Writer’s Block is Real

Every now and then I feel the need to check in with my readers and let you all know what’s going on with the Blog and with my life. This will only take a couple of minutes. I just need to rehash some of my goals from the beginning of the year and take a second to celebrate my progress.

Writer’s block is real, ya’ll

I struggle with writer’s block every other day and have serious doubts about myself as a writer. Are my topics relevant? Am I too wordy? Do I tell good stories? The best thing to combat this doubt i’ve found out recently is to read daily. In keeping up with my goals to read 50 books this year, I’ve read so many books since my last check in in February. Right now, I’m reading If you have to Cry, Go Outside by Kelly Cutrone and Inferno by Dan Brown. Last month, I read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (recommended by a QC Placemaker) and Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. Next month, I really want to read The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae. Gahh! So many good books!

My “yes year” is almost over

This year has been my year for saying yes to (almost) everything proposed to me. A few things I have said yes to include sitting on a nonprofit board, traveling to New Orleans to cover the Essence Music Festival with Blavity.com, starting my Master’s Degree in Communication and creating an extension of the PlaceMakers brand on Instagram. All of these things may seem small to some but to me, they’re huge!

Becoming a better writer

After listening to a particularly captivating episode of the Smart Passive Income Podcast on copywriting, I learned about the importance of copywriting and how to get people engaged in my messages more consistently. I’ve also learned that when you are a writer, you tend to have a diversity of interests. Look at all these contributions I’ve made since January!  

Wine, my alter ego

This year, I got the chance to broaden my media and communication experience into the audio world. I am on Twitter at least 2-3 hours a day and consume so much information! Sometimes it’s good to digest this information in a creative way and we rarely get to talk to our friends candidly anymore but this podcast, Shoes, Kale, Wine, Grits allows me to curate interesting topics and produce fresh content through produced segments, games and interviews. If you haven’t guessed already, I’m Wine and I host the podcast along with three friends. We post a new episode every other Thursday. I can proudly say we are on the 2nd episode. This podcast is my newest baby. And the Facebook page is poppin. Make sure you like the page so you’ll be updated when a new episode is posted.


TL;DR Writer’s block, My “Yes year” is half way over, I’m becoming a better writer, I’m in national and local publications, My alter ego, Wine, gets her own Podcast!

Thanks for being loyal readers!



The 15 People you will meet at Amelie’s French Bakery

Amelie’s French Bakery, everyone’s favorite Charlotte bakery and my second home for writing, socializing, people watching and pretty much ANY creative activity. Over the years I’ve noticed that Amelie’s has its regular “characters”. I always see at least five of these types of people at any given day at Amelie’s. And of course, I’m talking about the original Amelie’s in NoDa. Here are the 15 types of people you will meet at Amelie’s. Which one are you?

1. The college student

When the Bakery Gods thought of Amelie’s, they probably didn’t intend for it to be the perfect place to grind out an all night paper. (or maybe they did) As a grad student, this place was my second home. It’s 24 hour schedule makes it super conducive to doing late night (and last-minute) work.

college student2. The retiree

Dont you love seeing old couples enjoy a coffee and the paper together? retirees typically enjoy Amelie’s at odd times of the day like why are you even up at 7:00am?

old person

3. The family

Ah yes, the baby toter and the mom and dads with their little bundles of joy. This joy can range from quietly cooing and just being pinch-worthy to a loud outrageous kind of joy that won’t stop playing with the huge Paris map in the main room. A joy nonetheless.


4. The skater

They just came in from outside and they might be a little sweaty but hey, skaters need to rest too. the best thing is that they typically sit on the patio and don’t keep the seats too long.


5. The snapchatter

These usually come in groups of 3 or more girls ranging from Junior at Charlotte Country Day to freshman at UNCC. These are the girls who order the Crème brûlée or salted caramel brownie and make a production out of quietly snapchatting and instagramming their treats. Search the Amelie’s tag on IG…major foodporn.

working and coffee

6. The employee

They really are the best. they clean up after you and bring you things like forks and napkins even though they don’t have to. I know you see that tip jar at the register. Use it!

via charlotte observer

via the charlotte observer

7. The regular

These folks are so used to ordering from Amelie’s. they probably call their order ahead of time and get a whole baguette. Also, these people will sit in the same spot each time they come. I’m looking at you weird guy who sits behind the barista counter next to the hallway.

coffee deck

8. The artist

These could range from musicians sitting outside to the watercolor artists I saw in the main room a few months back. I thought to myself, wow what incredible use of the space.


