The Atlanta blog is comprised of articles written about the Atlanta area to support and discuss relevant topics in the greater Atlanta area and northern Georgia.

The special thing about this article, 6 events to attend in Atlanta, is that every event listed is annual! That means you can attend these events every year and make sure to go to the ones you might have missed already this year.

Additionally, each event has a special significance to Atlanta and the surrounding areas. Find your favorite event and what you feel most comfortable with and join that community! There is no sense in living in Atlanta or visiting Atlanta without experiencing the city at its best.

Therefore, without further delay, here is my list of 6 events to attend in Atlanta and around the Perimeter.

Peachtree Road Race

First up on the list is the famous Peachtree Road Race! This is an annual race that captures the heart and soul of Atlanta. Thousands of people sign up every year to run the race making it one of the largest races in the state. The race costs $200 to enter but it well worth it. Some of the benefits that come with signing up for the race are:

  • short-sleeve T-shirt
  • participation medal
  • MARTA breeze card for two trips
  • Placement in Wave E
  • Park Tavern, Piedmont Park Member after party
  • 10K training plan developed by Atlanta Track Club Coach

If you are into running road races and pushing yourself to excellence, find other races here! Otherwise, start training because before you know it the race will be here!

Peachtree Road Race deadlines

The deadline to register for this race is typically around February 1 of the same year you would like to race. Although, the race itself is not until July 4 of the same year. This year for 2019 just so happens to be the 50th Race. Get excited if you are going, and if not make sure to plan ahead for next year.

Passion Conference

One of the largest christian based youth conferences in America happens right here in Atlanta. Passion City Church hosts its annual Passion Conference for young adults ages 18 to 25. Every year Passion out does the year before and for the end of 2019 and beginning of 2020, they are living up to expectation.

This year’s Passion conference will be in non other than the Mercedes Stadium right downtown in Atlanta. Not only will it be in the largest stadium on the east coast, the conference will start on New years eve and goes through the new year bringing in 2020 with praise and worship.

Led by Passion City Church, Louie Giglio and his wife Shelley Giglio, this is one event that you should plan ahead for.

Passion Conference Speakers

Not to get you excited, but names like David Crowder, Sadie Robinson, Lecrae, John Piper, Kari Jobe, Ravi Zacharias, Tim Tebow, and of course Hill song United will grace Atlanta with their presence and love.

Seriously, Come on down and celebrate the new year the right way with a one in a life time experience for young Christians. This is an event you will remember for the rest of your life. Passion will start on December 31, 2019 at 9:00 pm and last until January 2, 2020 at 12:00 pm. Make sure to Register!

Atlanta Film Festival

A thriving industry in Atlanta, film has been growing constantly. There have been a number of Professional films shot in Atlanta including, Avengers, Hunger Games and TV shows like Vampire Diaries. What you might not have heard is, Atlanta has their very own film festival!

Atlanta Film Festival Events

The Atlanta Film Festival has been running for over 43 years and continues on strong. The festival lasts for 10 days, hosts over 150 events, shows approximately 200 films, brings 30,000 attendees and on top of it all is Oscar-qualifying. Additionally, the films are submitted from over 40 countries and 300 different filmmakers making this easily one of the largest film and TV events on the east coast.

00 attendees and on top of it all is Oscar-qualifying. Additionally, the films are submitted from over 40 countries and 300 different filmmakers making this easily one of the largest film and TV events on the east coast.

Of course, the festival prides itself by immersing the competition and participants in a diverse atmosphere. There are films on all different genres including horror, drama, comedy, political views, minorities, adventure and just about anything you can imagine. Every year the judges will select the top submitted films out of all the top contenders.

Make sure to plan ahead for this event and submit your film! The event is April 30th through May 10th for 2020 and will be the 44th annual Atlanta Film Festival!

Music Midtown

If you like music festivals, look no further. Atlanta annually hosts its very own Music Midtown! This event is known for having some of the top talent in pop, rock, rap, and trendy music. 2019 is no exception with popular artists like Cardi B, Travis Scott, Panic at the Disco and plenty of popular local favorites.

Music Midtown at Piedmont Park

A great thing about Music Midtown is that it is right downtown Atlanta at Piedmont Park! With a location this perfect, there will be plenty to do during and around the festival! If you are considering going, make sure get more information on the list of prohibited items, parking, event tickets and ways to prepare before hand.

Specifically, this year the festival will take place September 14 from 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm and on September 15 from 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm. To stay up-to-date on this event, sign up for the E-List and never miss out on a new announcement!

Atlanta Blockchain Week

A new event to the scene, Atlanta Blockchain Week (ABW) positions itself to be the industry leading event for Blockchain in Atlanta, Georgia! Last year ABW had its inception with a full week of interactive, insightful and tech focused events at multiple locations around the city.

With 2019 being the second year for ABW and the blockchain industry in full recovery, we can expect great things this year. They have already announced their dates for 2019 and several events that will take place during the week.

Atlanta Blockchain Week Events

For ABW, you can expect a full week of learning about innovative blockchain companies and start ups, women driven events promoting women in blockchain, decentralized application events focused on promoting local projects, two organized hackathons, and many more exciting gatherings to be announced. If you are looking for my news on the blockchain industry, make sure to check out our sister tribe the San Francisco Tribe.

Atlanta Blockchain Week Dates

In general, ABW will take place September 20 through September 28 at multiple locations while hosting a variety of events. Make sure to subscribe, sign up your event, or register to become a sponsor! Do not miss the chance to learn about an exciting, emerging market and hone your technological skills at the same time!

Georgia Yellow Daisy Festival

If you love markets, then you will love the Yellow Daisy Festival. Hosted at Stone Mountain park, the festival is an artists dream world come to life. Artists, designers, craftsmen, entrepreneurs, and more all gather once a year to make this one creative event.

Georgia Festival of Arts

In short, the Yellow Daisy Festival is a premier arts and crafts event where vendors set up tents along certain walking paths beside the mountain. It started as a small town event and quickly became one of the most well known arts festivals in Georgia. It maintains its small-town persona, but definitely attracts thousands of people yearly.

Traditionally, the Yellow Daisy is held in the first week of September. The actual dates this year are September 5 through September 8. It is a great idea to subscribe to their email list or check the website occasionally to make sure you do not miss any updates on the festival!

Atlanta Events

If some of these events do not meet your fancy, remember Atlanta is a huge area with plenty to do! Get out there and meet some awesome people. If you have any questions on these 6 events to attend in Atlanta, make sure to reach out and ask! Thanks and have a great southern day.

Living In America

Living in America can feel like a vacuum is attached to your bank account. These days we pay for more things than ever. Our money constantly going towards things like:

  • Internet provider/ Wifi
  • Insurance – car, home, life, dental, etc
  • Car payment
  • Phone bill
  • Netflix, TV provider
  • Taxes in general
  • Mortgage/rent payments
  • Gym fee if you go to the gym
  • Savings for retirement
  • A decent pair of running shoes because mine suck.

These are just some of the basics not including any extra curricular activities that you may be involved in. With our money more often leaving us than staying with us, you might be wondering how you can make a little extra cash on the side!

I am glad you asked, because I have a list of 23 ways you can make money now! Most of these options do not even require a skill, just some free time and persistence. With that being said, let’s dive into my list of 23 ways to make money now.

23 Ways to Make money today

Nanny/babysitting

You may already know this, but becoming a nanny or offering a babysitting service on the weekend can be quite profitable. Typical nanny’s make around $14 – $20 an hour and that can go up depending on the family you are working for. It is fairly easily to start a babysitting gig on the side for Saturdays or Sundays and rake in a few extra hundred bucks a month.

Uber and Lyft

Most people, if not everyone, has used Uber or Lyft by now. It is the most convenient way to transverse the city and go out with friends on a Friday night! Did you know that almost anyone can become an Uber driver in their free time? The requirements are pretty simple:

  • Have a car newer than 10 years old
  • Car must have four doors
  • Must have Insurance, Drivers licence, active social security number
  • Good accident history and no speeding violations in the past 3 years
  • Pass an exception and back ground check

Most Uber drivers will start driving within a week of complications the applications. As an Uber driver you can expect to easily make $16 an hour and that increases if you are in a city. That’s a couple extra hundred dollars in your pocket every month if you do it 4-5 times a month.

Music Lessons

Music is an art that is meant to be shared! If you know how to play the piano, guitar, or a popular instrument, you can easily start giving lessons. Music instructors typically make anywhere from $25 – $50 an hour. Additionally, you are usually teaching kids which can be fun and rewarding when you see them start to improve!

Drop Shipping

This is a popular option that was promoted heavily by Amazon Fulfillment (FBA) program. There are hundreds of courses online about it, but how much do they actually make? After expenses and the time investment, most sellers make 5% profit on average. For instance if you sold $100,000 worth of product, you could easily make $5,000 – $10,000. This can be quite easy if you are selling high end items, but the frequency of cheaper items is also alluring. The main issue with drop shipping is some initial capital is necessary.

Thifting

Mackelmore would be proud of you. Seriously though, thrifting can generate some serious money if you are diligent with it. Personally, I tried it two times in the Atlanta area. One the second run, I found a Brooks Brothers Black Camel hair pea coat in perfect condition. Do not mind me as I pay $5 for a $1,800 pea coat. Thrifters generally can make a few extra hundred bucks a month if you are persistent with it.

