Thursday, September 20, 2018

Currently Reading: Lion

Since I am only really good (sometimes) about updating my "Read with me" page, I've decided to now park it on the main page & because my book page is getting ridiculously long (which is a great problem to have = more books read!) - so here you go.  If you are not a book person, skip these updates, but if you love to read too, please feel free to leave recommendations in the comment section.

And here's the needed disclaimer:

I am a part of Amazon's Associate Program -  affiliate links below. I have, however, read & purchased all the books listed - all opinions are my own.  

Lion, Saroo Brierley

I haven't seen this film yet (want to rent it now) - such an incredible, true story.  A lost child's amazing journey from India to Australia. Saroo's story is about family, love, hope, courage, survival, & finding the strength to keep going. 

Read this is if you need a kick of inspiration & believe in impossible odds.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Oh Hey, March!

So it turns out that I'm a half-ass blogger.  

Maybe I should change the name to "Shannon Reads & Writes Sometimes." ???

If interested, I do update my Read with Me Page the most. Please leave any recommendations too; I'm always adding to my Wishlist. #allthebooks!

Some notes from the field:

Ottawa is charming. We got to visit back in September (!!!) & I want to post more pics (one day).

I painted an old (so old!) china cabinet with chalk paint. These are not great pics, but I love how it turned out! This was my first time using chalk paint & now I am eyeing so many other pieces around the house.

(the pale gray is the after)

One of my sweet dogs got diagnosed with lymphoma back in October.  He is responding very well to chemo & the vet's office has become my second home.

My other sweet dog loves to dig holes/go mudding (sigh), but we still love her anyway.

Christmas = NYC & we walked the Brooklyn Bridge (my first time doing so) - it was so freaking cold, but she's a beauty!

I've rediscovered my childhood love of latch kit rugs & now I want to buy & make every single one! :-)

I have Hashimoto's (which I think sounds a lot worse than it is) but my thyroid is acting stupid, and it looks like gluten & dairy are a thing of the past for me. I've cut both out a lot over the past few years, but I need to get serious about it. (double sigh) My doctor suggested the book "The Thyroid Connection" & it's next on my reading list. The good news is that I take naltrexone (see here) & it may have been masking the Hashimoto's. Naltrexone can keep your appetite down, so my weight hasn't skyrocketed. 

Silver linings, Y'all, silver linings!



Sunday, October 15, 2017

Local Love: Arabia Mountain

Thanks to several friends and their Instagram postings, I learned about this gem. Have you checked out Arabia Mountain? 

It's located in Lithonia & less than 30-minutes from our home - who knew?  On a last-minute whim in late August, we decided to see what it's all about. It was a perfect way to end a weekend & shake off the "Sundays." 

Because it was so late in the day, we only scratched the surface, but it's peaceful & I can't wait to go back & see more. I imagine it's busier certain times of the week or weekends, but it's significant enough that I don't think you'd feel crowded in & so much to explore.

The paved trails are ideal for walking, biking, or running.

I want to go back when the leaves start changing this fall & one day will get to the summit! You can learn more here too - regardless of where you live in Metro-Atlanta, it's worth the drive. It's a reminder that there are always new & beautiful things to explore - especially in your own backyard!


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Asheville: That's a Wrap!

Last full day in Asheville was similar to the others: Take advantage of the beautiful weather & get outside, see a movie, & eat well (these are a few of my favorite things!). 

For the get out & move part of the day, we hiked around French Broad River Park. I didn't take my better camera with me because I was tired of lugging it around (gotta love smartphones!) - not a lot of photos but it was a pretty park to roam around & fun watching tubers/rafters float down the river. If we had the dogs with us, it would have been a great place to take them as it also had two dog parks.

Old trees = :-)

We chased a rainbow while trying to find a movie theater:

And got lost due to some crazy directions via Google Maps. But, we made it in the nick of time to see The Glass Castle - the movie is terrific, but the book is incredible - if you've not read it yet add it to your list. Our last dinner was at Thai Basil which was another great find (thank you, Yelp!). 

