Buzzin’ around: Raleigh

As you know, I may or may not have a bit of a coffee obsession. Addiction? Hmm well I’ll stick with obsession. But honestly–as much as I love coffee, I love coffee shops even more. Sometimes my favorite part of vacation is looking up all the top places in town {Pinterest searches and yelp are my best friends} and then making my schedule to visit them. I love to just sit there, sippin’ on my drink, observing everything. “That person is definitely a regular. They already had his drink ready before he ordered. Ooo, look at all these young families. Bet they have a good school system around here.” You can really get a sense of “who” the city is by spending a few hours there.  

 

This past weekend, I went to Raleigh, North Carolina to visit a few of my best friends from college {Hi Bridger and Bina!} I’ve been to Raleigh a few times and each time I feel like it steals a little bit of my heart. The youthfulness of the city from the massive amounts of yo-pros mixed with the historical southern buildings and homes gives it the perfect vibe. There always seems to be something going on and another cute coffee shop to explore. Going to visit a friend isn’t any different than when I visit a new city on my own so coffee shop exploring was a must {Except it’s a little more fun because I get to drag them along with me}. I was able to try two new spots so here’s the breakdown of what to try and why to visit: 
1. Brew Coffee Bar (ig: @brewdtr)

This coffee shop is adorable and their branding was on point. I got the best iced vanilla latte I’ve ever had and Sam got the iced nitro cold brew. Yes, they have nitrogen infused coffee on draft. It basically looks like a Guinness and is super smooth. 

 

Besides the stellar coffees (which we got two more for the road when we left), the space is really cute. Perfect amount of wood to metal ratio and a decent amount of seating for the size. I couldn’t leave without grabbing a little souvenir.  

 

2. The Weekend at Slingshot (ig: @slingshotcoffee) 

Slingshot coffee is a bottling service in Raleigh specializing in cold brews. You may recognize the name from Whole Foods and some other local shops that carry them. However, on the weekends, they open up their doors and become a coffee lovers oasis. Since they are not a full coffee shop, they offer iced coffee (on draft again–because it’s the only way to drink iced coffee) and pour overs. Sam, Bridger and I all got iced coffee so I can’t comment on the pour overs.  

 

Our coffees were great but the real selling point is the cute, outdoor hang out area they have. Lots of places to sit and talk, not to mention the totally insta-perfect backdrop. This is the perfect place to spend a Saturday morning catching up with an old friend or just spending some time reading by yourself. 

 

  

3. Boulted Bread (ig: @boultedbread) 

 (This photo is via Boulted Bread’s Instagram because I forgot to take a picture when I was there) 

Walkable from my friend’s house, this bakery seriously looks like someone sold a piece of land in the middle of a neighborhood and turned it into a coffee shop/bakery. I came here about two months ago on one of my first trips to Raleigh. Once again, got an iced coffee {it’s really hot outside yall} and it was decent. Not going to blow your mind but worth a try if you are in the neighborhood. They don’t do flavored lattes so don’t expect anything fancy. Plus coffee isn’t really their main deal. It’s their baked goods. I wasn’t feeling well that morning so I unfortunately wasn’t able to try any of their food but it all looked delicious and my friend ordered one of their flatbreads and seemed to really enjoy it. There are some places to sit inside but most of it is outside. It’s a simple, cute shop looking to keep their coffee and the experience authentic.   

 

I can’t wait to go back and explore even more! 

Xoxo. 

Alaethea 

Praying like Hannah 

  
Last week was a crappy week. And not just the “ehhh- my day was sorta bad” but like full on I want to hide and cry under my desk kinda crappy.  As soon as I would think one issue was resolved, another would pop up. Working, planning a wedding and moving all at the same time leaves lots of opportunities for things to go wrong. I was in my car talking to myself {that’s normal, right?} when it hit me. Instead of talking about all of my problems, I should really just pray about them. So I did. But that’s not where this story ends.

You see, it’s easy for me to immediately feel proud of myself for deciding to pray about my problems. A little part of me always feels like “Way to go Alaethea. What a great person you are for praying instead (insert other option here).” However, I have been reading She Reads Truth and a recent story about Hannah (from Samuel, Chapters 1-2) brings me back down to reality.  She reminds me that my prayer life isn’t about me. Prayer does not reflect the goodness I have, but instead it reflects the goodness of Christ. I pray because in a broken world, my pride and selfishness often get the best of me. But He is faithful and good despite of myself. So I pray through the mess. Messes that I create and messes that others create. I pray because I am in need of his grace and love constantly, as we all are. 

10 Songs to Help You Make It Through the Work Week.

IMG_5285

Good news is tomorrow is Friday. Bad news is today is not. After you graduate from college, your view of summer changes in that it is now like every other season and you actually have to continue being a functional human being through out the week. So if you are sitting in your cubicle (or classroom or whatever office you find yourself in) dreaming of the pool and margaritas, here are a few songs to ease the pain.