Reselling

Similar to thrifting and drop shipping, reselling involves marketing your product and getting your hands dirty. Coined by Gary Vee the marketing guru, it is extremely popular to hit up garage sells every weekend to find steals that you quickly flip on ebay or amazon.

Another vlogger that I saw, found out that walmart was selling a limited edition Monopoly board. He spent the next 24 hours driving to every walmart withing the closest 3 states to buy every single game board he could. He bought each board for $20 and resold them for $50 each online. His net profit exceeded $2,500 after shipping and packaging. Reselling can make some serious dough if you stay ahead of the market.

Carpooling

Carpooling has been growing in popularity in the recent years. With gas prices starting to go back up, we could expect carpooling to do the same. Typical car riders will pay anywhere from $20 to $35 a week. This adds up quickly if you have 2 – 3 people in your car everyday. Can you say, free gas money?

Event Planning

There is a wide market for event planning. There are people that do it as a hobby and other people that do it professionally for corporations. Event planning is all about building up your network and leveraging that network to secure event spaces, catering, photography, and promotions. If this sounds like your network, then maybe you are ready to become and event planner! Event planners can expect to make anywhere between $500 to several thousand per event depending on the group you are working for.

Blogging

Blogging is one of those things that you can make a decent amount of money on the side without much effort. Building your blog and follow will take some time, but once you have it and the email list you can utilize it for running ads, marketing products, or simply selling your own course! On average determined bloggers can make a few hundred to several thousand a month on their blogs!

Affiliate Marketing

Have you ever seen those articles that say, if you click this link and sign up you will recieve $5 off! Most likely, those links are affiliate links. The bad thing about affiliate links is, you really need a substantial audience to make this work. If you can capture that audience, then affiliate links can rake in some massive returns. Some links for hosting companies like Bluehost pay $60 to several hundred a month if the link is clicked a few times and leads to people signing up.

Photography

Photography is one passion that tons of people share! It is really easy to pick of up camera and get to work in this field. In order to get stared, you are going to want to purchase a decent camera. You can get a pretty good one for around $300 to $500 if you shop well.

After that, purchase some editing software and some presets and start marketing yourself! Photographers can make anywhere from $50 per shoot to several hundred. Wedding are where the real money is. We are paying our wedding photographer over $2,000 to do our wedding!

Wedding Planning

While we are on the theme of weddings, let’s discuss wedding planning. Pretty much you are the go to person for the bride on all of the planning. Your job is to make vender suggestions on everything in the wedding, help pick and choose price points in the budget, organize the actual day, and pretty much monitor the sanity of the bride! Wedding planners can easily make over $1,000 a wedding and manage multiple weddings at once! Just make sure the weddings you are managing are not on the same day.

Sponsorship Agreements

A cool side gig is to partner with events happening around the city and acquire sponsorship for them. Typically, you get a percentage of the total sponsorships you bring in, so you can end up making a lot of money if you have the right network.

Fiverr

If you can write, edit, design, draw, market or do just about anything arts wise, you can probably list yourself on fiverr. Each skill set is priced differently. You can easily make a couple hundred bucks a month if you have a good skill set or hobby you can monetize.

Create a Course

Just about any job or skill set you use in your daily life, can be turned into an online course. This takes a little bit of time and marketing to get it going, but nothing makes passive income like a downloadable good. The best thing about creating a course is you can just put it on Udemy if you do not want to create a site around it.

Beauty Products

Another great way to get some serious cash fast is the well know beauty product representative. Your friends and family are buying to from the store anyways, so why not just purchase it from you? If this is something you are interested in, there is a great article I suggest you take a look to find the perfect company for you to partner with.

Essential Oils

Similar to the beauty products, essential oils can be quite lucrative. You do have to put in a good amount of time learning the different oils, use-cases, and benefits. Afterwards, selling if pretty easy because this product is hot right now. The most well known company selling these is doTERRA. My bosses wife did this for a while and ended up making a could thousand per month after building up her clientele. Go sign up now on their website and start earning money on your first sale!

Protein and Supplements

A popular form of advertisement is for body builders to sell protein on behalf of the company through their social pages. You do not have to be a body builder to do this, although it certainly helps your credibility. One of my friends has been doing this for years and he loves it! Go check him out on Instagram @Campusprojkg. He is a rep for a killer brand, Campus Protein, that you can become apart of too!

Day Trading

Day Trading is no easy task, but with the right research, market and time investing it can be a gold mine. I suggest starting off with very small amounts and finding the market you love the most. I trade sometime on Binance for fun because fees are cheap and the market is open 24/7 for digital assets.

Skin Care

This one is similar to the essential oils and beauty products, but there is a popular company that is great for partnering with. Ronald and Fields have great affiliate programs for all levels of activity. Everyone loves skin care, and this does not require you to learn much other than the product you choose to sell. You may even wanting to buy some yourself after you learn about the importance of skin care.

Email Marketing

Something that most smaller businesses are really bad at is email marketing. If you are really good at this and know how to manage Mail Chimp or another software of choice, you may be able to offer your services to smaller companies around you. Typically, you will get paid per email and this can stack up over time to be a good side hustle income.

Facebook Ads

You might be thinking, I cannot do that. Trust me, you can. Facebook ads are not hard. They can become time consuming once you really learn the ins and outs, but this is one thing tons of companies need help with. If you can run a campaign on Facebook and show results, then you’ve got it made. Most people make between $300 – $1,000 per client by running Facebook ads for them.

Surveys

Amazingly, surveys are still around the internet and you can easily get paid to complete them. The problem is, they are time consuming and usually pay around $10 an hour. Now this is not a lot, but you are practically putting forth zero effort. Do surveys a couple of hours a week and easily rake in an extra $200 a month.

Blood and Plasma Donations

Now, I would never condone selling a part of your body for cash, but in a sense you are providing a service that could save a life one day. Blood is extremely important and depending on your blood type, you could get paid fairly well. On average people make $25-$50 per donation. If you view it in the aspect of providing a life saving service for and extra $100 a month, then why not.

Ways to make Money in Atlanta

Take this list as what its worth. There are some easy ways to make money in Atlanta and some ways that take a bit more skill on this list. My advice is to choose one you are passionate about and try it out for 6 to 9 months. After 9 months if you are getting burned out maybe try another one or adjust your strategy! At the end of the day, do what you love and love what you do!

If you are planning to visit Atlanta Georgia anytime soon,then there are some things you should know about this city. First of all, it is a great place to visit and there are plenty of things to do in Atlanta. Here is a list of a stuff we will discuss: Visiting Atlanta, Places to Stay, Events, Attractions, Shopping, food, and at the end I will discuss some of my favorite places to eat! Let’s get into it.

Travel to Atlanta

The two most popular ways to get to Atlanta are by Flight or Driving.

Fly to Atlanta

In order to fly to Atlanta, you are going to need to fly to Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. Known as one of the busiest airports in the world, Hartsfield is pretty simple to navigate. Once your plane lands, you will have to walk through the terminal in order to board the train. There should be signed tell you which way the train is.

The train can go both ways depending on what gate you land at, so it is important to board the train that is headed towards the baggage claim. Once you arrive at the baggage claim exit from the train, there are two main sides to choose from. One side is mostly Delta (it is usually red) baggage claims, and the other side is pretty much all other airlines.

If you get lost at any point there are TVs throughout the airport and at every gate that will display:

  • Flights that are departing
  • Flights that are arriving
  • Baggage claims of each flight if necessary
  • Gate number for each flight
  • Flight number

All of this information is extremely useful if you are new to the airport.

Once you have claimed your bag, walk outside on either side terminal to try and catch a cab, call an Uber, or head downstairs to try and catch a bus or van headed to your destination. The most popular transportation service in Atlanta is MARTA. There are trains and buses to and from the Airport, but honestly Uber is just as handy. Uber and Lyft are both extremely popular in Atlanta, so I would recommend just using one of those for your trip.

Drive to Atlanta

If you are planning to drive to Atlanta, make sure you plan your trip around the traffic. Typically, Traffic is at it’s worst from 7:00 am – 9:00 am in the mornings and from 3:00 pm – 7:30 pm in the evenings. Fridays are the worst day to drive into the city with Saturdays and Sundays just depending on the events going on.

If you are planning on driving from the north (down I-75) then traffic is at its worst in the morning hours. In the evening, it is not as bad getting into Atlanta. If you are planning on coming from the south (up 85), then you are going to have pretty decent traffic most of the day but generally stay away from the trouble hours listed above.

Overall, driving into Atlanta is not as bad as it may seem. Just remember that 285 goes around the perimeter of Atlanta while 85 and 75 both go directly into the city.

Parking in Atlanta

Parking is not too bad in the city, but you will not find free parking most places. Garages will let you park at an hourly rate with a maximum rate of around $10 dollars for a full day on average. There is meter parking in some areas but it is easier to just park in a garage.

If you are staying at a hotel in town, then parking should be free for you. I would recommend using Uber when you get around to avoid parking charges and complications if you are visiting. Additionally, you can use MARTA to navigate the city, but it can be confusing for first timers. MARTA is the cheapest option if you take the time to look at the map.

Places to Stay in atlanta

If you are visiting Atlanta, then you are going to need a place to stay! There are plenty of options for in the city, but here are two of the most popular and luxurious places to stay.

