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!


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.


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..) 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!


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.


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 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: