Nicole Letts is a freelance writer and columnist with clips in publications the likes of BBC, AAA Alabama Journey, Atlanta Magazine, Modern Luxury, Fodor's, Good Grit, TimeOut, StyleBlueprint, and more. With work ranging from fashion to food and from personal interests to travel destinations, Nicole focuses on capturing the modern Southern voice. When she’s not burning the midnight writing oil, you can expect to find her dipping in her favorite area shops or bellied up to the bar at the latest restaurant on her search of the best French 75. Nicole lives with her husband and Jack Russell Terrier mix pup in the heart of Atlanta.
Pastry Chef Claudia Martinez devotes herself to her food and her city.
Crossing barriers is something Ms Pat has tackled her entire life. Having first learned to sew from her mother, a skilled seamstress who made the family's clothes out of desire, not necessity, she excelled in sewing in her home economics classes at Mobile's Murphy High School.
John Washburne on opening a restaurant amid Covid-19 Words by Nicole Letts In late February, before Covid-19 shook the restaurant industry to its core, Evelyn and John Washburne met with architects about their new Italian concept, Alla Campagna. It is to be housed in the historic limestone building at 342 West Main Street.
THESE WORKS MAKE WAVES IN YOUR HOME Words by Nicole Letts In the South, summer is synonymous with our beaches. Beloved trips to places like Gulf Shores, 30A and the Outer Banks often fill our calendars, giving us something to look forward to each summer.
Evelyn & John Washburne make a difference with food in Fredericksburg, Texas
Buckhead artist Sally King Benedict finds inspiration in people and through yoga Sally King Benedict is among one of the most illustrious names in Atlanta's contemporary art scene. Best known for her round, geometric faces, the 30-something Buckhead resident's work is hallmarked by playful squiggles, broad-lined brushstrokes, angular shapes and whimsical dots and rings.
Buckhead interior design prodigy Kevin O'Gara dishes on design At 22 years old, Buckhead native and fifth generation Atlantan Kevin O'Gara has already done what many interior designers only dream of. He is the editor of the highly successful design blog "Thou Swell" and is the founder of product studio Kevin Francis Design.
Kate Waddell brings her whimsical still life paintings to Atlanta Kate Waddell's art journey almost ended after her first painting class at the College of Charleston. The session, which involved painting a draped towel, revealed Waddell's classmates "smooth and classic lines and gradients." Her painting, however, looked much more geometric and saturated.
Wisconsin offers golf lovers and wellness seekers the best of both worlds My alarm chimed at 6 a.m., raising me from plush, luxurious bedding at The American Club, the Midwest's only AAA and Forbes Five Star resort in Kohler, Wisconsin. Unlike most other mornings (I am a night owl), I opened my eyes immediately and...
EXPLORE THESE 10 GEORGIA TREASURES As you plan your summer bucket list, don't miss these under-the-radar destinations around the state. Some are right outside your Buckhead backdoor while others might require a day trip (or an overnight stay). Load up the car and hit the road toward 10 of Georgia's most curious stops.
From the scenic rooftop to the sultry basement, once you check in at Hotel Clermont, you won't want to leave When dreaming up a surprise for my sister's 25th birthday last summer, I kept returning to a sister staycation at Hotel Clermont. Maggie is 10 years my junior, so I knew I needed something hip...
The Burgess Hotel transports you to international destinations without leaving Buckhead I'm a self-described staycation aficionado. The first local trip in my memory was the year my mom booked a cabin for me and a few friends at Lake Lanier Islands for my birthday. In college, my Phi Mu pledge class sisters and I booked...
Over the past few years, my husband and I have become regulars at Taqueria del Sol's Cheshire Bridge location. You can find us there, almost weekly, sitting at the bar chatting with manager George Trusler. He's a character.
For those of us in tight spaces, however, those island desires might seem futile, especially when every part of the room should not only feel useful but also be useful. Don't give up on your fantasies just yet, though. It's possible to create a convenient island even in a confined space or rental.
Atlanta is one of those cities that everyone finds themselves in at one time or another. Often, it's just a quick layover at the airport. Other times, it's for several days of business meetings and conference happenings. And navigating a slew of hotels, where several are probably listed at the corner of Peachtree and Peachtree, can be intimidating and downright confusing.