Our Airbnb hosts had a cool cat that hung out with us a little bit (they also had a cute baby & dog too - the trifecta!).

Blurry sunflowers while driving from Swannanoa to Asheville:

Our last meal before heading home the next day was at The Blue Ridge Biscuit Company. I'm glad we found it on our last day because we would have been there a lot more often & I would still be in a biscuit coma. They have a jam bar! If nothing else, check out the jam bar! 

We didn't hit the usual suspect (The Biltmore) because even though I've never seen it in person, it also feels like I've seen it a million times. I do want to check it out one day, but this trip was about wandering & not having an agenda. I think we succeeded & it was a nice little pause on reality.

Until next time, Asheville - keep those biscuits warm for me & the jam bar stocked!!!


Friday, October 13, 2017

Asheville, NC: Day 2

Our second day in, we roamed the Botanical Gardens at Asheville.  We needed to walk off the BRUNCH (it was that good!!!) we had at Louise's Kitchen in Black Mountain - this was by far our favorite place to eat (ate there twice) & it's a must check out if you are ever in the area. 

House-made vanilla bean syrup over pancakes while sitting on a pretty front porch overlooking mountains? 

Yes, please!

Their botanical garden has lots of lovelies and lots of shade.

We also visited the Grovewood Gallery; it has some whimsical outdoor art & an antique car museum.

I'm not a car person, but these were some of the coolest I've ever seen - my favorite:

And this yellow wheel!

My current subcompact would be the cutest ever with these wheels! ;-)

And one to spare:

Also, please note those beautiful wood floors & ceiling details - it might be housing cars, but the building is worth a peek. The lighting & windows made me so happy - again, not too into cars, but these details held my attention & kept me lingering.

Stalking cars in the heat calls for a treat so onto Whit's Frozen Custard - just go

We also caught the movie Atomic Blonde which we both loved more than we thought we would. If you're a fan of 80's music or the 80's in general, it's worth renting/streaming. It's just a cool flick, and Charlize Theron is badass (as usual).

We ended our movie night with dinner at Gan Shan Station - the food & service was excellent & it has a lovely outdoor space. There were not a ton of places open late, & this was a perfect find - want to go back!


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Asheville, NC: Day 1

So Asheville is pretty!

Shocked, right?!? ;-)

My husband & I had never visited & decided to finally get out town this past August. Our home base was Swannanoa which is an ideal location between Asheville (maybe 15 minutes away) & Black Mountain (another 10 minutes or so).  The Airbnb we had was TINY (as in oh-my-tiny, tiny), but clean & had all amenities needed. If I had to choose between staying in Asheville or Black Mountain, I would pick Black Mountain - loved its charm, restaurants, & the overall vibe.

I need to get better about documenting/writing sooner because how quickly we (me!) forget details! I'm not a very consistent blogger these days, not sure if I ever will be, but I aspire to do better. 


So here goes:

We shook off the car ride (it's about four hours from Atlanta) & hit Lake Tomahawk Park in Black Mountain (see photo above too).

And then walked around Asheville too as the sun started to set:

Not too shabby on those details, huh?

I obsessed over the pink tile detail on the building too:

I wanted to bring that tile home!

We didn't eat any tacos (dang it!) while we were there, but I loved this sign:

We had barbeque for dinner that night at a place called Okie Dokies (that name - happiness!) in Swannanoa - it was really good, but we have awesome varieties of barbeque in Atlanta so we're spoiled. Asheville had a lot of the same restaurants we have in Atlanta which we found amusing (Doc Chey's, Mellow Mushroom to name a few).  What Asheville does have in spades over ATL is the mountains - it's a beautiful thing to look up & see mountains! 


Sunday, August 13, 2017


Saw this today on Instagram & yes, yes, yes.

Photo credit: @cleowade