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all about INA

i am sure i’m not alone in this but…i have been long obsessed with ina garten, the barefoot contessa.  i don’t really know when it started, but i venture to guess it coincided with the span of time in my 20s when i was throwing wedding showers and bachelorette weekends round the clock and needed to figure out how to feed these people, and somewhat well.  i really think my girlfriends and i all taught ourselves to cook based on her instruction.  back in the mid-2000s, the food network was just gaining mainstream popularity and the barefoot contessa show was always, in my opinion, leagues above the rest.  everything about it is perfection – a beautiful estate in the hamptons, a host who is equal parts relaxed and sophisticated, scrumptious food that is not too intimidating for any person to make, sensible hostess tips and have you SEEN her gardens where she cuts herbs and flowers??

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i mean, amazing.  and how could i forget her sweet jeffrey, who always says the dish he’s currently eating is “the best he’s ever had.”  what’s not to love!  my adoration with ina runs so deep that my girlfriends cooked only ina recipes at my baby shower, just because they knew i would love that (i have the sweetest gal pals).

so when i was trolling her website to see when her next book tour was (must’ve been a slow day), i saw that she had an atlanta date on the calendar and freaked.  she has never come to atlanta!!  i immediately emailed my friend betsey (fellow ina worshipper) with the subject line of  ”OOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”  and that’s the shorthand version.  sometimes you just have to find ways to get your excitement across.  in the body of the email was approximately one thousand more exclamation points and capital letters and general heartbeat racing.  betsey notes that she is coming to the cobb energy arts centre, where her boss has connections.  she tells me thus and goes to see what she can do.  well…a day or two later, i get an email forwarded back to me WITH MY SAME SUBJECT LINE.  only it’s my email to betsey, forwarded to her boss (a 60-something year old man), forwarded to the general manager of the cobb energy arts centre, some 3-4 responses between him and her boss, and then forwarded back to betsey.  i am sure both of those men have never in their lives had an email subject line like that pop up in their inbox.  i was only slightly mortified… it was, after all, in the name of INA!  betsey was able to secure a block of tickets in the 2nd row (!!!!).  fabulous, as ina would say.

betsey planned the cutest preparty on her patio around the fire pit with wine, prosecco and ina dishes galore.  i made her jalapeno cheddar crackers and they are always a crowd pleaser!  my favorite part about them is that you can make the dough and either freeze or refrigerate it and then just bake it when you need to.  and they are SO good!

Menu_Article1i am kicking myself because i took nary a photograph at the preparty…i was just so excited!!  so many fun girlfriends, nibbles, aperitifs and stories to hear.  we departed for the theater, got a cocktail (we felt like that’s what ina would have wanted), slipped into our seats and listened with rapt attention to ina herself.  it was FANTASTIC.

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she started out by telling the story how she came to own the barefoot contessa specialty food store in the hamptons.  she didn’t know quite what she wanted to do after her gig in washington, and was cruising the business classifieds in the times when she came across the listing for the barefoot contessa store.  she and jeffrey went to visit it the next day, and submitted an offer.  she expected to negotiate back and forth a bit, but the woman called her the next day and said, “i accept your offer.”  ina said she went, “oh sh*t!”  there was about a month overlap of the former owner showing her how things run in the store, and then she was on her own, the thursday before memorial day weekend.  jeffrey counted up how much money she had made and then calculated it times the number of days they’re open minus their costs and said hmm…i don’t know if this is going to work?  the next day, friday before the long weekend, she said that when the store closed at 10 p.m., they did not have an ounce of anything left in the store at all.   absolutely everything had been wiped out and sold.  and they didn’t know what to do for the rest of the weekend!  the next morning, jeffrey heard about a good bakery in a nearby neighborhood – so he went there 1st thing in the morning and bought EVERYTHING THEY HAD.  and then did the same thing sunday and monday :)  she said the owners of that bakery probably had a great weekend at the beach!

i think she was exactly the way she is on her tv show – which she talked about a good bit.  she said that when the food network first called her to say that they were interested in having her do a tv show, she said “lose my number!”  she said she didn’t think she could do it.  her friend martha (you know…stewart) was doing it at the time, and she thought there was just no way that she was capable of doing that.  they kept coming back to her with higher offers and she said “no, no – this is not a negotiation – i just flat out am not interested!”  but then they sent her a tape of nigella lawson’s show which was filmed in her house in london, very casual, in a narrative style…and she liked it.  what she didn’t know is that the food network had already hired all of the producers from nigella’s show to come and film ina’s show.  then they basically told her they were going to do 13 episodes, they would start filming in a month and after that they could talk more.  i mean, what would we have done if they had not persevered????  i shudder to think.

some interested tidbits she shared:

- all of the food that she makes on the tv show is eaten by the crew after they’re done shooting.  she said she’s a little bit insulted if they don’t all dive in with silverware immediately!  oh, and they have professional dishwashers in the show crew.  but she says she is the dishwasher in her own house!

