Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Day After Christmas 2015

On the Day After Christmas, my True Love gave to me:

Sunshine :-) ...

with 77 degrees :-( 




One basement a drying...

'Cause all the previous raining

One Hundred (?) corns a popping

It's A Wonderful Life a viewing

Two naps a sleeping


Two espressos waking



Ten nails a painting



Three episodes a streaming...

America's Test Kitchen

And a Beagle on a Sofa!



Merry Christmas & Happy 2016 to All!

Cheers,
S

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Holiday Bucket List: Christmas with the Atlanta Master Chorale

This past Sunday, in the very un-winter-like weather of 74 degrees (!!!!), we headed to the Emory campus for a performance by the Atlanta Master Chorale at the Schwartz Center


To say the talent represented was beyond amazing is an understatement.  The entire program was beautifully done - the production, lighting, voices, timing, selections, instrumentation, humor, & cheer.  It brought me to tears more than once - the kind of tears experienced when you are in the presence of beauty, keenly aware if it, & so grateful to be a witness to it.

The highlights for me: a wonderful & unique production of Jingle Bells & the Artistic Director sang Silent Night a Capella.  Put this concert on your list for next year, and if you'd like to hear them sooner, they have another concert coming up on January 30th.

Cheers,
S






Saturday, December 12, 2015

Make These: Cheesecake Strawberry Bites!

One of my favorite blogs, the Kitchn, shared these beauties last week:

The Last-Minute, Gluten-Free, No-Bake, Stress-Free Dessert That’s Going to Be What You Bring to Every Party

I made them this afternoon for our neighborhood association holiday party & they were a hit!  We had informal judging of the desserts & while they were a contender I lost out to some homemade turtle cookies (will have to get that recipe as well..)...next year, my friends, next year.

I was so happy with how they turned out:



Make these - they are so pretty, easy & affordable to make, & delicious.

Now, I am going to finish watching Elf with a sleepy Beagle - have a great one!

Cheers,
S

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Holiday Bucket List: Atlanta Botanical Garden

Every year we drive past the Atlanta Botanical Garden & ooh & ah (OK, I ooh & ah) over the the sneak peak of beautiful lights for their Garden Lights, Holiday Nights & every year time gets away from us & we don't go.  It's in its 5th year & this year my husband bought tickets & we soaked it up last Saturday night.

We lucked out as it was cold but not unbearably cold & turned out to be a clear, pretty night.  Here are some of my favorites...

a cute frog:


Mother Earth/Madonna:



not the best shot (I need to improve my night photography!), but it was cool to a have a view of Midtown behind the lights:




corn - how cute is the corn?




the lights were just beautiful!



The Garden was filled with lots of families & has food & drink available throughout.  I loved the fact they had a s'mores station!  We split a hot chocolate & it was the perfect compliment to the evening.

If you live in metro-Atlanta or will be visiting Atlanta, take the time to see this - it's very family friendly & the gorgeous lights (& music) will get you into the holiday spirit! Expect crowds but again, the lights are totally worth it.

Cheers,
S

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

So this is a super-long post - if you are reading (hey, Mom!), I tried to also include lots of photos.  We had a fun-filled, packed Thanksgiving weekend!

One of the best things about having a husband from New Jersey is getting to visit his sweet family & friends in NJ & getting to hop over to New York City - this year Brooklyn to be specific.

As a kid, I dreamed & dreamed of getting to visit/live/see (anything!) NYC (remember Fame? I so wanted to be a Fame kid!!!) - I have always loved big cities & love how their energy holds me up & makes me feel so alive. Even in Atlanta, I have always found my way back to the city (to live & work) whenever possible.  So I am especially grateful that I'm losing count of how many times I've gotten to walk under NYC's lights & beautiful buildings.  I love how it's becoming more & more familiar to me & how it recharges me every time I come back home. I also love (sorry for using love so much, but...) how I could never exhaust the possibilities/sites/food/people the City provides.

