulnerable also manifests itself in other ways, mostly irritability and impatience…

I’m well aware of my issues, I’m just not sure how to correct them.

ONE Musicfest

This past Saturday I attended ONE Musicfest for the 2nd time in a row. ONE Musicfest is one of only a few urban music festivals and they do it quite well. This years lineup included: Lauryn Hill, The Roots, ASAP Rocky, Wale, Janelle Monae & Wondaland, Bun B, Big Krit, and so many more.

What makes ONE Musicfest so special is the diverse crowd and amazing atmosphere. Everyone’s out to listen to good music, indulge in a drink or two, and have a good time.

Along with the music, this music festival boasts tons of vendors, most of which are black-owned. There’s everything from street apparel, art, jewelry, and hair and skin care products.

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But one of my favorite things about this year’s festival was the interactive art experience put together by a few gentlemen. They created a blank outline, then invited festival goers to grab a brush and let their imaginations run wild. While not a skilled painter, I contributed a bit, but the end result was simply amazing!
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There’s reserved seating where you are able to pick seats not too far from the stage, pit tickets where you stage directly in front of the stage, and lawn seating where you’re furthest away from the stage, however, you’re able to bring a blanket, lay out, and make new friends while enjoying all of your favorite artists. The festival runs from about noon to well into the night, so you certainly want to be comfortable.
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While I can’t remember ticket prices right off the top of my head, they’re extremely reasonable for the caliber of artists you’ll get to see so if you missed it this year, be sure to make it out in 2016!

The Cork Puller’s Beer, Wine, & Spirits Festival ATL hosted by The Cork Pullers Tour

Yesterday I went to The Cork Puller’s Beer, Wine, & Spirits Festival with a group of girlfriends in Candler Park. The event started at 3, we arrived a quarter to 4.
Upon arrival, you received a drinking cup with lines on them for designated pours depending on the alcohol (2 oz./spirits, 4 oz./wine, 6oz./beer) then were given free reign of the park to indulge in all the booze they had to offer… Which wasn’t much.

Vendors were set up around the perimeter of the field, so we decided to start on one side, grab some food from the food trucks, then continue onto the other side.

During the first half we had tastes of delicious Rex Goliath wines and shots of cloyingly sweet Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey.

Afterwards we made our way to one of my favorite vendors of the days, Lazy Goat Produce. There were bottles small jars of a variety of jams, spreads, salsas, and veggies to try with tortilla chips and pretzels. I was starving when we got there so I happily sampled some of everything and I found it all to be quite delightful.

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Our next stop was at a table with who I now affectionately refer to as, “our girls” from Bungalow 23. They let us try a couple of their mixers, my favorite being their Blueberry Lemon Drop, which one of them gave me a free bottle of.

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At this point I will tell no lies, my head was spinning and I wanted to lay out in the grass. I wanted to be carried because my limbs were no longer my own. The events that took place after this are a bit hazy.
Me and my girlfriends decided it best to grab food to quell the hunger pangs and hopefully sober me up a bit. There were food trucks from Angel Fire 7 BBQ, Bento Bus, Philly Connection, Brooke Lynn’s Own Sticks & Cones, The French Truck, and more.

After we ate it was only about 5PM, 3 more hours until the end of the event, but most of the vendors had run out of libations! What? How? Guess they were ill prepared.
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We stuck around for a little while longer, had some more drinks of beer that none of us particularly cared for, a little moonshine, and a smooth bourbon from a vendor that I cannot for the life of me recall the name of.

Had I not purchased a Groupon for four with an additional 20% that was split between me and my friends that came out to $23/per person, I might have been upset because they ran out of alcohol so early but thankfully we got there early and I had a little more than a buzz going!

Will I go next year? Maybe, maybe not but all in all, it was a good time.

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Religious Struggles

Growing up, outside of a brief period of time after the passing of my grandmother and my mother turning to religion for what I imagine to be solace and strength, I was never forced to go to church. It wasn’t that my mother didn’t start believing in God until the passing of her mother because she always had, but as a single mom working long hours to ensure us a stable and happy life, there wasn’t always time.

During my adolescent years I attended church of my own volition with my aunt and my best friend’s family, and despite not being able to hold a tune I even joined a teen choir. I distinctly remember always enjoying church because of the atmosphere, always uplifting, convivial, and divine. Eventually after my expressed interest, my aunt surprised me with my first Bible. We’d have bible study discussing verses pertaining to whatever the lesson was for that week and this is where things changed for me. I began to read stories and verses that I found to be hateful, parochial, and sometimes downright scary; not at all in line with what I imagine when I think of God, the embodiment of love.

Now as an adult, those feelings remain. I believe in God, but religion, I’m not certain of. I can’t reconcile what I believe to be ill teachings of the Bible and what I feel in my heart. I still read the Bible and try to use it as the basis for my life but in its entirety, not so much. There shouldn’t be hate and fear where there should be love and comfort.

While it brings me a great deal to ponder over, not having all of the answers right now doesn’t trouble me. I think of my spiritual development as a journey, not so much a destination, and he knows my heart.
I’m not looking for anyone to make sense of this for me because these are not questions or concerned that can necessarily be satisfied by another person. My journey is not yours and I’m on the rode to finding my own truth. But please, feel free to comment.