- before the show was filmed in her barn, it was literally in her kitchen.  jeffrey would move upstairs for 6-8 weeks at a time while they filmed a season (she said he’s a saint!) – but then they bought an adjacent property and built the barn.

- when she was thinking about what to do with her life after her government job (before she got into the food business), jeffrey told her to think about what she really loves to do….and do that.  don’t worry about the money, but just do what you really enjoy doing.  and be the best you can at that thing.  she thought about something with food because she loved cooking for her friends over the years.

- she used to cook really complicated 6-page julia child recipes, until she and jeffrey went to dinner at a single man’s house (she joked that they originally planned to eat beforehand because they thought it was going to be terrible) and he served freshly baked bread and a roasted filet of beef tenderloin, and it was all so simple…but so elegant.  she said that man had no idea what an impact he had on her, but it changed the way she thought about cooking forever.

- when asked about encountering celebrities in east hampton and through business, she said that they were always very nice (she specifically mentioned steven spielberg) and did not want any special favors, like not having to wait in line.  she heard someone say something once that it’s not how you treat the celebrity…it’s how you treat the person at the table next to them.

- she used to have a vegetable garden, but all of the veggies were getting eaten by animals!  so she transitioned it to a flower cutting garden.

- she knew she needed to do something different when someone asked her for a pound of chicken salad and she wanted to cry.  she took a year off (i presume this was when she sold the food store) and she said she was dreadfully bored.  she would make herself go to her office every morning at 9 a.m. and organize her checkbook or make a grocery list, and one of those would hopefully take all morning.  one time when jeffrey was leaving (he works at yale monday-friday every week), she was lamenting how she had nothing to do that week…nothing at all!  jeffrey said, “well surely you have something…?” she said “well, i have a manicure on wednesday but that’s it!”  i love her.  it was then that she decided to write her 1st cookbook.

- she has another cookbook coming out next year, and the general vision is still being worked on.  there will be a vanilla and maple cream of wheat recipe though!

- her favorite hostess gift to give is a box of fran’s caramels covered in chocolate.  totes ordering some of those stat.

- she uses all white dishes – she thinks they look the best.  (i actually registered for all white serving dishes based on this nugget i picked up from ina over the years – they really do look good and are so easy to match)

ok, so she took q&as from the audience and all i have to say is WOW, some people really have a broad range of what they think a good, legitimate question is.  but you know – even though we snickered through a couple, if she thought the question was bizarre, you couldn’t tell one bit.  my friend margaret and i actually stood in line to ask questions, but they closed the q&a session three people before us.  bummer!  i was going to say something about how we’re fixing to (how southern – might as well lay it on thick, right) renovate our kitchen* and i’m having a hard time convincing my husband that we NEED a viking range.**  we’ve been at odds over it, so i said that i would come here and let you settle it – so tell me ina, is it worth the splurge?

* did i tell you that we are gutting our kitchen?  yeah.  look for posts on that coming up!

** let me just clarify that unless it cost $1, rbb would never approve a viking range.  i have a hard time convincing him that a lamp should cost more than a 20 spot.

all in all, she is exactly what you would expect.  warm, funny, smart, and you pretty much want to be her bff.  or at least her niece or something.  at the end of the show, she signed a few cookbooks and then waved goodbye.  it was a wonderful evening!  after so many years of adoring ina, it was such a thrill to be there with my girls.

ina friends1st row: betsey, amy, cassie, shannon, me – 2nd row: laura, anne, ann (betsey’s stepmom), jane (betsey’s mother-in-law) – 3rd row: jeff and betsey’s family friend

also there, but not pictured: merrell, meredith, sally, margaret, annie, amanda (aka dixie delights) and anna.

