Monday, May 30, 2011

Scenes from Inside the Perimeter

May has been a total blur, and I have SO much to write about. A post about my trip to NYC is coming soon, I promise. But first I'll share the details of our friend-filled Memorial Day weekend in Atlanta (it's all the blogging I can muster before bed)...

To kick-start Memorial Day weekend we made the long overdue trip down to the A-T-L to see Luca and Adrienne. Or, if you're an extreme feminist, you may prefer Adrienne and Luca. Either way, they're the same 2 people and we love them dearly.

Because we're on a budget, the plans were simple: hang out, do some talking, eat at Flip Burger and laugh a lot. Oh! And get to the pool. We accomplished all PLUS some extras. One particular "extra" was our trip to Your Dekalb Farmers Market . Okay, I understand it's not YOURS because you probably don't live in Atlanta, but that's the actual name of the market. The market was INSANELY huge, crowded and quite overwhelming, but I'm so glad we got the chance to experience it. It was an impressive operation, and saw the most unusual foods I've ever witnessed with my own eyes.

Strange ginormous green fruit next to coconuts

Sean makes an important call on his snake cucumber phone

Because it's an international market, Luca blends right in

After the market, Adrienne had the best idea ever: Popsicles at King of Pops. Not having a sweet tooth, I wasn't particularly interested in a mid-afternoon popsicles, but I figured "what the heck?" We drove out of our way (raw meat and fish in tow) to a corner gas station where I spotted a food cart. Just a dude sitting under and umbrella selling popsicles. But they aren't just ANY popsicles. No, they're ARTISANAL Popsicles (or something like that...) Just know that they're effing amazing, k? I had a Banana Pudding Popsicle that I don't reckon I'll ever forget.

Dinner at Flip Burger in Midtown left us fat and happy. Sean and I each tried the chorizo burger which was topped with an egg over easy and finely shredded manchago cheese. And because we completely forgot about those popsicles we had earlier, for dessert we sucked down a Krispy Kreme donut milkshake and another that tasted like Nutella and burnt marshmallow.

Sunday was hot and toasty which made it the perfect day for a pool party. Listen, ya'll - I was born to be in the water! Luca invited a few of his friends, and the 7 of us toasted in the sun and took cool dips for several hours. Ahhhhh. Bliss. After our toes were sufficiently shriveled into prunes, we started the big cookout. It wasn't just any cookout, mind you. It was an enormous feast! Our group made a ridiculously large amount of food which consisted of ribeyes, shrimp, veggie burgers, grilled veggies, sauteed kale and Adrienne's homemade gluten free cobblers. The peach cobbler (although, free of gluten) was so tasty that I had 2 helpin's. The "flour" she used was coconut flour, and I must say...the slight hint of coconut was a nice compliment to the peaches. idea for a recipe? Maybe so.

I particularly enjoyed the feast preparation. Maybe because there was so much energy in the kitchen. Maybe because it felt like a throwback to my old food service days. Or maybe it was because everyone knew their role and we just jived. As I kept saying, "It's like we live in a village, ya'll!" At any given time, there were 4 of us trying to use the stove or the same plot of counterspace. It was a little bit of chaos, but it worked out just perfectly.

One of the best things about the entire weekend (besides spending time with our cool friends) was the total lack of CICADAS. Yup, we got to leave those creepy red-eyed boogers back at home for nearly 3 days, and our weekend was so quiet without them. In all seriousness, we had a lovely time. We plan to use our borrowed box set of the Six Feet Under series to lure Adrienne & Luca back to Tennessee sometime in the near future.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Eight Days of May

So far we're 8 days into May. How did we get here so quickly!? Is it just me, or did April WHIZ by??? Already it's been a very eventful month, and it's only been 1 week! I happen to really love the month of May. It's my birthday month after all! And I'm excited about what the rest of this month has to hold, but here's what we've been up to thus far:

Had an important meeting at work - trying to close a Big Deal, which would be awesome for the company and for me.