9. The baby shower-goer

You ever wonder what goes on in that private dining room? Baby Showers, mostly. It seems like every time i visit, there is something booked in that room. Go ahead and book the Versailles room for your event. Good luck. I hear there’s a waiting list!

Drinking Mom

10. The blogger, entrepreneur or  event planner

So this is me. I have to admit, i take FULL advantage of the WIFI and Amelie’s to blog and write. Most of my writing was published from within these decorated walls. I wrote this piece at Amelie’s too. The one thing you need to know about us (this includes planners and business owners), we will occupy the same seat all day and get comfortable next to the nearest outlet.


11. The group project

The dreaded group project at Amelie’s. Here’s the thing. group projects are the closest thing to death I can think of. Amelie’s helps to take the edge off a little. Order a nice coffee or hot chocolate and get to work. Just don’t go at the last minute. The WIFI can be shoddy when there’s multiple devices at a table.


12. The lunch meeting

This is also me. Whenever I have a lunch or networking date, I typically bring them to Amelie’s. It’s centrally located and convenient for both parties.


13. The cyclist

Add about 20 years on to the skaters and you get your average cyclist. They typically migrate from surrounding neighborhoods like Plaza Midwood and Myers Park. They’re pretty easy to spot in their bright spandex and special bike shoes. Stay out of their way, and they’ll stay out of yours 🙂


14. The newcomer

These people are often tourists, the mom you invite in town after you’ve been living in Charlotte for a few months and want to show her you’re doing ok. “Wow! This place is so different!” Whenever I overhear a newbie marvel at Amelie’s walls and endless baked goods, I think to myself, how have you never been here before??

mona lisa

15. The person you haven’t seen in months!

This is pretty much inevitable. When you go to Amelie’s, you’ll likely run into that person you haven’t seen in months. I’ve seen some pretty intense reunions in Amelie’s, “Hey Girl! How are you???! and I’ve avoided some pretty awkward conversations there as well. Just gonna focus really had on this tea and pretend I didn’t just see my ex.

meet up

Now I wonder what kind of characters we’ll find at the new South Charlotte location

What other characters have you seen at Amelie’s??

Drop it in the comments or find me Twitter @yea_me2

photos via, via, via

Charlotte PlaceMakers: Miss Queen City/Miss Metropolitan Scholarship Pageant

Miss  QC2


Beauty pageants are all about the on-stage presence and being unbelievably tan, right? Wrong! I recently talked to Montez Roman, volunteer Marketing and Sponsorship Coordinator for the Miss Queen City Miss Metrolina Scholarship Organization and three current titleholders. You ever wonder how those crowns stay on all day? Well I asked them 5 questions about what they’re doing off-stage in Charlotte.


Caption: Left to Right: Kianna Jasper, Miss Metrolina’s Outstanding Teen 2015 is a 17 year old Senior at Independence High School, Cheslie Kryst, Miss Metrolina is a 24 year old 3rd year law student at Wake Forest earning her JD and MBA, McKenzie Faggart, Miss Queen City is a rising Junior at UNC Charlotte (McKenzie was not present during the interview), and Ava Starnes, Miss Queen City’s Outstanding Teen 2015 is a 13 year old Parkwood Middle School student 

1. How are you all doing things differently?

MR: Not only do they compete for scholarships, competing in the Miss Queen City Miss Metrolina pageant provides life skills through volunteering and community appearances. The girls do a year of service in order to create awareness around the organization and their platforms

2. How did you get started in pageants?

KJ: My Mom stressed the fact that it was a scholarship pageant and I would be doing community service. I just felt like it was something i wanted to try.

CK: My Mom was Mrs. North Carolina 2002. I did the pageants at my highschool but I never actually competed in the Miss America system until I graduated from college

3. Is it really like Miss congeniality? (I had to get this question out-of-the-way)

KJ:Sort of, we get the crown to stay on with lots of butterfly clips and elastic. *tilts head front to back and the crown is completely still*

CK: It’s true, “butt glue” is a lifesaver. We use it for swimsuits and dresses that need a little extra support.