SUCH a fun crowd!!  i want to do the whole night over again.  you know what was most inspirational to me – ina is in her mid 60s and at the top of her game.  life is long (if you’re lucky) and it’s never too late to follow a new dream or change courses.  just find out what you enjoy, do that, and do the very best you can.   fabulous advice, ina.

xoxo

 

 

friday tidbits

phew! what a week.  we had the second week of school, a minor stomach bug pass through (eek!), lots of fun paper projects going on and preparation for holiday cards 2013 is steamrolling right along.  i have absolutely loved going through the 2012 holiday cards and getting them photo ready for the website!!  it’s so fun to visit these old friends.  i especially love this one…

1_the littlest things 2it really shows how important good photography is to a holiday card – and also exhibits why it’s best to wait to design your card until you have your photograph!  we pulled out the green from that sweet baby’s dress and i think the square, up close format of the picture just works perfectly for this card design.  (btw, one of my favorite photographers, abbey with dylan blue photography took it.  she offers mini session all fall for holiday card photos – get you one!)  look for this and many more new designs up on the website soon!  OR you could just come to the holiday card pop up shop next week at kayce hughes to see them live and in person.  also, i know i alluded to a free gift if you put down your holiday card deposit at the pop-up shop.  i’ll show you exactly what that is on monday – i think you’re going to like it!

remember that old beat up chair i was getting recovered?  i picked it up and it is sitting pretty in my office right now…  LOVE how it turned out.

photo-194 copy 3ok, so i went off on jelly a week or two ago…  now it’s bread’s turn.  i’m just doing all of the ingredients in a good pb&j one by one i guess.  anyway, if you live in atlanta, you need to know about full cup.  it is a small bakery in north buckhead that mills their own grains and bakes bread, muffins, energy bars, granola bars, cookies and more.  and here’s the thing – they sweeten everything with HONEY!  how awesome is that?!  a while ago, i started looking at the ingredients in the “all-natural, whole grain” bread i was buying to make sandwiches for the kids.  sugar or HFCS was always one of the first 5 ingredients, and i thought there had to be a better way aside from baking my own bread because i sure as heck am not doing that.  full cup is about as unprocessed as you can get when it comes to grains, and did i mention it also tastes great?!?!  all of their breads are awesome, and i stock up when i go and store them in the freezer so i always have some ready to go.  and their whole wheat chocolate chip cookies – don’t even get me started.  they also ship if you’re outside of the atlanta area – i knew we had something special here locally when my friend julia-leigh said that one of her friends in memphis gets their bread shipped to her!

photo-194 copy 4lastly, this picture just makes me laugh.  girl is on point with the arm party trend.

photo-194 copy 5hope y’all have a great weekend!!  we are going to soak up the last of pool time…always hate when it comes to an end.

xoxo

friday tidbits

happy summer, people!  well, the theoretical summer wherein children are out of school.  rush had his last day on wednesday, and we didn’t waste any time getting right to the summer activities.  we took to the road yesterday with my friend shannon and her brood to hit up southern belle farms to pick strawberries!  it was a gorgeous day, and we almost had the whole place to ourselves…

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we left with an overflowing bucket of the biggest, reddest, juiciest strawberries you ever did see.  yum!  i also asked the lady working the counter if they were an organic farm – she said they weren’t certified, but they didn’t use any pesticides.  fabulous!  the kids had a blast and i can’t wait to go back for blueberries and blackberries later in the summer.  if you do go, plan to pick berries in the morning and pack a picnic lunch – they have tables in a pavilion by the cafe (i use the term “cafe” loosely – although they DO serve the most delicious homemade strawberry ice cream that we all enjoyed).

growing up, we had a small pond in front of our house.  it was the most fun – we would always have ducks we could feed in the spring and summer, fish (that my dad added) that we could catch…then toss back, and the cutest little yellow rowboat we could take around for spins.  it was totally country, except it was in the middle of sandy springs.  it was such a great way to grow up.  so, we always saw a lot of random animals because of this pond.  like…muskrats.  when is the last time you ever heard mention of a muskrat?  i don’t think they have those at the zoo even.  meercats, yes.  anyway – i remember one day we were trapped trying to come home because this massive turtle would not move from the middle of our driveway.  so it seemed like a great learning experience for the kids when i happened upon a poor little turtle in the middle of a road by our house this week.  i stopped the car and showed him to the kids…

turtle in the road!