Ponce City Market

Ponce City Market was an old warehouse that was reestablished as a trendy, town favorite market place. There are unique stores here only found in Atlanta to shop, amazing and authentic restaurants, yogo studio for all your workout needs, and my favorite a wine store that has a variety of tastes.

What most people do not know about Ponce City Market, is that there are rooms available for rent on the upper floors. There are Studio, one bedroom, two bedroom, and three bedroom rooms available. These rooms are exquisite and are honestly one of the best places to stay if you have the buck for it. You will have to Uber into the city, but you will have an amazing time staying at such a lively place.

Westin Atlanta

The Westin Atlanta is probably the most well known hotel in the city. It towers above all of the other buildings and hosts the most well know restaurant on top, The Sun Dial. To note, The Sun Dial is one of the more impressive restaurants in the city and if you have never been, you should go at least once.

Additionally, the Westin is smack dab right in the middle of the city. You can practically walk to anywhere you would like to go within a couple of blocks. If you are going out for the night, it is probably still better just to call and Uber as the Atlanta streets can be quite confusing and winding.

Staying here will definitely give you that Atlanta experience that you may be searching for.

AirBNB and VRBO

Just like most cities, there are plenty of options on AirBNB and VRBO available in the city.

For your convenience, we have picked out a few spots that are great prices and in good locations around the city. None of these are sponsored, so you know they are good deals!

Great spot and price right downtown near Centennial Park on the WEST SIDE (West of I-75) of Atlanta. – Link

Great spot and price slightly on the edge of town on the EAST SIDE (East of I-75) of Atlanta near old fourth ward. – Link

events in Atlanta

The great thing about living or visiting Atlanta is that there are always events, concerts, conventions, and interactive things going on.

Atlanta Weekly Events

Before you plan your trip, or before you come, make sure you check the Atlanta downtown website out to see what is happening during your stay! Chances are that there will be some awesome events happening you did not even know about! Typically, there are several events per day and even more on the weekends which means, you will have plenty to choose from.

Tabernacle

The Tabernacle is a well known building that holds many concerts and shows throughout the year. It has a reputation of filling the entire house on shows and can be quite a fun experience. Check out this link here to see some of the upcoming shows at the Tabernacle in Atlanta.

Fox Theater

Another great place to see is visit is the Fox Theater. A pillar of the community, the theater has been around since 1928. It is one of the most well known theater in this region and lays host to some of the most magical and wonderful shows that come to the city. Most of these shows will be on the high end, but they can be worth the buck if you have the time.

Mercedes Stadium

From the 2019 super bowl, most people now understand how enormous the Mercedes Stadium actually is. If you ever get the privilege of watching a game in this place, you too will understand. It is easily the biggest structure I have ever been in and is such and amazing experience to watch an Atlanta United game in, Atlanta’s home soccer team. This is a must visit if you ever come to Atlanta and prepare to be blown away.

Braves Stadium

Likewise, the new Braves Stadium is quite a feat of ingenuity. Although it is not as massive as the Mercedes Stadium, there is still a whole culture and mini city built up around it. By mini city, I seriously mean there is a mini city surrounding the stadium of hotels, restaurants, stores, apartment complexes, and buildings. If you go see a game here, we highly recommend using Uber as parking is difficult. Oh, and do not forget your very own tomahawk chop either.

Atlanta Attractions

After you play ball at the new braves stadium, you may want to enjoy some of that other things Atlanta has to offer.

Atlanta Aquarium

The Atlanta Aquarium is one of the largest aquariums in the world. Take your time and you could end up spending almost a full day enjoying all of the exhibits and amenities. If you want to play with some penguins, dive in a tank or touch a sting ray and baby shark this is the place for you. Tickets are not bad price wise, and there is usually a discount online somewhere if you look for it.

Atlanta Botanical Gardens

One of the hidden gems of Atlanta is the botanical gardens. It does not get very much exposure compared to some of the other places on this list, but from personal experience it is a sight to see! My fiance and I went during Christmas time and had so much fun walking around sipping hot chocolate looking at the lights.

The gardens are at full bloom in late spring and throughout most of fall. We would say do not go early Spring as the topiaries will probably not be planted yet.

Christmas time is one of the best times to visit. Everything has lights strung across from tree to tree and there are plenty of exhibits lite up throughout the park. Sip some hot coco, sit by the fire, and take plenty of pictures of all the creations!

World of Coke

Do you like coke? Do you like different flavors of coke? Well then this place is just for you! No, seriously this place has a variety of coke products from all around the globe that you can try. While you are enjoying your international beverage at the World of Coke, go ahead and cruise down history lane and learn all about our favorite drink, Coca-Cola.

Atlanta Zoo

A great place for kids, the Atlanta Zoo is a school and group favorite spot. It is usually overrun with field trips and scout groups, but still offers plenty to do for smaller groups looking to check out some of natures finest creatures.

Farris Wheel

One of the most fun things to do and at the same time scariest things to do right in the middle of Centennial park is, ride the Atlanta Ferris Wheel. Your first thought might be, why is it scary? Well for starters, the 200 foot Ferris wheel is quite big. Additionally, the cabins that go up have see through flooring. If you can stomach this, then remember to bring a camera for pictures of the city and make a fun video as a keepsake!

USA Today has a great article on the Ferris Wheel with more details that you should check out if this is on your list of things to do!

Atlanta Shopping

Atlanta has a vast selection on shopping centers and outlets. There are a few places that rank above the rest that you should visit first if you have limited time in the Peach City.

Midtown Ponce City Market

Ponce City market was mentioned before in this article as a place to stay. Besides renting a room above, the building, stores, restaurants, and events are enough to put this place on this list as well. There are some amazing stores that are startups native to Atlanta. For this reason, you can get some unique outfits that can not be purchased anywhere else!

Buckhead Lenox Square

The Second place on the list is non other than the famous Lenox Square mall. Sitting in the middle of Buckhead, the mall has every expensive store you can imagine in it. There is even a Tesla store (yes in the mall) where you can learn all about the cars and even test drive one in the parking lot. Beside Tesla, there are stores with $50,000 diamonds, clothes with a paycheck as a price tag, and of course a Starbucks. Because you can’t spend a lifetime worth of saving without your Mocha Frap right?

Ironically, if you time it right and know the mall well enough, there are plenty of stores that have massive discounts at the end of each season. I will typically go in to certain stores and get 50% off on items that they are trying to “get rid of”. This is not the case for all of the stores clearly, but for some of the clothing stores it is a must.

Additionally while you are here, make sure to check out our friends at Hammer Made! Hammer Made is a store that custom crafts men’s dress shirts. Every month they release a batch of 50 shirts and never make any more of the same shirt.

I have met the owner and this guy clearly loves what he does. He works hand in hand with a team of designers in New York to push out a new line up of shirts every single month. Talk about dedication. The limited 50 shirts of each design are then divided and distributed around to 7-10 stores around the country. This means purchasing a shirt in your city almost guarantees no one will ever match you at the party.

Buckhead Phipps Plaza

Similar to Lenox, Phipps Plaza is just a few blocks away and pretty much hosts any rich and swanky store that is ironically not in Lenox. Phipps is a fun place to run around and plan how to spend your lottery money.

Food In atlanta

Every city has something special about that city, but Atlanta has a lot of special things to share. Food is pretty high up there with the other items on this article. Specifically, steakhouses are a fan favorite around the city. If you want to learn more about steakhouses than listed below, make sure to check out this awesome ZAGAT article on Atlanta steakhouses.

Steak Houses

Alley’s Steakhouse

A new steakhouse in Buckhead that opened in late 2018. Alley’s steakhouse features some amazing menu items and will impress any date, or dates parents that you are meeting for the first time. Additionally, This place almost always has a few Lambos and Ferrari’s parked outside which is always fun to check out.

Bones Steakhouse

Bones is a classic steakhouse in Atlanta that hardly ever gets a bad review. While your there go ahead and whip out that credit card to try their Wagyu A5 New York Strip (10oz). No really, you are gonna need to use your credit card to eat here if you want a bone-in rib-eye. Although, Like most places there are a lot of other great things on the menu other hen just steak for everyone to enjoy.

Chops Steakhouse and Lobster Bar

Chops is probably the most popular steakhouse in Atlanta. This one I have not personally been to, but most people that I have talked to all recommend it. According to reviews, Chops consistently ranks in the top ten of all steakhouses in the country. They additionally have an amazing seafood selection which is flown in daily. I will have to give this place a try and come finish the review!

Korean BBQ

Oddly enough, Korean BBQ has become quite popular in the Buford and Duluth areas just north of Atlanta. This is largely impart due to the growing Korean population that resides in those areas. For BBQ, you want a larger party when you go to a place like this and the idea is that you cook the food yourself on a type of stove top in front of you.

A friend of mine recently said, do the “all you can eat” selection, and you can only do that selection if the entire table does the same thing. Therefore, make sure to bring your hungry friends and probably not any vegans. If you have not experienced Korean BBQ before then this is a great time to try it!

Atlanta Iron Age Korean BBQ

Iron Age is the main Korean BBQ place that is advertised around the city. I have not been to this specific place, but I have heard they play K-pop music and it is quite a good time with great food! Worth the try for any food junkies!