Living in Atlanta, I get asked about what to do, where to stay and what to eat. A LOT! But I'd be lying if I said I didn't love curating every inquisitor's itinerary. If I'm being totally honest, I could tell you how to spend 48 hours in each of Atlanta's bustling neighborhoods.
You may have noticed an curious addition to Atlanta's dessert menus recently: ruby chocolate. Heralded by Belgian chocolate manufacturer Callebaut as the world's fourth chocolate (and currently available in the U.S. under an FDA temporary marketing permit), this rose-colored confection has a strong chance of becoming the next viral ingredient to fill Instagram feeds.
Florida is a place where you can find Disney World, Ernest Hemingway's home, Spanish war forts, and now submerged statues just off shore. If looking for a new museum or a new way to experience art, head to Grayton Beach in South Walton, Florida to explore the Underwater Museum of Art, the first underwater sculpture garden in the U.S.
Self-described as "one happy island," Aruba lives up to its nickname. From the moment you step off of the plane for your Aruba vacation, you're met with smiling faces escorting you through passport control, directing you to baggage claim and sending you off in a car as you head towards paradise.
There is nothing I loathe more than small talk, and the holidays are just about the worst. Probably like many of you, I find myself attending a lot of holiday functions. I'll go several holiday gatherings for various magazines I write for. I'll attend my husband's company party.
While talking about money is oftentimes generally considered a faux pas, as a Southerner, it's an absolute no-no. Of course, husbands, brothers, and fathers might stand around putting greens all day bragging about their latest sports car, link-centric trip, or investment properties , but that conversation has rarely been had over petit fours at ladies' lunches.
Justin Williams | Trademark Design Co.
Buckhead's Anne Irwin Fine Art has been a distinguished art destination for more than 30 years. While collectors turn to Irwin's expertise and artful eyes regularly, perhaps the largest draw of the year is the annual Emerging Artist Show. Beginning August 2, the event will showcase works by more than 40 artists, its largest such show to date.
USE SLEEP HYGIENE TACTICS TO TAKE HEALTHY SLEEP INTO YOUR OWN HANDS Starting a sleep hygiene routine might be the difference in quality, sound sleep and full daytime alertness. Why is this so important, besides feeling better every day? "Good sleep is needed by your brain to maintain higher levels of reasoning, problem solving and...
Ex-NFL player Bryan Jean-Pierre trains a select Atlanta crowd STORY: Nicole Letts Owned and operated by Buckhead resident and former NFL defensive lineman Bryan Jean-Pierre, MiscFit is arguably the most exclusive club in Atlanta. After all, you need an invitation to be a part of the private fitness studio.
Over the past few years, you might have noticed pretty rose quartz rollers and flat jade Gua sha tools popping up on social media and at various beauty supply stores. You also may have noticed your favorite facialists offering unique additions to their repertoires, like buccal massage or facial cupping.
Helping women stay fit during pregnancy, not just after
Aging is not something we like to speak about South of the Mason-Dixon. If anything, we're raised doing just the opposite. Asking a woman her age is a faux-pas, and night creams are used to erase wrinkles. Many of us have stories about our grandmother's once-a-week hair appointments made religiously until she passed.
Anxiety relief, sleep improvement and muscle relaxation are just a few of the benefits of the latest wellness craze, CBD oil. CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of the cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis plants, most often known as hemp. However, unlike its controversial cousin marijuana, CBD does not contain THC, the well-known principal psychoactive ingredient.
Approximately 40 million adults in the United States struggle with some type of anxiety disorder. What's more, women are twice as likely as men to be affected by anxiety. It's not far fetched to assume that many of you struggle with anxiety on a weekly, if not daily, basis.
Navigating diet trends can be overwhelming. If you’re finding yourself in uncharted diet waters, reflect on your objectives before setting sail. Then, determine which way of eating—like any of the trends below—will get you to your destination.