right after i took this picture, i planned to pick him up to move him to the side of the road.  i told rush – WATCH THIS!  he is going to go into his shell when i touch him.  that’s what turtles DO.  so i gingerly touched his shell to pick him up and that bastard whipped out the longest, sharpest claws and batted my fingers right off with his might – so much so that the force landed him on his shell.  momentarily i freaked, thinking – OMG!  what do i do NOW!  but in two seconds flat he was flipped right back over and on his merry way, right under the middle of my car where he set up camp. no good deed, man.  no good deed.  he would not budge, so a nice man passing by running helped me direct my car so i wouldn’t hit him – and then he sort of pushed him off to the side of the road (i had already told him how rude he was).

more milly + BR sneak peeks!!!  kind of obsessed with the shorts OP is wearing.  but i love those multi-colored ones in the top row too…

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it is the most fun seeing how small businesses flourish…remember katie from sweet peeps?  she and her husband micah (which reminds me – i did their wedding invitation and am not sure i ever blogged about it…will have to add that to the programming!) just opened ‘the butcher the baker‘ on the marietta square.  get it – she’s a baker, he’s a butcher…  i went last night with some of my favorite college pals and LOVED IT!  it’s all locally sourced, organic farm to table food.

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sample menu (it changes daily!):

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photo-189 copyeverything was fabulous…the company (l-r above: abbie, julia-leigh and me), the wine and especially the FOOD.  we started off with the fried pork belly appetizer and they brought the most amazing breads to nosh on…dinner rolls (better than any other dinner roll i’ve had) and vidalia onion foccacia.  then we all shared the strip steak, trout and chicken entrees with their respectable sides.  there was not a morsel left!  katie was so sweet to send a couple of dessert selections out and they were all amazzzzzzze.  we are a hard bunch to shut up but there were no words exchanged during the dessert course.  we will definitely be back!!!  and p.s. alton brown is a big fan…that should tell you all you need to know.

hope you all have a GREAT holiday weekend!

xoxo

atlanta staycation part II

where was i?  oh yes, saturday morning. terrible hangover.  y’all.  coming from a person who has been either pregnant or nursing the past year plus and not been privy to a bad hangy in quite some time….this just knocked. me. out.  i woke up with the typical symptoms that i used to know all too well in my 20s…super thirsty, no sudden movements please, scratchy throat, splitting headache.  and we had brunch reservations at 10:30.  after i peeled off my outfit from the night before and took off the prior day’s face of makeup…ew…we got dressed and all downed some aleve before setting out to brunch.  thank you betsey for coming prepared!

by the way, want to know something funny?  no matter how overserved i am, i ALWAYS, and i mean always, take out my contacts.  how bizarre is that.  it’s ingrained in me like breathing or something.

anyway.  on to empire state south!  if you haven’t been here yet, you simply must go.  it is just downright fabulous.  it’s a hugh acheson restaurant and sister restaurant to five and ten in athens, which is the original downright fabulous destination.

they have a bocce ball court to busy yourself on while you wait for a table.  by the way, this is in the heart of midtown atlanta which is quite a rare place to spot a bocce ball court…

i needed a lot of this.

and this.

and why not try this too for good measure.

everything we had was just delicious.  although i’m surprised we actually ingested food after being so busy laughing uncontrollably at jen’s tale of when she and steven showed up for a couple’s massage in the buff on a trip to turks and caicos.  it turned out it was sort of an “active” massage and not the typical lay-under-a-towel deal.  OMG, the visuals were hysterical.

and we even had a little celeb sighting, if you watch top chef?  i don’t, but i know plenty of people do.  hugh showed up.  at his own restaurant, imagine that!  merrell has actually interviewed him before (she writes for a magazine in chattanooga) so she went up to say hi.  and we are such dorks that we took a picture.  can’t you just see him saying “um…really?  cause i can totally see you taking that picture over there.”

after we finished up and i had another dose of painkillers, we headed down to scott’s.  i was in such a bad way that i really didn’t take any pictures…i just followed jen around like a lap dog, i think literally wanting to see through her eyes (and therefore great taste!).

i did find this but then jen reminded me that i needed to spend my money on things for the house and not fur coats.  damn.

do you see those little cutouts for the arms?  it was almost like a short cape.  so fab!  but alas, we parted ways.

after a long nap back at the hotel – quite a luxury for three moms of small children – we got gussied up and went to the livingston for cocktails and apps before dinner.