We got up at 4 AM Thanksgiving morning & flew into Newark.  From the airport we took our rental:



                                 (guess who picked the rental!)

and made our way to Hoboken.  Here is one of the best things about Hoboken:





 - its amazing views of Manhattan! 

I can never get enough of it! So freaking amazing & beautiful!

We grabbed a "light" breakfast of pancakes from Stacks Pancake House and Smokehouse BBQ - how's that for a mouthful - located on Hoboken's main drag of Washington Street.  




Walking about the city was a great way to burn off those pancakes - if you've never been to Hoboken, go - it's a cool little city & Sinatra's hometown. Just across the Hudson from NYC - it's only a short train (the PATH) or ferry ride away.





We then met up with our Kiddo (OK, she's technically my step-daughter, but I claim her!) who recently moved to Brooklyn & headed about an hour away to see family in Lake Hoptagcong, NJ for a big Thanksgiving dinner.  I am so thankful for the wonderful hospitality & all the delicious food they prepared - it was like walking into Turkey-Heaven - we were hungry, a bit grubby from all the travel, & so happy to see everyone!

Friday morning, my sister-in-law & her guy made us all a wonderful brunch (again, thank you, guys!!!) - we were never lacking for food or wonderful company on this trip.

On Friday afternoon, we headed to Brooklyn:



Above is the view from our hotel - you can see the One World Trade Center on the left.

We also go to see the Kiddo's apartment - she & her roommates are lucky enough to have a little backyard:




Later, we had dinner at a pizza place, Rosco's - yep, so much food! Good thing we walked lots too!

We started Saturday with a really delicious late brunch at the Lazy Ibis (love that name):



I thought their espresso cups were cool (the espresso was great as well) - this trip was fueled by lots caffeine!

The weather was a bit rainy & overcast, so we then hit the Brooklyn Museum:



They currently have a very cool exhibition - Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861–2008.





The whole museum is worth checking out:









The Brooklyn Public Library is next door.  We didn't go in, but what a thing of beauty:



Saturday night, we had dinner at Glady's Caribbean - some of the best Jerk chicken, Jerk pork, peppered shrimp, peas and rice, and plantains I've ever had. Check it out in Brooklyn!  I wish I had photos of the food, but we were all busy chowing down!

Sunday, we headed to Rockaway Township, NJ to attend our 2-year-old niece's birthday party.  

On our way out of town - on the Manhattan Bridge:




It was held at a great restaurant called Caffe Navona - how cute was her cake?



The Birthday Girl spent the 1st part of her party like this:



:-) Got to love her dress!  A 2-year-old needs her naps!


We then made our way back to Hoboken; some sweet friends let us stay at their super-cool condo:



I highlighted their condo in this post too.

They just got kittens - a bother & sister:



They were so cute & funny & SO hard to capture on film!

These cats have cool digs/scratch post:



Later, we all had dinner at the Elysian Cafe:



It's so pretty on the inside & the food matches!

Monday was our last day and we had lunch at Schnackenberg's Luncheonette - ya'll, they make their own donuts!  Go!  I might have eaten two...like a cider & a dulce de leche...the proof is long gone.



So with very full bellys & even fuller hearts we headed back to Atl.  
Until next time!  We love you!



And one more time:



Cheers,
S

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

+Fr. Linus DeSantis, OFM Conv.

An incredible priest I met through a retreat program (via the Archdiocese of Atlanta) passed away yesterday.  

I met Fr. Linus in my 20's & he had a huge, positive impact on my outlook on faith, friendship, & love.  When I bought my 1st house in a pretty shady neighborhood (that I loved anyway), he came over & blessed it.  That blessing saw me through 10-ish years of solo home ownership & beyond.

He had a wonderful sense of humor & always had a super-mischievous look in his eyes - always - he was quick to impart a smile, joke, laughter, & kind word to everyone.  He was beloved by many, many throughout Atlanta & I was so lucky to know him.  He made priests human to me in the best possible way.  

+Fr. Linus will be greatly missed & always loved.  

Please see here to learn more about him & his career of service.