Fashion & Interiors
Designed by Serenbe Planning & Design, built by South Haven and brought to life by eight Atlanta-based designers, the 2019 Serenbe Designer Showhouse - presented by Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles - is one for the books. Head designer Anna-Wooten Loggins of A. Wooten Interiors says the home's continuity makes it stand out from other showhouses.
Fall in Atlanta is a conundrum. While our fashion senses tell us it’s time to break out our boots and start layering, the steamy weather tells us to press pause. In fact, Atlanta’s temperatures don’t tend to drop until mid to late October.
When the nieces of fashion designer Tory Burch give you a few tips about the handbags every woman needs in her repertoire, you pay attention. Sisters Neely and Chloe Burch are working to redefine luxury to make quality handbags and shoes affordable for all women regardless of budget.
When the Atlanta Home for the Holidays Designer Showhouse & Marketplace opens its doors, you know the holiday season is officially here. That's the moment it's not just beginning to look a lot like Christmas, it's beginning to feel that way too!
Ann Mashburn whisks into our meeting with a branded coffee cup already in her hand. Wearing simple jeans, a blue and white striped Oxford, a trench, cowboy boots and cowhide belt, she's dressed stylishly and sophisticated yet laid back and casual. Classic. The belt, she says with a laugh, is, "the star of the show."
The dawn of March ushers in a slew of important days: Mardi Gras, the beginning of Daylight Savings, St. Patrick's Day and the first day of spring, just to name a few. However, we're focusing on a day we think is extra important: International Women's Day.
Hudson | Grace officially arrived in mid-October during Atlanta's first cool week of fall. The double front doors were open wide beckoning visitors to step inside the highly curated world of Monelle Totah and Gary McNatton, a duo with knowledge of design and a knack for entertaining.
Classic. Timeless. Pretty. These are the words that lead designer Meredith McBearty uses to describe the 2018 Serenbe Designer Showhouse. She's spot-on. As the fifth annual showhouse, the four-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath Selborne Estate Home is a marriage of European style and Southern charm. It was designed by Newnan architect Mitch Ginn of L.
"Lighting has the ability to capture your style while also providing a purpose," says Maggie Bailey of Atlanta's Edgar-Reeves Lighting. Through her store, which she co-owns with her husband Matt, Maggie makes the seemingly stressful process of selecting lighting both personal and approachable.
If you're anything like me, spring cleaning can be a bit daunting. Looking around my home, there are so many places I could dive in. Do I start with my filled-to-the-brim closet? The overflowing junk drawer? Or how about those boxes that are still not unpacked from moving into my home nearly a year ago?
As a proud, card-carrying member of the Busty Women Club, better known as the BWC, the ushering in of fall usually causes me a pinch of anxiety. No, it's not the influx of pumpkin spice everything that does me in but rather the changes in fashion.
High neck, cutout, cold shoulder, off-the-shoulder, v-neck, scoop ... the neckline style list goes on, and the sheer number of different blouse necklines can be dizzying. As fashion becomes more and more playful, many women are left pondering their jewelry collections wondering exactly what to pair with what.
Dining & Destinations
Nashville celebrity chef Maneet Chauhan believes in karma so deeply that she named her son after the spiritual cycle of cause and effect. According to Maneet, Karma, both the belief and the boy, are the reasons she found herself in Nashville.
Plateau elevation: 4,118 feet. Permanent population: 3,200 residents. Average summer temperature: 76 degrees. These numbers are just a glimpse into Highlands, North Carolina, a charming mountain town just over two hours from Atlanta. However, ask anyone who has ever been to Highlands, and they'll tell you these numbers do not tell the whole story.
Take a note from Waylon Jennings' "Luckenbach, Texas" and get back to the basics of love at the Fredericksburg Herb Farm. This tranquil oasis is found in the historic German town of Fredericksburg, Texas, which is just a short drive from San Antonio.
Battery Atlanta The Battery Atlanta is an immersive year-round experience. The mixed-use development is anchored by SunTrust Park, home to the Atlanta Braves and is host to a bevy of other fun, too. There are over 25 restaurants and retail spaces along with several entertainment spots including the Mizuno Experience Center and The Coca-Cola Roxy theater.
A renowned dive with talented performers or a rooftop oasis with sweeping views? You don't have to choose between the best bars in Atlanta.