Wednesday we joined Phil and Linda for a game of trivia at Mellow Mushroom. 2nd place, not too shabby! And Thursday we celebrated Cinco de Mayo with our other great pals Jeff and Sherieda. A really fantastic Beatles cover band was playing at Sopapillas. I mean, who wouldn't have a Beatles cover band play on Cinco de Mayo??? As if that weren't exciting enough, we were treated to our very first hot air balloon ride. Yes, at a Mexican restaurant...with the fake was a trifecta of awesomeness. So we're 5o feet in the air, in a basket with a giant nylon balloon overhead. Besides Dark Side of the Rainbow, it was the most mind blowing Wizard of Oz moment I've ever experienced. Surprisingly, the ride up was very smooth, but I wasn't a fan of the giant blast of butane inches above my head.

Another exciting part of my week was having a nice chat with my brother. We talked about the impending 13 Year Cicada Swam that will be here ANY day now. Last time the swarm was here my bro wasn't even alive! He's never seen the swarm, and as a bug lover he's really excited about it. One full month of loud, obnoxious, ginormous "flies" who hatch from the earth to mate, lay eggs and then die. MILLIONS of cicadas are about to start swarming our area. Really, it's great...aren't their little red eyes so cute??

Saturday Sean and I attended The Great Tennessee Air Show in Smyrna. I was able meet his flight instructor and see the super teensy miniature plane that he flies every week. We left the air show and headed straight to The Plowmans' annual Derby Party. Big hat, cucumber tea sandwiches and mint juleps. Our horse didn't win, but a great time was had by all.

And obviously, with today being Mother's Day, I spend the day with my mama. (Bonnie is down in FL visiting her mother, so Sean had to borrow mine for the day). Church, lunch at Dumplin's and an afternoon at Arrington Vineyards. It was a truly beautiful day. OK, a leeeetle bit too warm, but I really can't complain. Mom got ME a Mother's Day gift - a new Pandora bead. I said, "But wait - I'm not a mother!" and she said, "But I wouldn't be a mama without you, so that's why you get a present."
I take that back - I am a mama of sorts. This is my baby Murphy on Friday night, sitting at the table with us during dinner. As we like to say, "He thinks he's a people."

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Big Sale

This Saturday we rose extra early in order to hit the best neighborhood garage sale of the season: WESTHAVEN. Doesn't it just sound fancy??? I was down with a fever earlier this week, and despite the fact that I desperately needed to rest, I powered through the morning in the name of Dirty. Cheap. Bargains.

With mounds of disorganized junk spread across hundreds of acres, it's quite easy to become overwhelmed at neighborhood garage sales. This is why you must come prepared with a list of items you're hoping to score. On my list? because you know I love my lists...Colorful vases to add to my "collection," a rug for the den, picture frames, weed eater, chandelier for the bathroom, art/prints, an army green jacket, and scarves.

Even with a list I found myself becoming frustrated, distracted, and scared that we'd miss out on the best deals of the day if we didn't rush through. But at the same time, you still need to hunt and peck for those hidden treasures. There's truly an art to becoming a skilled garage saler, and honestly, I don't know that I care to ever become one. That's why Westhaven is the only sale of the year for us. In addition to Westhaven, we hit 2 other nearby neighborhood sales. Three hours and $40 later, we returned with our rewards:

4 Picture Frames
Preppy yellow belt
Vintage purse
3 classic piano books (sheet music)
2 novels
2 vintage hob-nob vases
*Electric edger

*this baby wasn't even for sale. Sean has been itchin' for an edger, and I saw it hanging in someone's garage. I thought it was part of an estate sale, but turns out it was the man's very own edger. Luck for us, he never uses it! And he offered to sell it to us for $10.00. SCORE.

And while I know don't think we haggled as much as we could have, I can sleep easy knowing that we reached an average of $2.86 per item. Woo!

Raechel Meyers, a local blogger and master garage saler, is my inspiration. She will WOW you with her mad skills.