Monday, December 14, 2009

Tis' the Season to GIVE!

It's that time of year for Christmas tree decorating, cookie baking, and LOTS of holiday cheer, but many people this year are truly struggling to provide for themselves and their families. What better way to celebrate this year than to give to those who really need it!  This year, Matt and I decided to skip the gifts to eachother and donate to the kiddies at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. After an afternoon at Target and a cart filled with Crayola Crayons, Barbies, and Tonka Trucks, we were happier than we could have ever been receiving presents from one another! Do what you can to help people in need this year, whether it is donating your time, cans of soup, toys for children, or $5! For information on how you can give back to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, please visit, and download their wishlists!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Restaurant Review: Veni Vidi Vici

Another AMAZING Buckhead Life Group Restaurant! My family and I have been big fans of their entire fleet of restaurants for years, but have never tried Veni Vidi Vici before last week, and we are so glad we did! Although the parking situation is a little tricky and currently under construction, you forget about that the second you walk into the restaurant. Located in the heart of Midtown, the warm atmosphere and tuscan-style layout makes you feel like you're right in the heart of Italy! We began our night with a bottle of wine, homemade bread, crispy calamari, and steamed mussels with spicy tomatoes, chicpeas, and sambuca (my personal favorite!) We proceeded our appetizers with some amazing entrees, including the Farfalle and Rigatoni (shown on right), and Zuppa di Mare, which was a medley of mussels, clams, prawns, scallops, and tomato lobster broth. The authentic Italian dishes, amazing service, and warm atmosphere made it a new family favorite!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Recipe: Blackberry Cobbler

Blackberry Cobbler
Recipe Courtesy of Sandra Lee

2 pounds frozen blackberries, thawed
1 cup sugar plus more for dusting
3 tablespoons instant tapioca
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 (7.75-ounce) packet butter biscuit mix
3/4 cup cream soda, divided

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 8 (4-inch) ramekins with butter flavored cooking spray and set aside.

In a bowl, combine thawed blackberries, tapioca, lemon juice, 1/4 cup of cream soda and sugar. Transfer to ramekins, filling about 2/3 of the way up.

In a large bowl, combine biscuit mix and remaining cream soda. Mix until well blended. Sprinkle biscuit mix over berries, making sure it covers the majority of the top. Dust with sugar and bake for 30 minutes. Serve warm and messy!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Blowing Out the Candles

I wanted to thank everyone for all the warm birthday wishes and love I've received over the past few days! I have been so lucky and thankful for my friends and family, and am really grateful for every opportunity and obstacle that God has given to me. I've learned a lot this past year, but I think the one true realization that I've come to is that life is too short and precious to sweat the small stuff. This upcoming year, I hope to remember to be grateful and live life to the fullest, capturing and living in every moment, because we truly only have one life to live.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Restaurant Review: Sushi House

For my recent birthday celebration, I decided to try Sushi House in Buckhead with two of my best girlfriends. Voted City's Best Sushi in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008, we had to check it out! We started our night with a glass of wine and an order of their spring rolls for an appetizer, which came out hot and flavorful! We ordered an array of sushi, as you see above, and decided to try a little bit of everything, which I didn't mind at all! My favorite roll was the Kamikaze roll (shown on left), filled with crab, shrimp tempora, cream cheese, topped with tuna and eel. Oh so yummy! We also tried some of the spicy tuna rolls and crunchy rolls (shown on right) which consisted of a spicy tuna roll, topped with a spicy mayo and additional tuna with lots of crunchies! With two locations in Orlando and Atlanta, it is a definite hidden gem in this city!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

O-Town: Arabic Singing, Belly Dancing and Donald Duck

Is there a more magical place than Orlando, Florida?! The second you enter the city, you truly feel like you are in a different world and for some reason morph into a five year old version of yourself! The short weekend spent with my parents and sisters was filled to the brim with family gatherings, shopping breaks, and a trip to the Magic Kingdom! Our original purpose for planning this trip was to go to an Arabic concert with the majority of my family, which was characterized by lots of singing, dancing, and smiles! We topped off the weekend with a visit to the Disney's Magic Kingdom and although the park was filled with long lines and the weather was intermittent, we had a very fun time all together!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is truly my favorite holiday of the year, mainly because it is always filled with lots of love, family, football, and food! I am so thankful for so many things, but mostly for my amazing family, wonderful group of friends, and incredible boyfriend. I hope that everyone has a very Happy Thanksgiving and remembers to give back to those in need. Check out the following opportunities available in Atlanta to do what you can to help others...