1. On Me – James Davis

2. Little Worlds – Mandolin Orange

3. We Won’t – Jaymes Young

4. Wildfire – Scavenger Hunt

5. Weekend – Vérité (this song is currently on repeat on my playlist)

6. 20/20 – The Vaccines

7. Got It – Marian Hill

8. 10,000 Emerald Pools – BØRNS

9. Don’t Move – Phantogram

10. Let’s Get Lost – G-Easy (had to throw this in there for those of you who like rap. For those of you who don’t…I repeat–this is a rap song and most likely embodies everything you hate about the genre.)

You can find all of these (and moreeee) on my Spotify playlist, Spring Vibes.

Warning: Not all songs are suitable for group listening. Please make sure to wear your headphones while grooving.

image1

xoxo,

Alaethea

GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO HUSTLE

FullSizeRender (4)

For as long as I can remember I wanted to start a blog. In fact, I did start one. Well, kinda. This little blog was created back in 2012 as I was preparing to graduate from college. I wrote one post and then pressed save and didn’t look at it again until 2013 when I wrote my one published post that has sat on this blog for the past two years–lonely and wishing for some other posts to keep it company.

Finding the “purpose” for a blog is a bit stressful and probably one of the reasons I have been so wishy-washy with actually starting this thing. I have read a million articles and blog posts about how to “find your niche” and how important it is to differentiate yourself from everyone else and it all just seemed like a lot of work, time and effort. However, a few weeks ago I stumbled across this quote and all those questions didn’t really seem to matter anymore.

“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.”

So here I am. AND here are my…

Three reasons why I am starting a blog {and maybe you should too!}

1. To Share.

You know what? Life is hard. And sometimes I really like knowing that somewhere, someone is going through the same thing. Being in your 20s is tough and if you’re like me, we are all going to make both really good and really bad choices. I want to be able to share with others the good and the bad and {hopefully} help make this world a little less lonely.

2. To Have Fun.

I’m lucky that I have a job that really allows me to express my creativity. However, that doesn’t change the fact that it is a J.O.B. and sometimes there are things I want to try that don’t necessarily fall into “appropriate for work” category. I want this blog to be a creative outlet. Creativity inspires creativity.

3. To Grow

Anyone who knows me knows that I love to learn. Sometimes learning takes place through books but other times learning takes place through experiences. Either way, learning always causes me to grow. It makes me see the world differently and I like that. I want to push myself out of my comfort zone. I want to try new things and I want to write about them.

As Abe Lincoln said, “Things may come to those who wait but only the things left by those who hustle.” I don’t know about you but I’m done waiting. Time to get my hustle on.

xoxo,

Alaethea

Anxious.

il_570xN.411342947_8wpc

I created this blog just a few weeks before I graduated from college back in 2012. I had big dreams of continuing my passion for writing…and journalism minor…by blogging every week (maybe even every day?!). Unfortunately, life got in the way of that dream. I graduated and haven’t touched the blog since…well until today. I have thought about starting this up many times before but just never got around to it. As I logged onto the abandoned site, I stumbled across my first blog post still in draft mode from April 24, 2012 at 4:04am…

“Anxious.

If I could only choose one word to describe how I feel right now anxious pretty much sums it up. It is a weird feeling to know that in less than a month my whole life will be completely different. All of our lives will be completely different. Four years goes by so slowly yet when I think back, it seems like it happened in the blink of an eye. I am excited to start this new phase of my life but sometimes it feels like I am watching it all happen. I mean, am I really packing up my things and moving to New York City with no friends or family? Is that really my life? But sure enough, I get another e-mail from HR and it reminds me that yes, it really is. I am moving to New York City in 38 days.”

It was a joy to find this small but intimate post, tucked away in the safety of my unpublished blog. As I was reading the brief paragraph, that awkward feeling of anxiety and excitement rushed over me as if I was still a 21-year-old college senior, sitting on my bed at 4 am unable to sleep. But I have to admit, my word of choice about my life right now would probably still be “anxious.” Although I am thankful for my experiences and the opportunities I have had…this is not where I pictured myself almost two years after graduation. There are days when I feel like I have it all together and days when I feel like I am literally drowning.

The feeling I had in my college room, writing out my worries about my future is the same feeling I have quite often in my parent’s house, laying in bed wondering what I should be doing in life. Truthfully, I’m not sure there will ever be an answer to that question which makes the type A personality in me slightly uncomfortable. But finding this secret post brought on a sense of comfort.  Maybe it’s okay to be worried about what I am doing with my life. Maybe it is a sign that I still have ambition. Maybe, just maybe, it’s a sign I am on the right track.

Picture via:http://www.etsy.com/listing/119212086/book-page-dictionary-art-print-poster