4.  How does your title empower you, especially in terms of female equality?

KJ: I visited Lebanon Road Elementary School and let all the girls in the kindergarten class wear my crown. I saw them pull their shoulders back and stand up straight. It  just felt good to give them that sense of empowerment! The title gives me and everyone who holds the title a voice that we never had before.

CK: I was recently asked to talk about a marketing campaign I found interesting and when I chose to talk about the Miss America Organization, I got the strangest looks. It was unfortunate that I couldn’t talk about an organization that I was so proud of. The more people who know about us and really get to know the girls who are involved, the better.

AS: Whenever I compete, even if I don’t come home with a crown, I want to come home with a lesson. I’m learning about interview skills and how to feel grateful (remember this is from a 13 year old!

5. What’s one thing you want the Charlotte community and NC to know about you and about this scholarship program?

CK: I would emphasize the diversity involved in this program. I’m a Grad student and a JD student but I’m not unique. There are so many accomplished women in the Miss America system. A lot of people think it’s about beauty but if they get to meet some of us, they may think differently.

AS: I shared platform on Cherubs Disease, a birth defect that children are born with, and I was born with. I’m a survivor. I go on stage hoping they ask me about that.


The qualifier competition in June will decide who will be on TV competing for Miss America representing North Carolina. Qualifiers will also be aired on TWC Channel 323.During their year of service, you can catch them at the next parade, opening, nonprofit fundraiser and event. You can book them to represent your special event. Let’s celebrate our young Queens. This City is named after one after all.

Follow @QCPlacemakers on Instagram

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do what you love and love what you do

Im excited to announce our expansion of the PlaceMakers series to Instagram. Please follow our new account TODAY to get up to date information on past Placemakers features, future interviews, daily content from my adventures in the Queen City and you’ll want a front row seat when PlaceMakers goes on the road this summer. Quick! Follow Now! 

4 Lessons From Quitting My First Real Job

Note: This post was originally posted on eatworkplay704.com when I started working at my current job. I rescued it and refreshed it for my Queen City readers. Enjoy!

Yesterday was my last day working at what I thought would be my dream job. A job my three-year Master degree in Public Administration perfectly prepared me for. I cannot say anything negative about where I worked I have always dreamed of working in the public sector. As a “native” Charlottean, I dreamed of making a difference in the community and my overall goal is to someday be a City Manager for a City the size of Charlotte. Even though this job didn’t quite work out, the truth is that there is so much opportunity here in Charlotte and if you apply yourself, your next job could be right around the corner. We as young people will typically have multiple careers and we are more likely to follow a specific industry rather than company. So I think it’s perfectly fine to leave a job after 6 months to a year. I want to share some important lessons from quitting my first ‘real’ job.

The only thing that’s constant is change

It’s true. If you don’t get with it, you’re gone. Whether it’s getting a new manager, CEO or introducing a new payroll system, you either adapt or get lost in the shuffle. At work, you must show your flexibility. If the change is too big for you to handle or be happy with, get out of there. There’s no use in being miserable at a job you’re not good at.

If you’re not sitting at the table, you’re on the menu

Feel left out at meetings? Feel as though you are not a part of the decision making process? A lot of times as entry-level employees we feel like we’re not entitled to sit at the table just yet. But you should still make your voice heard. And sometimes if you’re not at the table, your role may be changed and discussed without your own input. Imagine that!

All criticism is an autobiography

Well actually I heard this from Stokely Carmichael’s 1966 Black Power Speech but that’s neither here nor there. Before you start to criticize others for not getting to a certain level or educational attainment, look in the mirror. What does that criticism say about you? Same with receiving feedback. When you get feedback at work, rather than take it personally, think about how your performance impacts those around you.

You’re not married to a job; you’re just dating

In a job, as in dating, you’ll find that sometimes what you don’t like is more important that what you do like.

The most important thing to remember after all this is that the BEST time to look for a job is when you already have a job. With that said, I only quit because I had an offer lined up already…and that’s something to brag about!

Originally posted on 11/6/14


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