The city may be known for its sweltering summer weather (prompting tourists to call it "Hotlanta") and as the home to the world's busiest airport, but the best things to do in Atlanta go well beyond all that.
As we all know, living in the South has its perks. Beyond access to incredible food, we also have access to some of the country's oldest and most beautiful cities. Mobile, Alabama is one of them. If you look at a map of Alabama, you'll find two "feet" at the bottom of the state.
Picturesque Barnsley Resort is located a little over 60 miles from Atlanta in quaint Adairsville. Even though you'll travel barely an hour to reach its scenic entrance, you'll feel transported. It's sprawling yet quaint, and luxurious yet pastoral. The perfect balance of rustic elegance.
Did travel find a place on your vision board this year? If so, you'll want to lean-in to this story and take notes. While heading abroad is always a dream, the truth is you don't have to venture too far to have an amazing vacation.
If there's one thing that is always prominent at every girls' night gathering I've ever attended, it's wine. In fact, my girlfriends often skip the "girls' night" title all together and call it exactly what it is: wine night. We share a bottle (or a few) over some of our favorite cheeses and accoutrements while gabbing about our lives.
Like many young women around the Southeast, I traveled to Savannah for the first time when I was a Junior Scout. I was just 10 years old at the time, and my Girl Scout troop made a pilgrimage to the Juliette Gordon Low birthplace.
Southerners are notorious for hitting the road once the weather warms and swarming otherwise sleepy beach towns up and down the Gulf coast. While the beaches are lovely and the water breathtaking, you might be surprised to hear the real treasure lies in the budding art scenes across these small cities.
Michelle Carey, a professionally trained chef and Georgia native, and her sommelier husband, Scott, set their sights on winemaking in 2015. In true joie de vivre fashion, they took off to Napa where they founded Emerald Hare, a wine company producing chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, rosé, and a red blend.
We love the buzz around a new restaurant or food trends in Atlanta, and we're totally guilty of going for the 'gram. Check out these three food trends happening in the ATL right now, and head over to get a taste of what everyone's talking about!
World travels and a health scare led Kelley Sibley to her life's work. Get to know the founder of Bamboo juice and find out what sets her products apart from the rest (and it's more than just that they are cold-pressed!).
With three locations in the Atlanta area, as well as online ordering options to ship anywhere in America, getting your eager hands on a Southern Baked specialty is as easy as ... well ... pie. Stepping through the door at Buckhead's Southern Baked Pie Company is a bit like stepping into your grandmother's kitchen.
In the South, we like to take care of our neighbors, family and friends. When there's a baby, we bring food. When there's a death, we bring food. When there's a new house, we bring food. There's a well-oiled meal-train machine established for just about any of life's major moments.
Follow Ryan, an Atlanta Humane Society rescue, on her adventures throughout pet friendly ATL. Written by Nicole Letts Photos by Amber Corbi Ryan doesn't seem to notice winter's chilly temperatures. She loves being outside, sniffs the air, explores her domain and finds a cozy spot to enjoy the sun's limited warmth.
An Atlanta spring is tough to beat. We’re defrosting from winter’s last breath, watching temperatures steadily rise and enjoying longer days. As a result, Atlantans are beckoned outside, and that means making our way to our plentiful outdoor establishments. Parks are packed; the Beltline is bustling, and courtyards are canine-filled. After all, patio weather is upon us, so it’s a prime opportunity to plan a date with your pup! To get you in the springtime spirit, Ryan and I have a few...
Follow Ryan, an Atlanta Humane Society rescue, on her adventures throughout pet friendly ATL. Written by Nicole Letts Photos by Amber Martin Smith There is no better way to embrace the dog days of summer than with a local staycation, and Midtown Atlanta offers some of the best spots to make it happen.
Renée Hicks is a mother of 7-year-old boy/girl twins, works for the State of Georgia as a social media and events coordinator and is a recent reluctant-turned-avid reader. She is also the founder of Book Girl Magic, an online book club with a very important twist: reading books that celebrate black female authors.