Personal Favorites

While there are plenty of amazing places to eat at in Atlanta, here are some of my personal favorites. No, these are probably not the number one rated or fanciest on the list kind of places, but they are all very very good and I will continually go back to each of these places.

Mission & Market

A new addition to the Buckhead area, Mission & Market (M&M) is right by the Alley’s steakhouse from above. M&M offers a wide variety of dishes, and I have never had a dish that I did not like. Some of my favorites things I have ever had from this place were actually on their special lunch menu.

For lunch they do something called the “Grab and Go”. This is basically a list of items that can be prepared fast for to-go orders. Ironically, this is also where they put some of their creations that are not available on the main menu! From grabbing lunch here I have had some amazing dishes. Two of my favorites are surprisingly the Duck Pizza and one time they made a Shrimp Po-boy that was probably my favorite sandwich of all time. All I have to say is this place never disappoints.

Pappadeaux

Pappadeaux is actually not a native restaurant to Atlanta, so I am kind of cheating. Although, Pappadeaux is native to my heart ..and its my blog.

All jokes aside, this place is like the seafood holy grail. They even had a over 20 pound lobster one time that was sold and devoured by an entire table. One of my waiters told us they could not even bind the claws this thing was so big.

There are two of these now north of Atlanta and both are conveniently right off of 85. The one closest to Atlanta is right off of Jimmy Carter after Spaghetti Junction and if you get there after 5:30 without a reservation, you might as well go home. This place gets beyond packed because of how amazing it is.

For my favorite meal here is easily the crawfish etouffee. You will thank me later.

Sam’s On Main

This place is a little ways from Atlanta, but if you find yourself in Gwinnett then you know where to go! Sam’s On Main is a little pop shop owned by non other than Sam himself! Sam’s focuses on Greek and Mediterranean food but features plenty of american options as well. Soon Sam’s will be upgrading to a brand new building and growing into the new shoes the lines out the door have bought for it.

My favorite meal here is the Lamb Saute.

Umi

No list is complete without a sushi restaurant. Umi sits near the heart of Buckhead, tucked away in a quiet building corner. Although it is hidden, Umi is anything but a hidden treasure. Occasionally, you can catch celebs here and any whos who in Atlanta.

The famous sushi house has rolls that I had never before heard of in my life and a lovely setting for romantic dinners. If you want to visit a top sushi house in Atlanta, then go ahead and put this place at the top of your list and get your taste buds ready.

Visit Atlanta

If you are still planning your trip to Atlanta and still have questions about the city or want to now more specifics, feel free to reach out or leave a comment with your question! Besides that, I hope you enjoy your stay in Atlanta and it lives up to all of your expectations!

Drafting Tom Brady

For many people, the face of the New England Patriots is Tom Brady. A 6th round pick from the University of Michigan, a quarterback that was not scouted by many and an afterthought when it came to drafting him.

Road to the NFL

While in college, Tom was a back-up who gain the nickname Mr. Comeback by coming in for the starter and coming from behind to win games for the wolverines. Tom showed flashes of greatness but scouts saw him as a back-up quarterback, not so much as a franchise quarterback. Six quarterbacks were selected before Tom, aka “the Brady six” not of them even when put together come close to match toms legacy but many NFL quarterbacks fail as well. Tom was the 33rd pick of the 6th round by the New England Patriots, they didn’t know but they drafted the greatest quarterback of all time. Everyone has heard the story drew Bledsoe the star quarterback gets knocked out in the jets game and here comes running on the field Tom Brady, the legacy begins.

The Legacy Begins

Since that day Tom has been the star quarterback for the patriots helping them become a titan in the NFL. Toms first super bowl cam against the greatest show on turf the St. Louis rams. The names Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk, Isaac Bruce ring a bell some of the greatest players for their position in NFL history. The Patriots were underdogs and were expected to get blown out of the building. In the final minutes of super bowl xxxvi Tom showed the football world what greatness he had in him. With 1:21, out of timeouts and the legend John madden telling the audience that the Patriots should just run the clock out and play for overtime, Tom lead his offense down the field eventually setting up the game winning field goal by future hall of framer kicker Adam Vinatieri.

Super Bowl Wins

The next two Super Bowls wins cam a year later with the Patriots winning back-to-back championships against the Carolina panthers and the Philadelphia eagles. Tom had three Super Bowls one away from the record four held by terry Bradshaw and Montana. A record tom wanted because his idol growing up was Joe Montana a quarterback people saw as the greatest of all time. Tom would get his chance in one of the greatest super bowl games ever played against the New York Giants.

Tom Brady’s Career

During Tom’s career another quarterback was making a name for himself Peyton Manning; Manning was filling up the stat chart holding the yards and touchdown records for quarterbacks. Manning had the stats were as Tom had the rings, two great quarterbacks playing during the same time in which comparisons happened between them. Tom never had a year were his stats broke records until in the 2007 NFL season.

In 2007 the Patriots traded for Randy Moss the greatest wide receiver of time in my eyes. Moss gave Tom a weapon on the outside he never had and the offense went to a new level. The new offense broke records left and right yards, points, and margin of win to name a few. Tom broke Manning’s touchdown record for a single season by throwing 52 touchdowns that season. Tom won MVP and had the Patriots heading to the super bowl 18–0 the only team to have a perfect record heading to the big game. The opponent was the New York giants and the quarterback was no other then Peyton younger brother Eli Manning.

A Giant Defense

The giant’s defense came to play and stopped the high power offense of the Patriots holding to 14 points. Similar to what the Patriots did in their first super bowl Eli marched down the field with the help of an amazing catch by David Tyree, Eli threw the gaming winning touchdown to Plaxico Burress. Denying the Patriots perfect 19–0 season and Tom his fourth ring, after that season the Patriots would lose their franchise quarterback for a whole season.

Tom tore his Achilles in the first game of the 2008 season. The offense changed as well with Moss traded away, the Patriots retooled their offense with new name Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, and Aaron Hernandez. With his new weapons Tom was giving another chance to win his fourth Super Bowl against the same team that took his ring away from him the New York giants. Another game for the books was played again, many stories like this one has a happy ending with the hero coming back to win after losing the first time. In the real world that doesn’t happen keep those fairytale endings for fiction, the Patriots again lost the super bowl to the giants and Eli giving Tom a 3–2 record in the big game and giving haters of Tom fuel to attack him.

Many sports analysts believed that Tom would never win 4 Super Bowls to tie Bradshaw and Montana.

The Patriots Seasons

The Patriots started the 2014 season slow losing games, looking like a shell of themselves again people saying that Tom is old and needs to be traded. After re-grouping, they went on a run to finish the season with best record in the AFC. Tom would win his fourth super bowl against the Seattle Seahawks with their great defense the legion of boom. The offense came alive in the final quarter giving the Patriots the lead and had the greatest super bowl ending for a super bowl.

Russell Wilson had a chance to throw the game winning touchdown but Malcolm Butler made a play that will live in Patriots history. Butler made the game winning interception on the one yard line, saving the legacy of Tom and giving him the fourth super bowl that was taken away from him twice before by the Giants. Tom has won two more super bowls since 2012 on against the Atlanta Falcons and the Los Angeles Rams the same team Tom beat to win is first ring.

Life without tom brady

As of today Tom is 6-3 in Super Bowls giving him the most super bowls for a single player. Imagine one day Tom will be out of the league and the Patriots again will be looking for a new franchise quarterback. Toms career has giving us some of the greatest entertainment of all time. A story about a kid no one believed in became the G.O.A.T and the face of the league. What will NFL life be like when Tom is gone retired and relaxing on a beach? Will the NFL be boring and have no fun topics or will people find a new face to hate. Life without Tom Brady is a day I don’t wan= to see. Although as a New England fan boy, it’s a day where I will say thank you to Tom for being an idol and bringing me joy during his career.

This is a story on how I went from working at a burger joint to working in the most expensive building in Buckhead, one of the wealthiest parts of Atlanta. AKA From Burgers to High Rises.

Rags to Riches Story

Everyone loves a story about a poor man working his heart out to achieve what some would consider to be the impossible. This is not exactly one of those stories. It plays a similar tune, but in retrospect, I was never “poor”.

Let’s start from the beginning.

Sophomore in College

Pretty recently after my Sophomore year in College, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Right before this moment, I had worked my entire life to pursue my sport all the way to the Olympics.

Fiction turned into reality and the fact that I was no longer 18 started to change my perception. How can I chase a sport for another 5 years that will end up leading me no where afterward? These thoughts crossed my brain daily until one fateful day I decided to quit and trust God’s signs.

God’s Sign

Soon after this fateful decision, a woman in Starbucks taught me about a job I had never even heard before, Actuarial Science. It was the perfect career for someone who was good at math, but had no ambitions to become a teacher, professor, or typical researcher. Not that there is anything wrong with those positions, they just are not for me.

Burgers

The only thing now was to get the degree to match the aspiration. Thus, I switched schools and devoted all of my efforts to studying. Meanwhile, I had quit my job at the gym and had to make some income somehow. A friend of mine at the time mentioned his restaurant could use a helping hand.

To be 100% transparent, I never in a million years would have thought I would be working in a burger joint. To be fair, it was not just any burger joint. This was actually a decent steak house that was well known for having amazing burgers. The traffic that would come through was actually middle to upper class and this ended up being one of the best jobs I have ever had.

