I learned a lot about stress in 2017. Even though I didn’t experience as much stress last year as I had in years past, I learned a lot about how it affects my body and mind, and how to deal with it.
I realized that what helps me de-stress the most is scheduling “me time.” Taking it often, and without shame or judgement (mainly from myself), has been key in keeping my stress levels – and its affects – down in 2017. And I plan to continue this trend in 2018.
“Me time” can come in many forms, from a simple walk outside to an extravagant spa treatment. Because I’m a foodie, visiting a new coffee shop or restaurant solo definitely counts as “me time” in my book. Recently, I took a day off work and combined my love of food and pampering in the ultimate “me day:” A luxurious hair appointment at White Salon and Spa followed by a sweet little happy hour at TAP Gastropub.
After a productive morning and catching up with a friend over lunch, I arrived for my cut and color at White Salon and Spa in Buckhead. Its aesthetic is beautiful: Clean, simple, inviting. You’re greeted with a beverage (hello, afternoon wine!) and ushered to your stylist’s workstation.
|(c) Kelly Embry|
I saw Roberto, who gave my hair an amazing and much needed update. He listened to me, made suggestions when I wasn’t sure what I wanted, and was really friendly throughout the appointment. His balayage technique was outstanding, and I was thrilled with the results. I’d highly recommend him, but all stylists at White Salon and Spa are knowledgeable and professional, and they offer a wide variety of services that extend beyond cut and color.
|(c) Carlos Maldonado|
Feeling good about my shiny new ‘do, I headed to midtown to grab a drink and a bite at TAP: A Gastropub. This place has three of my favorite things: A lovely outdoor patio, great beer selection, and fantastic food.
TAP is located in the heart of the city and surrounded by skyscrapers, so enjoying a pint on its patio transports you to a true urban oasis. Happy hour is where this restaurant shines: Chef Gary Thorne has mastered the art of shareable plates, and the extensive beer and cocktail lists are guaranteed to please a crowd.
|TAP's all day menu|
I tried some of TAP’s new additions to the menu, and I really appreciate the chef’s creative take on comfort dishes in the most unexpected ways. The outcome is pleasantly surprising.
|Some of the new additions to the shareable plates portion of the menu|
For example: You can never go wrong with a soft pretzel as a shareable appetizer, but the addition of the beer cheese dip made with Scofflaw Basement IPA is absolutely genius. Or take TAP’s calamari – every other restaurant in Atlanta has one, but this dish is saturated in buffalo sauce and served with blue cheese aioli and celery curls.
|Soft pretzel with Scofflaw beer cheese|
|Buffalo calamari with blue cheese aioli and celery curls|
The plant-based appetizers were probably my favorites: Crispy sriracha cauliflower, Brussels sprouts with Calabrian chili honey, and Cajun boiled peanuts. All three have a touch of sweetness and spice to them, and you at least feel healthy when eating them instead of, say, fries.
|Crispy sriracha cauliflower|
|Brussels sprouts with Calabrian chili honey and champagne vinegar|
|Cajun boiled peanuts|
I wrapped up my day with a cold brew from one of TAP’s taps and felt grateful for allowing myself to indulge in some of my favorite activities. Check out my insta-stories highlights for more details about both White Salon and Spa and TAP.
What's your favorite way to take some "me time?"