Archive | December, 2011

The Last Days of 2011

30 Dec

Happy Holidays from Miami!

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The Little Things

20 Dec

The little things that have made me smile lately.  I will apologize now, since most of the things that have made me smile lately are food.

  • Learning to make pomodoro sauce

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  • Our new thing is weekend brunches

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That dish above was amazeballs! Cinnamon raisin french toast with pecan butter.

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  • Leaving sweet treats for Luis while he studies

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  • My new book(s) – it’s two books in one

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  • The smell of apple sauce that has been slow cooking throughout the night, first thing in the morning

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  • Infused oil bought at Taste of Atlanta

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  • An early Christmas

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  • Luis enjoying my uncle Danny’s teapot

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  • Keeping my job even though I will be almost 800 miles away.
  • Luis, who has been packing the majority of our stuff while I am at work.
  • Moving to a state that I have never been to before.

Simple Holiday Cheer

13 Dec

Happy 200th Post!

I didn’t go crazy with decorations this holiday like I did with Halloween.  Since Luis and I will be headed back home to Miami for Christmas, we kept it simple.

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The tree outside our window is back to the way it was when we first moved in, naked!  Very wintery looking.

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I love the blue glow the lights give off at night.

I also like seeing the kids playing on the playground below look up and stare at our lights.  I wish more people decorated their windows, but I do see a few Christmas trees in the windows across from us.

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Our in door plant that we bought from Ikea some time ago is playing the role of Christmas tree this year.

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As usual, Christmas came early for Luis and I.  We have never been good at actually waiting for Christmas Day to open gifts =)

This week Luis has finals, and then we are headed to the mountains in North Carolina to kick back and relax before heading to Miami the following week.  I am super excited and can’t wait to hug everyone!

Atlanta Botanical Gardens Garden Lights, Holiday Nights

3 Dec

What is the holiday season without a night to wander through a garden full of lights?

Our walk through Atlanta Botanical Gardens Christmas light display really  got me in the mood for Christmas and excited for all the festive events that happen in December.  Then again, it’s not everyday you see a million lights on display.

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Just seeing the rows of trees covered in lights in the front of the garden got me into the holiday spirit.  While standing in line for our tickets, you could smell hot chocolate and marshmallows roasting.

Marshmallows… writing that word bugs me.  It’s odd to me that it isn’t spelled marshmellows, since that is how I say it.  I don’t say marshmAllows, maybe I should start to pronounce the A, but I digress.

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I really loved these gigantic fall leaves (had to be at least 8 or 9 feet long) that were on the wall in the main building before stepping into the garden.  I wonder what they were made of?  Metal, iron? I want them!

This is the first view of the garden when you walk in.  I absolutely loved it, and my most favorite display out of all of the displays in the garden.

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How I wish he would smile, he hates me.  No, just kidding, but seriously, smile!

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This is what happens to the camera when you don’t smile, or could it be the person working the camera?  I am posting it because I think the crazy streams of dancing lights look pretty neat, and I know my mom would enjoy it.  As she says; “that’s trippy man”.

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The garden had so many details, even the sidewalk had lights that shadowed snowflakes.

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Looking at the two pictures above, kind of make you feel like your in space surrounded by stars, or is that just me?

After taking a billion pictures in the first part of the garden, Luis and I took a right and went for a stroll on the canopy walk.

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Shots from below the canopy walk, looking into the next display in the garden.  I believe they call this part Dr. Seuss Land?

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Shots while walking on the canopy above the display.

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I couldn’t decide which shot I liked more so, I put both.  I won’t tell you how many pictures I actually took of this blue tree since it’s ridiculous.  Why!? Because, I wanted to focus on one light and have all the other lights come out clear, but still have the view of the red tree in the background.  Sounded cool in my head, then again,  I am an odd person.

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These awesome paths lights were almost throughout the entire outside gardens and gave off a nice romantic glow.   Another neat little detail to help guide you to the next display in the garden.