In 2016, Jennifer Fussell, executive director at World Water Relief, faced the same life-threatening natural disaster as the people her organization serves: a hurricane. Hurricane Matthew was expected to touch down in Haiti before barreling toward the Georgia coast and her St. Simons home.
As a bright-eyed College of Charleston graduate, Sarah Koch didn’t know what she was getting herself into when she applied for the Peace Corps. It was 2004, and she wanted a change of pace and scenery that a more traditional graduate school route couldn’t provide. Koch had two choices in front of her: continue on to a PhD program to pursue her art history endeavors or choose a different path. She opted for the latter. Little did she know, her choice would change her life forever.
WELLSCENE'S FOUNDER SPOTLIGHTS WOMEN'S WELLNESS STORY: Nicole Letts PHOTO: XXIII Photo Studio WellScene is the fruit of founder, certified health coach and Buckhead resident Gabrielle D'Auria, and it's quickly becoming Atlanta's premier women's wellness event. This one day conference, to be held at The Stave Room on Nov.
If you stumble upon a 1967 candy apple red MGB filled with seven doodles, grab your camera! You’ve discovered That Dood Squad®. Comprised of seven dog-moms and their pups, That Dood Squad® is one fetching friend group. What began as a dog meet-up quickly formed into lasting friendships. These owners and their pet pals are 36 thousand followers deep on Instagram (@thatdoodsquad), have been featured on Nashville’s Pickler & Ben, and can be found cruising around Atlanta donning their cool-Dood...
Mandy Kellogg Rye's Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Written by Nicole Letts Photos by Kathryn McCrary Describing Mandy Kellogg Rye as an "influencer" doesn't do her justice. Rye is a sought-after speaker, established businesswoman, successful shop owner, skilled decorator, entertaining guru and lifestyle blogger.
Written by Nicole Letts Photography by Annette Joseph Some might say Annette Joseph is the embodiment of the phrase "the hostess with the mostest." An Atlanta based photo stylist, Joseph is also an editor, author and instructor.
Samantha Dickey is the brains behind Dirty Beauty, a natural skincare company created with farm-made ingredients - all from her parents' Atlanta-area USDA-certified organic farm. Dirty Beauty products include cleansers made with sunflower oil, scrubs made with cane sugar and makeup pigmented with mica. Who knew beauty secrets were hiding quite literally in our own backyard?
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Life is a journey, not a destination." If Emerson was alive today, he just might find the embodiment of this quote in Atlanta's Camille Kelser. Camille is a leadership powerhouse with philanthropic flair, and both her professional and personal portfolios are thick with accomplishments.
Filmmaker STORY: Nicole Letts At 32, filmmaker and Poncey- Highland resident Erin Bernhardt has two Peabody Awards and an Emmy under her belt. She has served in the Peace Corps, written and produce...
As the Executive Director of the PGA TOUR - TOUR Championship, Allison Fillmore has broken barriers and shattered more than a few glass ceilings to get to where she is today. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, and a soon-to-be full-time East Lake resident, she has spent her career working with teams that budding sports enthusiasts could only dream of.
Vibrant colors, airy designs, a mix of mediums and breathtakingly beautiful canvases are the essence of Renee Bouchon's artwork. With an eye for the abstract and a knack for balancing hue, this up-and-coming Atlanta artist has captured the attention of some of the most respected regional galleries and nationally acclaimed interior designers.
It's not every day that local charities have an opportunity to win $5,000 for their organization. It's even rarer that the women behind the scenes get to be treated to a day of luxury and style. Those two ideas are exactly what we wanted to accomplish when we partnered with Mednikow for our $5,000 Charity Giveaway.
The area of the Florida panhandle between Destin and Panama City, lovingly referred to as 30A, is considered by many to be the premier coastal destination for Southern beach-goers. This quaint 24-mile stretch of lush, scenic highway is dotted with charming beach towns like Grayton, Seaside, Seacrest and Rosemary, and provides a relaxing escape for visitors.
Best Self Atlanta magazine is your resource for health, fitness, beauty and giving back to your community. Our March 2015 issue brings you product and procedure recommendations from Atlanta experts, information on anxiety, and a profile on local fitness adventurer Molly Mathis. Also, meet our 2015 Over 40 & Fabulous!