Lifestyle guru shares se­crets of her fa­vorite things

Cobb County res­i­dent Mattie James likes short rib, a glass of wine and shop­ping.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - - LIVING - By Na­jja Parker na­[email protected]

Lifestyle guru Mattie James, a Mable­ton res­i­dent, has been dom­i­nat­ing the in­ter­web with her fash­ion and lifestyle blog, www.mat­tie­james.com, for more than a decade.

Her brand has at­tracted the at­ten­tion of ma­jor cor­po­ra­tions, in­clud­ing Amer­i­can Ex­press, Google and Al­ways, and she has amassed quite the fol­low­ing on so­cial me­dia. Just peep her In­sta­gram pro­file (the­mat­tie­james). More than 52,000 peo­ple look for­ward to her posts about her cool part­ner­ships, fash­ion prow­ess and mus­ings on bal­anc­ing her busi­ness and fam­ily life.

James is a wife, mother of two daugh­ters and a na­tive of Penn­syl­va­nia, and she doesn’t keep her knowl­edge about en­trepreneur­ship to her­self. She teaches oth­ers how they can be­come in­flu­encers, too, with on­line cour­ses on am­pli­fy­ing your dig­i­tal pres­ence.

When the bub­bly blog­ger isn’t tend­ing to her busi­ness, she’s carv­ing out time to hit up some of her fa­vorite places. Here’s where you’ll likely find her on any given week­end in At­lanta.

Fin­ger-lick­ing good meal

James’ knowl­edge of the At­lanta restau­rant scene is ex­pan­sive. Whether she’s in the mood for seafood at The Op­ti­mist in West Mid­town or South­ern-style dishes at Smyrna’s South City Kitchen, her list of fa­vorite eater­ies is nearly end­less.

But she said the Chicken and the Egg in Ma­ri­etta has blown her away time and time again. You might catch her there on a Satur­day with her hubby for date night.

“It is so good. I go there for din­ner, and it is amaz­ing, es­pe­cially the short rib en­tree,” she said. The meal comes with braised beef short rib, gouda grits, as­para­gus and French-in­spired sauces, and it’s “punch-your-mama-in-the-face de­li­cious,” James de­scribed.

Her top din­ing picks:

The Chicken and the Egg, 800 Whit­lock Ave., Ma­ri­etta. 678-388-8813, www.face­book.com/Chick­e­nandtheEgg.

The Op­ti­mist, 914 How­ell Mill Road, At­lanta. 404-4776260. theop­ti­mistrestau­rant.com.

South City Kitchen, 1675 Cum­ber­land Park­way SE, Smyrna, 770-435-0700, vin­ings.southc­i­tyk­itchen.com.

Shop-til-you-drop spot

Moth­er­hood and work keep James pretty busy. That’s why she prefers to hop on­line to shop for much of her ap­parel. When she doesn’t have the time to wait for ship­ping though, Lenox Square and Perime­ter Mall help keep her stylish.

“I’m a Nord­strom girl,” she ex­plained. “If I need some­thing from the depart­ment store, I go there. And Zara is the go-to if you want a state­ment piece or some­thing clas­sic.”

For fancier, more up­scale af­fairs, like tele­vi­sion ap­pear­ances or in­flu­encer events, James stops by Meow and Barks in Buck­head. The bou­tique is based in Jack­sonville, Florida, but there is a show­room in At­lanta.

“They have re­ally great pieces that you’re not go­ing to find in depart­ment stores,” James said. “If I need some­thing trendier or some­thing that’s go­ing to be pho­tographed a lot, I get cloth­ing there.”

Her top shop­ping picks:

Meow and Barks, 2221 Peachtree Road NE, Ste P28, At­lanta. face­book.com/pages/ Meow-and-Barks-Buck­head.

Perime­ter Mall, 4400 Ash­ford Dun­woody Road, At­lanta. 770-394-4270, perime­ter­mall. com.

Lenox Square, 3393 Peachtree Road NE, At­lanta. 404-233-6767. si­mon.com/ mall/lenox-square.

So­cial hour

Fri­day nights are re­served for James and her girl­friends, and when she and her crew let their hair down, wine is of­ten in­volved.

“I never turn down a glass,” James laughed. “A lot of my close friends are moms and wives, so we’re kind of try­ing to de-stress.”

You’ll likely find James en­joy­ing cock­tails at Bar Mar­got at Four Sea­sons in Mid­town or nosh­ing on the ap­pe­tiz­ers at the star-stud­ded Al­lora at At­lantic Sta­tion’s Twelve Ho­tel, where she of­ten spots cast mem­bers from the “Real House­wives of At­lanta” and “Love and Hip Hop.”

But Barcelona Wine Bar in In­man Park “is the most hap­pen­ing,” she said. “It’s jump­ing be­cause of the peo­ple and Latin mu­sic, but not in a way where it’s like the club. It’s like, ‘I’m grown and I’m be­ing so­cial. We came with peo­ple we know, and we’re leav­ing with peo­ple we know.’”

Her top party spot picks:

Bar Mar­got at Four Sea­sons, 75 14th St. NE, At­lanta. 404881-5913, bar­mar­go­tatl.com.

Al­lora Bistro at Twelve Ho­tel, 361 17th St. NW, At­lanta. 404961-7370, al­lo­raatl.com.

Barcelona Wine Bar, 240 N. High­land Ave. NE, At­lanta. 404-589-1010, barcelon­aw­inebar.com.

Hid­den gem

There are CamiCakes Cup­cakes all through­out the city, but did you know about the one with a cream­ery? While many sell prepack­aged ice cream, the Smyrna lo­ca­tion is the only one that can hook pa­trons up with a fresh scoop.

“My 4-year-old loves it. I think we’re there a lit­tle more than we’d like to ad­mit,” James said.

You can choose from fla­vors like birth­day cake and Bis­coff and stuff your pick in a crisp red vel­vet waf­fle cone or in be­tween two cake rounds.

If you go: CamiCakes, 4500 W. Vil­lage Place, suite 1009, Smyrna. 770-693-2615, camicakes.com.

ALYSSA POINTER/[email protected]

At­lanta lifestyle in­flu­encer Mattie James teaches oth­ers how they can be­come in­flu­encers, too, with on­line cour­ses on am­pli­fy­ing your dig­i­tal pres­ence.

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