Serving at a Burger Joint

You see, when you server dinner to a family you get to know them a little bit. I am not your average person in that I would just ask you what you want and give you the bill before you finish. No no no, I wanted to get to know the people in front of me.

I would always throw out some joke in the first 30 seconds of welcoming a table to the grill and test the waters to see how they reacted. If they laughed, it was usually going to be a fun table with a decent tip. Other times, I learned to gauge pretty quickly how people felt based on their body language.

Being an extroverted person with a pleasant demeanor, the job was very enjoyable. I ended up befriending all of the regulars, the kitchen staff, the managers, and one guy I met actually ended up helping at my grandfathers funeral, small world.

Additionally, I even got to know one couple so well that I was invited to the husbands funeral when he passed.

The Robert Downy Junior Doppelganger

The man that passed was an older gentleman who had remarried a much younger lady. The age difference was about 25 years to be exact. This couple would come in once or twice a week, typically on Saturdays, and literally talk to every single person working at the restaurant. Not only did they know us by name, but they would ask about our lives, dreams, significant others and our passions. They came so much, they even got to know my girlfriend at the time who would come and sit at the bar while I worked to snag a free meal. She’s not stupid.

The man himself was a mystery and spectacle all wrapped into a single conversation. He would chat about stories endlessly that would make you want to play it back and relive it in your head.

That One Story

One story in particular is in my head, and I swear to relive it one day. The man spoke of a place in Houston called the Hotel Anatole. This hotel is now actually owned by Hilton but goes by the same name Anatole. Anyways, he told this story that made it sound like a magical place. He mentioned the open floor plan of the lobby that would create a spectral back in his day for the people staying at the hotel.

A bar and lounge rested in the lobby that always had a grand piano playing 24/7 that would echo through out the entire hotel up into the rafters. Imagine a hotel speakeasy back in the day with everyone smoking cigars and wearing their suits. He said he would get an old stogie out and light it with some whiskey in hand while relaxing at the bar with his date. They would laugh and immerse themselves with the melody of the piano enchanting the night. Then they would slip away to their room and leave the door cracked just a tad to allow the music to enter the room all night long while they uhh … slept soundly.

One day soon, I will travel to that hotel and light up a cigar in remembrance of the man. Hopefully, the grand piano will whisk me into an somber state of bliss just like his memory.

Rest in peace Gary.

Burgers to Books

Ironically, the thing I feared, serving, ended up becoming one of my most favorite experiences. That was a blessing, but I had a job to do. I was determined to become an actuary.

While my friends partied and danced their nights away, I was studying. I even spent my junior summer sitting at a desk for 5 hours a day preparing for exams. This was my mission, and I had already failed once.

The actuarial exams are hard. Harder than anything I have ever done and more demanding then I was prepared for. This was my last run.

I told myself, “Either I pass, or I quit.”

The Final Bell

I spent my days at the restaurant in the back with notes and formulas spread out. There was no way I was failing. Luckily, the results were good. I had passed the two exams I needed to get my first job as an actuary.

The road to landing the job was just as tedious. I talk about that in this article, Landing My First Job.

After years of preparation, fights with my girlfriend, a few tears, failed exams and plenty of scratch paper I had finally reached my milestone.

Bitter Sweet Good-bye

After 3 years at the burger joint, 9 months of applications, and 3 denied jobs at reputable companies, I finally got an offer.

Not only did I get an offer, but I got the best offer possible. The jobs I missed out on could be considered as silver compared to the gold job I ended up landing. One thing I am certain of is, God was right all along. I followed his instruction and he led me to green pastures. It was scary that’s for sure.

Learning to trust God is like taking a leap in the fog and hoping there’s not a car coming.

I said goodbye to my friends and customers that knew as I headed to work in Buckhead.

The Result

Looking back, I realize how blessed I am. I put in a good amount of work to get here, but it could have easily gone the other way. In life, there is a clear trend of hard work mixed with luck to achieve success. There’s no telling what I would be doing if that woman had not given me the inspiration to become an actuary that pivotal day. The world is a mysterious place and an even stranger place to call home.

The one solace is that there is beauty in the chaos of life. There is beauty in the unknown and there is beauty in his grace.

This is more of a recap of how I got my first job after college. There are a bunch of things I learned before I even started my first “real” job.

You see, college does not prepare you for everything in the real world, so I hope I can cover most of the things college misses out on.

Let’s back up just a little bit and cover my college experience, which was anything but normal.

My College Experience

My first college was the one and only United States Air Force Academy. It was a huge leap for myself at the time. It meant I had to leave mid summer on June 28th and attend basic training until September. This honestly was a mistake because I did not want to go, but I felt obligated to due to family and social pressures. I stayed for around a year at the academy and got through the worst of it. Following that year, my feet lead me back to my home city Atlanta.

After the Academy, Georgia Perimeter became my second college experience. I was pulled between deciding on a career, chasing my sport all over the world or doing something completely different and become an entrepreneur. Two years at this school lead me to take some additional classes here and there to buy time. I eventually was left with a decision. Leave for Sao Paulo, Brazil and chase my sport dreams or give it up finally after 18 years and move on. I chose to move on after a heart to heart with my coach at the time, Felippe.

Felippe had invested a lot in me, and I had grown to truly respect his outlook on life and passion for helping people. A talented individual that lead to helping me make life altering decisions. I owe him my thanks for many things.

Done With My Sport… Now What?

It was time for a career. The problem was, I had no idea what I was supposed to do. This lead me to praying daily for answers and seeking guidance from many people. The irony was that, I soon found out my direction from a random lady in Starbucks, Jeannie! It was a time in my life where I needed to be active and out of the house, so I would study at Starbucks daily. I was mostly studying Russian at this time because… Da?

It seems God had plans because she soon approached me with questions and purpose in mind. She was having a rough study day and I guess needed someone to talk to about it. It just so happened to be me on the other end of the table. What she wanted to vent about was her actuarial exams, and God afterwards.

I was mystified, because I had never heard of actuarial science. Additionally, there were not many resources that could properly describe what actuaries really do or what it entails. All I kept hearing was, “It’s really hard. Not many people can do it and most people give up after the first exams and it pays well.”

Sweet, I thought. A challenge with some money on the end. Math was always my strong suit. Thus, my journey to become an actuary began.

Georgia State University

The following semester I finished my Political Science degree at Perimeter and transferred over the Georgia State for Mathematics and Actuarial Science. Georgia State was famed for having one of the best actuarial programs and one of the longest standing programs. This was pretty much all a lie. It seems a few years before I transferred, Clemson had come over to Georgia and bought out some of the professors to go and teach at their school. Clemson was starting their own actuarial program and thought to buy the best known professors.

Simple to say the professors left over and the ones brought in while I attended, were less than average. I really wasted my money attending that school and would have rather stayed at the community college if the choice was available. The Math department in general was not too bad. The other persisting problem was getting professors that could not speak understandable English, nor could they effectively communicate when presented with questions in after hours. Many times I would literally just refuse to ask questions or clarify problems due to the language barriers.

As you can see, I was not to happy with this university. I would recommend people to go to Georgia Tech or University of Georgia, or even a cheaper school like Georgia Gwinnett College. It honestly is not worth throwing your money away.

Job Hunting

Around the end of my junior year, I sought after an internship in my field, actuarial science. The problem is that 99% of all internships were only available in the summer. This did not work for me as I liked to take summer classes. This meant I had to find an internship for the Fall semester some way or how.

When you are looking for your first job, you do not have any clue what you are even looking for. The first tip I would give a soon to be graduate is, every single night you need to be in your bed for 30 minutes looking at job listings. This is extremely important. Just by looking at job listings and applications you will start to piece together several things that you need to know:

  • Starting salary. This can vary from company to company, location, hours, expectations, certifications and so many things
  • Office locations and areas of high job traffic. Where is your job mostly located? My spots were New York, Atlanta, San Francisco and Chicago.
  • What are the requirements for your job? You need to know what most companies are looking for. Your school will not prepare you for a job interview, that’s your job.
  • What are the different types of jobs you can apply for? For my specific job, I had no idea that actuaries can work in Health, Life, Property & Casualty, Consulting, rate making, pension and so many more things. Make sure you really dig in and do your homework on your industry and job options. It can make or break your career down the line and lead to huge changes in your career down the line.
  • When are people usually hiring for your job? Typically this is in the Fall months for most jobs, but it can vary.

Job searching is as serious as your GPA, resume and career choice. You can work one of the hardest jobs in the world, but with the right company and setting if can be easier than 99% of every other job.

Job Interviews

For perspective, it took me 10 months to land my internship. I started in the second semester of my junior year (January 2017) and I landed my internships in my first semester of my senior year (October 2017). I had to go through multiple interviews, being turned down but great places that got me excited and sometimes skipping interviews because I did not like the company reputation.

There is a balance of taking a leap on options, but I wanted a specific job. After months of preparation, nightly applications, studying, expanding my resume, passing exams and constant cold emails, I got an offer. Funny enough, it came from a cold email I sent to the HR department of an amazing firm right in the center of smack dab Buckhead. I never thought my first job would be at the most expensive building in Buckhead, but hey I am not complaining.

The effort, the patience, the struggles, the anticipation were all worth it. The sleepless nights made me more confident, I could do this. October first I started my first day of what would soon become my career at that same company a year later. Amazingly, I started as an intern making $25 an hour. That blew me away as it was a huge blessing for a broke college kid. It goes to show that diligence and hard work does pay off.

