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There is an Old Lady Living with Us

27 Jun

We searched for weeks to adopt a cat.  Luis wanted it to be a big, hairy, flat faced, mean muggin’ cat. I was happy to find an organization about 30 miles from us that focused on rescuing and adopting out Persian cats.  So, to Hiram, Georgia we went.

 At first we completely bypassed the skinny, scared himalayan female cat in the last cage.  We glanced at the other two Persian cats on display for adoption; a solid black female named Eva that was young and super sweet, and a bicolored female who was young and liked to play. None of them pulled at our heart strings.

We talked to the volunteer of the organization and asked if there was another location that might have more Persian options.  She quickly went to the cat we were ignoring and told us her story.

They had named her Maggie.  She was found in an abandoned house, surviving off of anything she could find.  Her hair was dreaded and matted. Her mouth was in bad shape from eating whatever she could find. They gave her a lion cut and pulled out most of her teeth, leaving her with her only “good teeth”, four teeth, top and bottom. They think she is about 10 years old. She had been with the organization for 9 months, and the volunteer, Cheryl had been taking her home for extra attention and prepare her for possible future adoption.  Cheryl pulled Maggie out of her cage and handed her to me, which Maggie instantly laid against my chest and neck and started to purr. Then Luis reached out to hold her and she melted into the curve of his chest. We were in love. It took us all of a 3 minute discussion to agree that we wanted to adopt her. When we told Cheryl our decision, she cried knowing her snuggle partner for the last 9 months was going to a forever home.

Day number two with us.

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She hasn’t left our side. She loves to sleep next to us on a pillow on our bed, runs to explore our closet the moment we open the doors, being brushed, and loves to hide in our cubes that we keep our clothes in. She loves to jump up and claim Luis’ chair once he leaves it, and loves to rub her face on our shoes.

A month later, Maggie has gained a few pounds and her hair is growing back.

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This is her I am done with you snapping pictures face.  Luis is in love with the marks on her nose, her dirty nose as we call it, and her mustache.  She is a pretty cool cat.

We never thought at first glance we would have picked Maggie, but now we are so happy she is a part of our lives.

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Our First Place

8 Jan

Even though Luis and I hated your long hallway, and the several doors that had to be unlocked in order to get to our door, we loved you.   The elevators were broken more often than they worked, and when they did work, they were extremely slow, we still loved you.  Our place faced away from the sun, and never shined in our window for more than a few hours a day, making all of our plants die, but we still loved you.

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You had the best ceilings and windows, so tall, and gave us a nice view of the courtyard.   We would like to thank you for the two bedrooms, we greatly appreciated them, my shoes were thankful too!  I enjoyed the open kitchen that allowed me not miss a second of my reality television shows while cooking, as well as being able to keep Luis company (or completely annoy him) when he would be in the dining room while I was in the kitchen cooking.

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One thing for sure, I will not miss the unfriendly asian people that never say, “hello” or “good morning” even when you say it straight to their face.

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We are not sure where we will live when we move back to Atlanta for the summer, and to be honest it kind of worries me.  Where ever it may be, I am sure it won’t be as nice as our first place.

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.

Pork Tenderloin with Herbed Potatoes @ Home

7 Nov

I recently found an awesome blogger, The Pioneer Woman who has many talents, and one of them is making lots of yummy dishes.  She inspired me to make her pork tenderloin with cranberry sauce and creamy herbed potatoes for a pre-Halloween dinner a few weeks ago.

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Back home, my uncle Danny often makes pork tenderloin for our Sunday dinners.  We have been away from home for almost a year now, and I have not had pork tenderloin since then either so, it was time.

I made the potatoes first since they have to bake for 45 minutes.  They are made with onion, cream cheese, heavy cream, whole milk, rosemary, parsley, chives, and sage.

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Then, I whipped up a simple batch of cranberry sauce and added The Pioneer Women’s additional ingredients needed for the pork, which included; sauteed rosemary and onions with red wine and chicken broth.

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Last, and best part is the pork.  Love the smell of butter and oil heating up.  After seasoning the pork really well, sear the pork on all sides, then put in the oven for about 10 -15 minutes.

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Gorgeous and perfect!

Add the cranberry sauce on top.

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I thought this was a great meal for Halloween, something about that sauce makes it look a little spooky.

I have to say, our house smelled unbelievable and the meal was full of flavor and very comforting.  We ate every single bite and wanted more.  I don’t eat pork often, but I think that will have to change after this meal.  I can’t wait to try more recipes from The Pioneer Women and find out what else I could fall in love with.

Happy October 1st!

1 Oct

Happy first day of October!  My favorite month of the year.  I love watching and feeling the city change; with more color and cooler weather.

October also means Halloween, and I have started to decorate.

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I made the bats from black construction paper.

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Simple spiders made from black construction paper as well.

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I can’t have Halloween without my favorite gel window clings.

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We replaced our Ikea flower lamp shade with a simple black chandelier for a more “dark” look, along with awesome 3D skeleton table mats from Target. I love to walk by the table and see the skeletons move along with me.

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 Love these ghosts candles from Pottery Barn, which I will never actually light.

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And of course you gotta add a little Halloween to the kitchen and…

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the bathroom.

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It took me all day of looking through items in my closet to find my skeleton shower curtain. I even made a help call to my mom to ensure that I really did pack them up from our move.  The bathroom stuff reminds me of my Halloween party a few years back, which is when I bought them.  I would love to have another party, but it wouldn’t be the same.

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I even decorated our front door, hoping the others will follow.

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The view from the courtyard outside our window.  You can see our flashing eyes in the window, pretty neat.

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Today we participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure in Charlotte, N.C., more on the race tomorrow.