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Friday Night Lights


Good Morning Friends. I’ve just woken up from a long winters nap (that is what a few glasses of red wine will do to me) and was super hungry. We are leaving for the holidays early next week and our pantry and refrigerator are bare bones so My options were pretty limited. Thus…IMAG0511

Yep, that is right. Good, old fashion chocolate (skim)milk…with a straw of course! I thought it was the more nutritious option given that these were behind door number two.


These are a sneak peak of the Italian Ricotta cookies that I made in my baking frenzy on Thursday. Recipe to come soon, promise!


Danny and I kept Friday date night local and visited the Garden Lights Holiday Nights exhibit at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. The gardens are a 10 minute walk through Piedmont from our apartment. We love that midtown offers so much in walking distance which reminds us a lot of Boston. What doesn’t remind us of Boston are the 70 degree temps in mid-December, but I’ll take it!


The garden was truly transformed and the holiday music playing throughout made it a very festive outing.


Our favorite exhibit was the tropical greenhouse which was dripped in thousands of green laser “beads”. Everything was glowing. Conjured up images of the movie Avatar (before I fell asleep that is).



Another plus… there were several snack and beverage stations set up through the venue offering festive drinks for both kids and adults. We chose to sip on some red wine as we walked through the displays.


We stumbled upon this outdoor chefs kitchen in the edible garden exhibit. Garden members are invited to parties and tastings here throughout the year. This is Danny showing his excitement for the cocktails benefits of membership.

Overall, this was a great night out and hopefully a part of our new family traditions in Atlanta.

We have a busy afternoon ahead of us and I need to get a few more things prepped for our dinner party with Stephanie and Tyler this evening.

Have a wonderful Saturday!

Do you like to visit neighborhoods or venues with lots of holiday lights?

Do you belong to your local garden or park organization? If so, what are your favorite perks of membership?


‘Tis the Season



Tis’ the season, my favorite season and a busy season indeed. On this, the eve of DECEMBER and the day I have decided to ‘deck our halls’, I encourage you all to keep the spirit of the holidays on your mind and close to your heart.

I’ve been there too…the traffic, the budget crunch, the locked-up social calendar, the year-end projects at work and yes (I grew up in Chicago and lived in Boston for 7 years) the weather…enough to summon up the Scrooge in anyone.  When I find myself reaching the breaking point, I do my best to reframe the situation and give thanks that…

  • There was traffic, but I got there safely
  • The events that keep me busy are great opportunities to celebrate with my family and friends
  • That I have somewhere warm to sleep on those cold and snowy nights

Perhaps this season you will discover a new way to share your joy with friends and neighbors. It is often the most simple gestures of kindness that have lasting impact.

Let us know how you plan to spread the cheer this month. We’d love to hear about it!

Cocoa Nibs


Hello Chocolate Lovers!

Friday is my favorite night of the week because it is date night!  Last night, we were both craving sushi, so we went to Gengki in Virginia Highlands.  Their seaweed salad is out of this world! 

We stepped out of the restaurant and a sweet yet bitter smell of dark chocolate filled the air.  I don’t know about you, but I love dark chocolate!  The darker the better.  The smell was coming from Cacao Atlanta (next door).  The aromas lured us in.  We were sweetly greeted by a woman dressed in all white who was making fudge behind the counter.   Cacao Atlanta is a coffee boutique that is quaint, the staff is knowledgeable, and the chocolate is to die for!  I felt like I was back in Paris (sigh)!  I have a feeling that Virginia Highlands has many hidden gems.

Cacao 6

Tyler wanted some coffee which was good because I wanted to look around more.  The coffee he ordered was made with a Clover coffee maker which is a process where the barista can customize the way the coffee tastes by playing around with the temperature and brewing time.  It took 5 minutes.  I took a sip, and it was worth the wait.  Tyler said he could drink a cup every day!

Cacoa 2

While we were waiting, the manager quickly pointed out the “Love Bar” which is made from cocoa beans and raw cane sugar.  Each bar contains only 130 calories and 14 grams of fiber!  For an antioxidant punch (my ears perked up), she suggested we look at the Trinitario Cocoa Nibs.  I had tried some a few weeks back and thought they were delightful.  I had to buy a bag.  I plan on adding these to my oatmeal, yogurt, or morning smoothie.  The manager said that some people like to eat a spoonful before a tough workout such as Crossfit.  Sounds interesting…

              Cacao 4          Cacoa 3

The founder of Cacao Atlanta is Kristen Hard’s.  She is the first bean to bar chocolate maker in the Southwest, and the first bean to bar producer in the U.S.  She has a factory store in Inman Park and another storefront in Buckhead.  If you live in Atlanta, you have to take a look.  You will not be disappointed!

Cacao 7

They are true artisan chocolate makers who make sure that you have a conscious chocolate experience.   

            Cacoa         Cacao 8

I am off to pick up Jessica from the airport!  I can’t wait to show her our new city on this beautiful day.  Enjoy your Saturday!

Do you prefer milk chocolate or dark chocolate?  Why?