Thursday, January 25, 2018

How to have the best “me day” ever

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?"