What else have I learned? The fastest runner does not always win the race. The Strongest person does not always win the competition. You see, I am not the smartest person. There are better options then me for the position I landed. In fact, they were in class with me complaining that they can not land a job everyday.

The difference was in persistence and honestly being in the right place at the right time. Additionally, I spent every single night in my bed with a computer filling out applications for months and months while they were watching Netflix.

I never really liked Breaking Bad anyways.

The Result

The result speaks for itself. Hard work and diligence will reward you later in life. You need to become the complete package to be successful in this world and not just and “A” student.

Work does not stop at 5 and neither should your effort or expectations. To be successful, you need to work your butt off every day and night that you can. You will be 30, 40, 50, and hopefully 60+ one day. Who do you want to be at those stages in your life? Everything you do today, is something your future self will either thank you for, or hate you for. It’s your decision.

This post is about my life story growing up as an immigrant in Atlanta. Honestly, what it’s really about is my journey on learning how to love myself. I hope this story can encourage one person to do the same and change their life forever.

Growing Up

Growing up my life was difficult but what immigrant’s life isn’t difficult? Living in a house hold were the language is Spanish not English, you can imagine making friends at a young age was a challenge all its own. Luckily, my mother was a stay-at-home mom early in my childhood. We had healthy home cooked meals every day that made life bearable. Unfortunately, that all changed when my father stopped supporting us, and forced my mom to start working full time six days out of the week. I didn’t know it at the time, but this would change my perspective of life for the next eighteen years.

It naturally effected me mentally and physically. Growing up, I soon became overweight at an early age and thought,

“This isn’t a big deal. What’s wrong with a little weight?”

Now, I know that it was a big deal. Looking back, I wished I would have eaten healthier, cared more and invested in my body. I used to eat horrible fried foods, packs of chips the family size one and sugar filled juices by the gallons. Unfortunately, sometimes it was all that I had to eat or drink. No vegetables at all in my diet. Green vegetables were like aliens to me.

Sports

One small factor that helped keep me from being obese early on was my love for playing football, basketball, and soccer. Even though my diet was horrible, being active helped my body stay some what normal. I could still run a mile in a decent time, so my diet was an after thought. This didn’t last long because when the sports stopped in high school my body started to showed it. I gained weight till I was 5’11 and almost 300 pounds. Most of my clothes became too tight to even wear.

It became so bad that I was honestly scared to even look in a mirror……

I knew I was fat, but looking at my myself made me believe I would always be fat. It is one thing to know something, it is another to see it. My situation made me feel horrible. It lowered my self-confidence to almost nothing and caused me to sink into a deep depression. Being obese lead me to the darkest time in my life.

Doubt and Defeat

For the longest time I told myself I would never be skinny or fit. Having self-doubt is the first thing that will stop you from any goal. Daily, I would read health articles and look up workouts to lose weight. Each diet and workout would only last two weeks before I would quit. I had the mindset of a loser before I even started.

It would lead me to crying alone which would make me eat more unhealthy food. My life was hell. I just wanted to give up on everything. I think dating was the hardest for me. Believe it or not, woman do not want an overweight man. Not saying you need a perfect shredded body to get woman, but you do need to be able to attract them.

New Mindset

Finally, in my senior year in college I had enough. I woke up one day, looked myself in the mirror and made a choice to gave up everything. I made a promise to myself on that day to lose weight or just forever be fat. This was it, all or nothing. I woke up every morning between five and six to work out and plan my meal for the day.

The first week was so hard, I felt sick everyday. I went cold turkey giving up all the process foods and sugars my body had grown so accustom to. I had withdraws from my tired, sleep schedule and caffeine. It made my head hurt, stomach ache and even made me feel even worse for the first couple of weeks. I felt like I was dying.

Progress

I was eating vegetables, cutting my calories and working out every day that my body could handle it. My life style slowly changed and my body slowly changed as well. After 4 mouths of constant focus and learning to love myself again, I lost over 80 pounds.

It wasn’t until my birthday in a family picture that I realized, I lost a ton of weight! I never looked in a mirror while on my journey because honestly, I was still scared to. Still, I was not happy with what I saw.

I continued my lifestyle change until now, I now love to cook! It is actually one of my favorite things to do and has even improved my dating life. I love going to the gym as well. Above all, I love being able to buy and wear normal clothes. I feel better, think clearer and view life more positively day by day.

Weight loss journey

I have now lost over 110 pounds and my life and attitude are starting to both reflect this change. My life has improved tremendously. I’m more confident in my physical condition. I can now look at myself in the mirror, and most importantly, I can now see that I was my own worst enemy.

What I have Learned

The only person that can keep you from becoming who you really are is yourself. Finally after the past 18 years, I am slowly learning how to love myself again one day at a time. Additionally, I have learned that losing weight is not about reaching a number. What it is really about, is developing a culture of a positive, healthy lifestyle that I can be proud of. Its about looking in the mirror and seeing a man with potential, passion and drive. Without lying, I can actually say, “I love myself.”

Atlanta Cyclorama

The Atlanta Cyclorama is an immense circular painting depicting a critically important history event from the Civil War, particularly for Georgians, the Battle of Atlanta that occured on July 22, 1864. Painted 22 years after the Battle of Atlanta, the painting depicts a scene from Union victory with the Atlanta skyline, Sherman’s headquarters, and in the distance the battle at Leggett’s Hill.

The artists visited Atlanta in 1885 for field study. They studied and sketched the terrain from a forty-foot tower. Afterward, they returned to their Milwaukee studio to complete the painting. The project was so immense that it required 17 artists working for five months to produce the hand-painted piece that stands 49 feet tall, is longer than a football field, and weighs about 10,000 pounds. This makes the painting one of America’s largest historic treasures and is one of only two cycloramas in the United States, the other being the Battle of Gettysburg cyclorama.

Among the artist that worked on the painting were the famous German painters, Friedrich Wilhelm Heine, Franz Biberstein, and August Lohr.

Friedrich Wilhelm Heine

(March 25, 1845 – August 27, 1921) Friedrich was known for his genre works and paintings depicting Norse mythology. He was born in Leipzig and spent the first forty years of his life in Germany. At the age of fourteen he was a copper and steel engraver’s apprentice and later attended the Leipzig and Weimar Academies in Germany, working as a book illustrator and designer from 1861 to 1866. He was a war correspondent and sketch artist with the Prussian Army in Austria and a field artist in the Franco-Prussian War of 1871. Because of his reputation he was invited to come to Milwaukee to work on The Battle of Atlanta.

August Lohr

Son of an Austrian soapmaker, left Austria in 1862 to study at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, in Munich, Germany. He specialized in painting the Alpine scenery of Bavaria, Switzerland and Western Austria. Lohr, together with Franz Biberstein, assisted Munich art professor, Ludwig Braun to create panoramic paintings of early European battle scenes. In 1884, he traveled to New Orleans to supervise the installation of The Battle of Sedan, a German panorama commemorating a battle in the Franco-Prussian War of 1871.

After working on The Battle of Atlanta, In 1887 August Lohr and Frederick Heine purchased the Wells Street studio from the American Panorama Company and formed the Lohr and Heine panorama company. Subsequently they created the panorama Jerusalem on the Day of the Crucifixion. In 1888 Lohr, Heine, Imre Boos and Paul Zabel formed the Milwaukee Panorama Co and produced Christ’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. At least eight panorama paintings were produced at the Wells street studio. After the Spanish American War (1895-1898) Lohr, Heine, Peter, Rohrbeck and Biberstein went to San Francisco in 1898 to paint the panorama Battle of Manila Bay.

Franz Biberstein

Franz was born in St. Niklaus, Solothurn Canton, Switzerland and is classified as a German artist due to his training rather than his place of origin. HIs father was a skilled marble craftsman and carved cemetery monuments and also laid floors in marble for churches. He took his early training from Johann Sutterlin, a Swiss landscape painter, and at age 19 went to Munich where he enrolled in 1869 at the Royal Academy and spent two years. He subsequently studied in Karlsruhe under Pilotti, and Wilhelm vonDiez, a leader in Munich realism.

Although, Biberstein was much more interested in landscape painting than the traditional academic training of sketching. Painting from live models, he spent much time painting mountain scenery. In 1880 Biberstein began working at a German panorama company in Frankfurt. He worked under Ludwig Braun and with August Lohr who took the panorama, The Battle of Sedan, to the 1883 Exposition in New Orleans, where he was recruited for The Battle of Atlanta.

Cyclorama History

The American Panorama Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the company that commissioned the painting, the company was the first large-scale company in the United States to create panoramas. It was formed by Chicago businessman William Wehner in 1885. He was inspired by the the German panorama “The Battle of Sedan on September 1, 1870” at the 1884 Cotton Exposition in New Orleans. For instance, Wehner’s idea was to bring experienced panorama painters to the United States from Germany to create panoramas of the Civil War. The painting was one of the first two productions for the company, along with “The Storming of Missionary Ridge.”