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In the courtyard every tree and bush had lights, and they also had fire pits so people can roast marshmallows to make s’mores and have hot chocolate, along with lots of other tasty treats.

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All that was missing was a group of Christmas Carolers.

Luis seemed to enjoy the next part of the garden the best, and I wished that I had taken video to post instead of just pictures to give you the full effect.

The Great Lawn had these color-changing lights that were choreographed to holiday music.  We stood there for awhile and just got lost in the music and the changing of the colors.

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Then off to wander through the edible garden and greenhouses.

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It was a nice night.  The garden wasn’t very crowded and the night wasn’t too cold.  The next morning I was inspired, and put up snowflake lights in our living room window, and added a few other holiday items around the house.  We are not putting up a tree again this year since we won’t be in Atlanta for Christmas and after putting up so much stuff for Halloween, I wanted it to be less crowded in our place.

In the holiday spirit, I am entering in a holiday dessert bake off this week.  It’s being held by our 10th and Home residence, and after winning the Halloween door contest, I would like to keep winning.  I will post pictures of my minimal holiday decor and dessert later this week.

How are you getting into the holiday spirit?

First Year of Blogging!

1 Dec

Yes!  I never thought I would make it.  Some months were harder than the others, but I have made it through my first year of blogging!  Happy one year to me, to my camera, and my fingers (since they did the typing)  =)

Today, one year ago, Luis and I packed up all our stuff and crammed it into a U-Haul trailer attached to our truck.  We left Miami at midnight, and because of the 55 mph speed limit with the trailer, we arrived in the parking lot of our new home in Atlanta 15 hours later, on December 1st. Yikes!  After the 7 hours it took us to unload all of our stuff, we were officially home.

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One year of blogging has equaled 197 posts; 230 comments (thank-you!), has had  9,670 hits, 23 categories, and 2, 578 tags.  The person who has commented the most on my blog is my mother (awesome)!

 My blog has been featured on two websites; Howell Mill Food Park and Sweet Auburn Curb Market.  My pictures from the Mount Mitchell post were used for an art project concerning the geological isolation of Mt. Mitchell by a student at Virginia Commonwealth University.

My top five posts with the most hits are; #5 Chocolate Cupcakes with Ganache Filling and Buttercream Frosting, #4 Spring is Coral, #3 Making Sweet Pickles, #2 Little Heart Cakes, and my number one post with the most views is Howell Mill Food Truck Park.

Before we moved to Atlanta I made a list of things I wanted to experience while we were here.  Even though it’s only been a year, here is a break down of what we have completed so far from the 105 item list.

  • 1)    Atlanta Botanical Gardens

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  • 3)    Watch The Nutcracker at the historic Fox Theatre

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  • 5)    Millennium Gate in Atlantic Station

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  • 8)    Little Five Points

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  • 10)  Zoo Atlanta

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  • 12)  Chattahoochee River Fun – Tubing

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  • 27)  Georgia Barrier Islands; Tybee Island

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  • 32)  Appalachian Trail – Amicalola Falls State Park

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  • 38)  Marietta Square (not shown since the visit to Marietta Square was by accident)
  • 53)  The Alpine Village of Helen

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  • 65)  Have a popsicle from King of Pops

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  • 70)  U-Pick Farm – Southern Belle Farms – picked flowers and pumpkins

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  • 85)  White water rafting with Wildwater

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  • 86)  Georgia Wine Highway

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  • 87)  Sweet Auburn Curb Market

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We have traveled to three states; Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina. We have visited 27 restaurants, which Luis and I thought was pretty good considering that we usually eat at the same restaurant.   I was shocked to see that we have only been hiking four times!  We need to change that since I have at least 20 trails on the to-do list.
As life happens, we have experienced some “extra” things that were not on our list like; Six Flags over Georgia, snow, Georgia’s China Town, Georgia Aquarium, and Piedmont Park, just to name a few.
With Luis leaving to another state for the whole spring and fall semester, who knows what else will be completed.  Maybe I will have to make a new list of things to do while in Texas…  exploring is never a bad thing.