Hosea Feed the Hungry- volunteer or donate to their annual Thanksgiving Dinner at Turner Field by visiting

Atlanta Red Cross- volunteer and donate your time to assist individuals and families who have been affected by the floods in Georgia by visiting

The Salvation Army Angel Tree Program- visit your local Simon Mall in the Atlanta area to provide new clothing and toys to children in need. For more information, please visit

Habitat for Humanity- volunteer or donate towards helping families in need build a home by visiting

Happy Thanksgiving!

Restaurant Review: Mosaic

Nestled in the heart of Buckhead, Mosaic is such a nice place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and escape to your own little nook of the neighborhood. Matt and I had a great lunch there, which included their award-winning Trio of Kobe Beef Sliders (OH SO GOOD!) and their Mediterranean Wrap with fries. Both selections are absolutely amazing, and although the wait was a little longer than expected, the service was wonderful and the meal was delicious! A really nice place to go if you're looking to find an escape from the busy city life and have some time to enjoy causal American dining. 

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Restaurant Review: Chequers Seafood Grill

For some of the best service, atmosphere, and seafood in Atlanta, you HAVE to try Chequers Seafood Grill! The restaurant is located down the street from Perimeter Mall, and has been one of the hidden gems of Atlanta since 1983. Matt recently took me there to celebrate my upcoming birthday (so sweet!), and we had an amazing time! We started out the meal with their famous Tuna Tartare (shown above to the left). The combination of the spicy tuna and the sweet pickled cucumbers made it my favorite dish of the night! I followed with the Black Grouper with delicious whipped yukon gold potatoes and asparagus, and Matt had the Mahi Mahi with Lobster Mac and Cheese and asparagus for his entree (shown above to the right). Oh, and how could we forget the sweet biscuits with fluffy butter! Oh so yummy! Finally, we ended the night with our last sips of wine and some delicious Warm Ghirardelli Chocolate Lava Cake with a candle on top (shown above in the center). Perfection! :-)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things...

make a wish teeny wishbone sterling reminder necklace

Precious Pieces
I have fallen in love with the ever popular necklace company, Dogeared. Their designs are simple, usually characterized by a small charm on a thin metal or linen string. Celebrating their 3rd Anniversary, they now carry an extensive line of necklaces, bracelets, rings, leather journals, ornaments, and so much more! Shop online at and receive 25% off on your entire order. Enter code HAPPYBDAY2009 at checkout.

Cinnamon Stick 14.5 oz. Filled Candle - Slatkin & Co. - Bath & Body Works

Scents That Remind Me of the Season
I adore Fall, and love filling my home these warm scents! My favorites lately have been Bath and Body Works' Cinnamon Stick and Creamy Nutmeg candles! Redeem this coupon online or in-stores for $10 off any $30 purchase at Bath and Body Works!

Fall into the GAP
I've fallen in love with GAP's entire winter collection, especially their festive floor sets! They have the softest sweaters this season, in playful colors like Camel Heather and Purple Candy. The Luxe Crewneck and V-neck sweaters are now only $25! In addition to the amazing prices, enjoy 25% off your entire purchase online using coupon code GIFT123. Hurry though, these prices and deals are for a limited time only! Enjoy!

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Windy City: Architecture, Shopping, and Deep Dish Pizza

In late October, Matt and I packed our bags to head northbound, specifically to the beautiful city of Chicago for a weekend filled with sightseeing, friends, and lots of laughs! We arrived at Midway Airport early Thursday night and got greeted by beautiful Sue, hilarious Scaf, and a delicious Potbelly's sammy!

Although it was a cold and rainy weekend, we were able to explore parts of the city and visit all of the places Matt frequented as a student at DePaul University. Some of the highlights included... Millenium Park with the giant bean, Navy Pier, The Magnificient Mile, Irish Eyes Pub, Peaquods Pizza (YUM!), Wrigley Field, and Allendes for some late night Mexican food!

Chicago is such a beautiful city, and dare I say, quickly climbing up my list of top places to visit! (gasp! I have not forgotten about you, NYC!)

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