The painting was displayed in Minneapolis, Detroit, Minnesota and Indianapolis, Indiana. It was sold to an Indianapolis art exhibit company in 1888, where it was sold to Paul Atkinson of Madison, Georgia in 1890. Atkinson first displayed the painting in Chattanooga, Tennessee and then moved it to Atlanta in February 1892. Ernest Woodruff buys the painting and then immediately resells to George V. Gress and Charles Northen. They move the painting again this time to a structure in Grant Park, but business still falters, in part due to competition with new nickelodeon theaters. Gress attempts to cover his losses by donating the painting to the City of Atlanta on condition that building and painting be repaired in March 1898. Ten years later construction for a new building for the painting begins, with construction finally finished in 1921.

Restoration

In the 30s Works Progress Administration (WPA) restoration team created a new diorama foreground with 128 plaster figures and repaints portions of the painting. Clark Gable figure added in 1940, after “Gone With the Wind” star visits cyclorama. Their efforts also addressed the modifications that were made in 1892. The modifications conveyed the scene of the painting as a Confederate victory. It was part of the marketing strategy for the post civil war south. By the 1930s the changes were removed to restore the historical accuracy of the piece.

Over the next several decades the painting gradually deteriorated into an extremely poor state. By the 1970s the Atlanta City Council was in heated debates over how to handle the painting. Mayor Maynard Jackson appointed a committee to study the options. They came to the conclusion to start a conservation effort lead by Gustave Berger. The project closed the cyclorama building from 1979-1982. The extensive renovations to building, including new ground level entrance and revolving seating, cost in total about $11 million.

The success of the restoration kept the painting in good condition for the next 30 years. It wasn’t until 2011 that Mayor Kasim Reed formed the Atlanta Cyclorama Task Force. Its purpose was to study conservation issues and economic viability of the painting at its Grant Park facilities. By 2014 Mayor Reed announced the move of The Battle of Atlanta to Atlanta History Center. The move was complete in 2017 to the Lloyd and Mary Ann Whitaker Cyclorama Building. Finally, the most recent renovations were completed last fall.

Atlanta History Center

This past February, Atlanta History Center opened Cyclorama: The Big Picture, featuring the fully restored painting as the centerpiece. Visitors will now see The Battle of Atlanta cyclorama painting as it was originally intended to be viewed. An experience possible thanks to the near century of maintenance and dedication to Atlanta’s storied history .

Data experts write reports on last year’s marketing statistics that have huge implication for businesses and if you want to maximize your marketing department then you need to keep these numbers in mind. The sources for each data point is listed so you can follow them for more details.   

As an Atlanta business, it is important to stay update to date on the latest marketing trends by analyzing the marketing statistics produced by analysts. Utilize the marketing statistics to further your reach, increase traffic, increase conversions, and ultimately grow your business!

Below we dive into into some of the different statistics that we think are impactful and paint a clear picture of where the marketing world is headed.

SEO Statistics

SEO statistics for Atlanta Businesses and entrepreneurs

SEO statistics represent a wide range of metrics, but there are a few clear findings that Atlanta Businesses need to know.

  • In sum, using videos on landing pages will increase conversions by 86%. (Wordstream, 2018)
  • 90% of searchers haven’t made their mind up about a brand before starting their search. (Status Labs, 2018)

Local SEO

Like traditional SEO, local SEO focused on the general area around your business. For Atlanta businesses, that would be the greater Atlanta area.

  • Not to mention, local searches lead 50% of mobile users to visit stores within one day. (Google, 2018)

Ecommerce

Ecommerce is a thriving way for businesses to increase revenue and get a leg up on competition. Lets review some of the top statistics.

  • To begin with, 84% of people will not make a purchase if they are dealing with an unsecured website. (Blue Corona, 2018)
  • By 2021, global retail ecommerce sales will reach $4.5 trillion. (Shopify Plus, 2018)
  • B2B ecommerce sales are expected to outgrow B2C ecommerce sales by 2020. (Ecommerce Platforms, 2018)

Mobile Search

Most marketing making is done from a simple web search. Traditionally, Google has been dominant in this area leading businesses to solely focus on Google rankings, Ads and developments.

  • Google drives 96% of mobile search traffic. (Jody Nimetz Co., 2018)
  • Over 51% of smartphone users have discovered a new company or product while conducting a search on their smartphone. (Google, 2018)

Organic Search

Organic search is similar to when you are looking to buy a new product and you search for the product online, a relevant company selling that product will pop up as well. Additionally, companies use blogs and off-page SEO to drive organic traffic to their website from simple everyday searches. The hottest trend to do this in 2019, is from videos on youtube and other similar platforms that drive traffic to your site.

  • 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority. (HubSpot, 2018)
  • 70-80% of search engine users are only focusing on the organic results. (MarTech, 2018) Video content is 50 times more likely to drive organic search results than plain text. (Omnicore, 2018)
  • Organic SEO is about 5.66 times better than paid search ads. (New Media Campaigns, 2018)

Voice Search

Projected to be one of the newest upcoming trends, voice search has seen a massive boost in user base and exposure. For instance, popular figures like Gary Vee promote it voice search and voice based apps endlessly stating they are the upcoming next best thing. In today’s society, it is best to be ahead of the trend, that means enable your business to be found through voice search.

  • Two-thirds of people who use digital voice assistants, such as Amazon Echo or Google Home, use their smartphones less often. (CNBC, 2018)
  • In general, content marketing statistics Learn what projects and platforms content marketers are prioritizing.

Blogging

What you are reading now could be considered a blog or an article depending on how you look at it.In particular, Blogging has proven to be one of the most beneficial tools for online marketing. A well written blog will drive hundreds of organic traffic to your site month after month giving you a larger audience to leverage.

  • To illustrate, 55% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority. (HubSpot, 2018)

Content Strategy

With the plan of blogging, it is important to have a clear content strategy. If you are writing blogs over topics that will not lead you to potential clients, conversions, or gain market presence, then you are probably wasting your most precious resource, time.

  • In similar fashion, 9% of marketers plan to add Medium to their marketing efforts in the next 12 months. (HubSpot, 2018)

Podcasts

Podcast Statistics for Atlanta Business

In time similar to voice search, podcasts are projected to grow tremendously over the next 5 years. This is because the general population does not have time to sit and watch a video and focus on the image being portrayed for too long. People are active, on the move, driving, multitasking and this means that information has to adapt to this audience. For instance, podcasts convey important information in a quick, easy digestible way that people can utilize on the go.

  • Surprisingly, 17% of marketers plan to add podcasting to their marketing efforts in the next 12 months. (HubSpot, 2018)
  • Monthly podcast listeners grew from 24% of Americans to 26% year over year. (Edison Research, 2018)
  • In any case, podcast listeners are more likely to own a smart speaker. (Edison Research, 2018)
  • 27% of men and 24% of women listened to podcasts in the last month. (Edison Research, 2018)
  • Podcasts are the number one audio source by time of consumption among podcast listeners. (Edison Research, 2018)

Social Media Statistics

Social media is just as important as SEO, web rankings and video content. Many businesses leverage their social media followings to drive traffic to their business website and generate additional revenue.

Social Media Statistics for Atlanta Business

Facebook

  • By comparison, India has the most Facebook users out of any other country in the world. (Statitsa, 2018)
  • As of June 2018, Facebook had 1.47 billion daily active users and 2.23 billion monthly active users. (Facebook, 2018)

Instagram

  • As of January 2018, the age group with the most Instagram users worldwide is 18-24, followed by 25-34-year-olds. (Statitsa, 2018)
  • Seven out of ten hashtags on Instagram are branded. (Sprout Social, 2018)
  • Instagram mobile ad revenue is expected to hit nearly $7 billion this year. (Statista, 2018)
  • Instagram hit 1 billion monthly users in June 2018, after hitting 800 million monthly users in September. (TechCrunch, 2018)

  • Undoubtedly, instagram’s user count is growing close to 5% per quarter. (TechCrunch, 2018)
  • eMarketer estimates that Instagram will generate $5.48 billion in U.S. ad revenue in 2018. (TechCrunch, 2018)
  • Instagram makes up 28.2% of Facebook’s mobile ad revenue. (TechCrunch, 2018)
  • Instagram launched IGTV app in 2018 which allows creators to upload one-hour long videos. (TechCrunch, 2018)
  • There are over 400 million Instagram users creating Instagram stories every day. (Statitsa, 2018)
  • Jakarta, Indonesia is the top tagged location in Instagram stories. (Digital GYD, 2018)
  • The top three most common hashtags used in Instagram stories in 2018 are #GOODMORNING, #WORK, #GOODNIGHT. (Digital GYD, 2018)
  • Research on 89 companies found that marketers posted 1,347 Instagram Stories compared to 614 Snapchat Stories in July 2018. (Our Social Times, 2018)
  • Another key point, Instagram Stories posted a 220% increase in year-on-year ad spend. (Our Social Times, 2018)

LinkedIn

  • The average LinkedIn user spends 17 minutes on the site per month. (Wordstream, 2018)
  • Provided that, LinkedIn has 562 million members. (LinkedIn, 2018)
  • Presently, 40% of members visit the professional social network each day. (Omnicore Agency, 2018)
  • 80% of people use Pinterest on mobile. (CoSchedule Blog, 2018)
  • Equally important, 80% of millennial Pinterest users say that the platform helps them decide what they should buy. (CoSchedule Blog, 2018)
  • Additionally, Snapchat has 188 million daily active users. (Statista, 2018)
  • In summary for 2017, 81% of Snapchat’s Q2 revenue came from North America (Omnicore, 2018)
  • In May 2018, Snapchat’s shares were worth $10.95, down from their original value of $27.09. (Brandwatch, 2018)
  • Altogether in the U.S., Snapchat is the sixth most popular social networking app as of May 2018. (Statitsa, 2018)
  • In August 2017, Snapchat users were 64% more likely to send a snap to a friend than post to stories. (Quartz, 2018)
  • As of May 2018, the longest Snapchat streak is 1,120 snaps. (Brandwatch, 2018)
  • To put it differently, Snapchat users spent an average of 34.5 minutes on the app in September 2018.

(CNBC, 2018)

  • In general, the cost for Snap Ads campaigns starts at $3,000 per month. (Wallaroo Media, 2018)

Social Media Exposure

At any rate, social media gives your company tons of free traffic and exposure as you grow and gain followers.

  • On the whole, 59% of Americans believe that customer service through social media has made it easier to get their questions answered and issues resolved. (Lyfe Marketing, 2018)
  • About 3.03 billion people are on social media around the globe. (BrizFeel, 2018)
  • 96% of people talking about companies and brands on social media aren’t actively following those brands. (Lyfe Marketing, 2018)
  • Branded content on social media is twice as likely to interest people between the ages of 55 and 64 than those who are 28 and younger. (BrizFeel, 2018)

Social Media Usage

  • More than 50% of Internet users say they follow some sort of celebrity or influencer account on social media. (BrizFeel, 2018)
  • 2 million business are said to use Facebook for advertising in 2018. (Hootsuite, 2018)
  • For instance, Social media and video viewing are the two most popular online activities. (Smart Insights, 2018)

Twitter

  • There are 369 million monthly active Twitter users as of 2018. (Statitsa, 2018)
  • Surprisingly, Katy Perry has the most Twitter followers followed by Justin Bieber. (Statitsa, 2018)
  • In 2017, Twitter’s revenue reached 2.44 billion US dollars. (Statitsa, 2018)
  • Not to mention, 79% of Twitter’s monthly average users are located outside of the U.S. (Hootsuite, 2018)
  • In addition, Tweets with videos get over six times as many retweets as tweets with photos. (Wochit, 2018)

Video Marketing Statistics

Videos are the best way to increase your online presence. As a result, multiple sources provide video marketing statistics detailing the effectiveness of providing videos of your services or products online. With videos becoming the standard, soon if you do not have a video you will be considered behind the curve if not already.

Social Video

  • Specifically, 41% of marketers plan to add Facebook video to their content strategy in the next year. (HubSpot, 2018)

Video Analytics

  • Above all, having a video thumbnail in the search results can double your search traffic. (Search Engine Journal, 2018) Video drives a 157% increase in organic traffic from SERPs. (Wordstream, 2018)
  • For instance, YouTube 45% of marketers plan to add YouTube to their content strategy in the next year. (HubSpot, 2018)
  • Additionally, About 5 billion YouTube videos are viewed on average every day. (Omnicore, 2018)
  • As a matter of fact, 65% of senior executives navigate to a site after viewing a related YouTube video. (Single Grain, 2018)

Overview and Purpose

In summary, we hope you can utilize these marketing statistics to make better informed decisions on your marketing and social media plans!

In addition, if you learned something and enjoyed this article, make sure to check out our part 2 to the article where we discuss more relative statistics!

The fall season presents some the best weather for unique outdoor experiences at one of the apple orchards in Georgia . Around September and October is the best opportunity for hayrides through orchards and apple picking.

In Georgia, there are numerous farms and orchards that capture the Autumn ambiance while enjoying apple treats and festivals. Below is a list of some of our favorite places to go during the fall!

Hillcrest Orchards

Apple Orchards in Georgia to visit

A seasonal business and is only open during the months of September, October & November. Hillcrest is family owned and operated and has been cultivating apples as well as wholesome experiences for children, adults and seniors since 1946.

Hillcrest annual event

The annual event is held on the weekends during September and October in Ellijay, GA at one of the main Apple Orchards in Georgia. Hillcrest’s dwarf trees with apples hanging well within reach, are the perfect height for small children. They, in addition to the whole family, can pick a variety of apples including Rome Beauty, Golden Delicious, Mutsu, Granny Smith, Yates and more.

Apple Pickin’ Jubilee

The “Apple Pickin’ Jubilee” is this orchard’s apple picking festival. Enjoy a wide range of activities including swimming pig races, an apple tree maze, mini golf, wagon rides through the orchard, cow milking,  bluegrass bands, clogging groups, museums, pony rides, multiple playgrounds, a jumping pillow, and other farm festivities. After all the games, enjoy samples of Hillcrest’s delicious treats. Afterwards, buy fresh produce from the market, swing by the grill for lunch and the bakery for apple fritters and apple pies, and more.

B.J. Reece Apple House

A variety of apples in season: Rome Beauty, Pink Ladies, Fuji and September Wonder. They are tucked away in the North Georgia mountains and are a family-owned and operated farm since the early 1960s. They grow 20 different varieties of apples on 120 acres. The orchards are also pet-friendly, so bring your four-legged best friend, too.

Weekend activities

On weekends, petting zoo, orchard zip line, jumping pillow, cow train and apple shooting cannon. Additionally, the bakery has plenty of apple treats: fresh cider, fried apple pies, apple bread and cider doughnuts. These activities operate every Saturday and Sunday while the you-pick orchards are open.

Mercier Orchards

One of The state’s largest apple orchards in Georgia , Mercier offers more than 50 varieties of apples, as well as peaches, nectarines, blueberries, cherries, strawberries, blackberries and more. The do it yourself apple events (September through November), starts with a tractor ride to the orchards and a brief talk about Mercier’s history.

Hard Apple Cider

Mercier Orchards also has the only apple orchards in Georgia that grow, press, ferment and bottle their own hard apple cider. Enjoy the farm winery tasting room alongside the bakery, deli, and market store any of them are worth the drive north.

Red Apple Barn

Roots go back to the family of William Tobe (W.T.). Specifically In 1965, his son Marven planted the first orchard of 100 trees across the street from Liberty Church in Gilmer County and the next year he planted 500 more trees on Tail Creek on a farm adjoining his father’s land. By 1971 the Red Apple Barn was built to start the business that continues today. Enjoy a visit with your family to the barn near Ellijay in the North Georgia mountains.

Pumpkins

Not only can you pick apples, you can also pick pumpkins and wild flowers. Visitors can enjoy the tractor ride to and from the orchard as well as tour the farm. School groups or field trips of 15 or more can book Farm Tours, even on weekdays by calling ahead. In the farm store, you have to try the apple pies, fritters, bread, caramel and candied apples, jams and jellies, honey and apple cider.

Wedding Venue

There is also The Orchard Barn Wedding Venue which is  located within the mountain sites of the original terraced orchard from 1965. Red Apple Barn love to share their farm with anyone who enjoys the rustic beauty of the property. Social functions such as family reunions, parties, business events, weddings and receptions are often accommodated by the barn’s hospitable staff.

R&A Orchards

A three generation strong family business since when the first trees were planted in 1947. This orchard has farm tours and you pick apples every weekend in September. R&A Orchard has approximately 60 acres of apple trees and approximately 10 acres of peaches and nectarines.

Jaemor Farms

is a 350-acre farm has been in the Jaemor family since 1912, with a roadside market that has been open for 35 years. Jaemor Farms is one of the largest roadside markets in the country, specializing in a variety of homegrown produce.

Festivals

Every year Georgia host these and other business at the festivals in North Georgia. Moreover, the Big Red Apple Festival is held in downtown Cornelia, GA. This year’s festival will be on Saturday, September 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

They will have Artisan Arts and Crafts, a kids’ zone, a classic car show, Anything Apple Competition, live and local entertainment, great food vendors, corn hole tournament, tours in the Train Museum, hayrides to Chenocetah Tower, and more.

Georgia Apple Festival

Apple Orchards in Georgia

Another annual event is The Georgia Apple Festival is a two weekend event in Ellijay, GA. With the local host including The Ellijay Lions Club, the Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce, the cities of Ellijay and East Ellijay, and Gilmer County.

2019 festival

The 2019 festival will be on the 12th and 13th of October for the first weekend, as well as the following weekend on the 19th and 20th. This will be the 48th year of the Georgia Apple Festival. There are over 300 vendors with handmade, hand-crafted items, as well as many on-site demonstrations of how selected types of crafts are made. This year promises many new crafts as well as favorites from past festivals.

Parade

Finally, there is a parade and antique car show each year. The antique car show is held at the Civic Center on October 12th. Previously, the parade is on October 19th and begins at 10 AM in historic downtown Ellijay.

Apple Recipe

All in all, need a new recipe to try with your apples? Make this galette that will impress even your foodie friends with your culinary skills.

Apple, Cranberry and Pecan Galette

This free-formed tart, also known as a French Galette, is as easy to make as it is elegant to serve. *Yields 8 servings

Pastry Dough

1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks

3 tablespoon cold water 1 large egg, beaten + 1 tablespoon water

Filling

1 cup dark brown sugar

4-5 medium apples, like Honey Crisp, Gala, and Granny Smith, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices

1 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup water

Garnish

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped

1/4 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Bake for 7 – 10 minutes and enjoy!