much to our delight, there was a prom going on at the fox theatre across the street.  while we were waiting for margaret and jen to pick us up for dinner, look what we saw…

a full on LCD-lit pumpkin horse-drawn carriage carrying prom-goers.  i love atlanta.

then it was off to chow down at wisteria in inman park.  it’s a great spot for an intimate dinner – and everything on the menu is good.  merrell and i went split-sies and got the salmon and beef tenderloin – our own little surf n’ turf!  it was fantastic.

me and margaret at dinner.

betsey, jen and merrell on the other side.

we were all beat, so we just called it an early night and went straight to bed after dinner.  typical wedding weekend behavior.  blow it out on friday and pay for it saturday…

sunday we hit up cafe jonah in the old buckhead village for brunch.  this is the new restaurant from jenny levison of souper jenny fame.  i had not been before and i was AMAZED!  everything was delectable and so cutely displayed…

…and this was only half of the food.  there was also a coffee/tea self-serve bar, a bakery case, and a hot bar with quiche, frittata and oatmeal + toppings!  YUM.  it was all soooo good.  the most intriguing part is that there’s no set price for the brunch.  you pay what you think it’s worth (suggested price is $20) and part of whatever you pay goes to charity.  i just love that!

we took a group picture and then it was time to bid adieu…

what a fun weekend with some of my favorite peeps.  ’til next time, girls!
xoxo

atlanta staycation part I

well, the atlanta staycation was a huge success…if “success” means one ginormous hangover, several house items procured amongst a fun shopping day at scott’s, scores of delicious calories ingested and all in all had a BALL catching up with some of my favorite gal pals.

jen flew in from texas and was whisked from the airport straight to carver’s.  now, if you didn’t know what waited inside for you at carver’s, you might pass this establishment thinking it was an uninhabited shack on the side of the road from the days of old.

but no…just look at this goodness inside those doors!  i got a veggie plate – mac & cheese, green beans, squash casserole, black eyed peas and a delicacy whose scientific name is “cheesy bread.”

don’t even think about getting something other than sweet tea.

after we undid the top button on our pants (oh, just me?), we rolled ourselves out and it was time to get down to business and do a little home shopping.  first stop after merrell joined the party – lewis & sheron.  a fabric wonderland, and jen reigns supreme in this place.  she is seriously like a celeb sighting for the lower floor employees (as she should be!).

then on to bungalow classic, which is kind of like heaven.  have you been?  you should.  here, i’ll make it easy.

it’s pretty frigging amazing.  rinne already thinks so.

i drooled over my future chairs, got a fabric sample for them and we hit the road to check into the hotel.  i’ve always been curious about hotel indigo in midtown…

it’s right across the street from the fox theatre and next to the georgian terrace / livingston restaurant.  super cute, although the bathroom was a wee bit tiny.  but who can complain with such a fun view down peachtree street?

we grabbed betsey, fresh off a flight from nyc, and all high-tailed it to ecco, a mediterranean-inspired resto in midtown just a few blocks from the hotel.

we sat down and immediately ordered the house specialty – fried goat cheese balls drizzled with honey and sprinkled with black pepper.  OH. EM. GEE.  they are so good.
oh and there was wine.  copious amounts of wine.  but i’ll get to that later…
we had such a blast at dinner, i cannot even tell you!  i think everyone was so excited to be together and we just lived it up.  the conversation was hilarious and we might have turned a few heads we were laughing so hard (um…and loud) at times.
margaret and merrell having a deep conversation.
happy betsey and jen googling something very important, i am sure.

we had so much fun that we closed the place down.  now i know some people say that but really….they were locking up as we were leaving.  the valet was all but gone and i think a little shocked that these late night revelers had the keys to a volvo station wagon.

to the right.

and to the left.

whoops.

i wonder if our waiter was in the s*$@house because he hammed it up with us while everyone else was working.  he was awesome and we loved him!

after all that fun, we still had not had enough, so back to the hotel for … actually, i don’t know why we went there, if just to decide that turning in was for the birds.  well, and we got jealous of the folks who had turned up the burnett’s vodka and left the remnants in the elevator.

we also saw that there was absolutely zero going on at the hotel bar.  and we had wanted to get good use out of our 10% discount!!

we walked across the street to a place called churchill grounds for a nightcap that we really needed.  i’m sure we kind of looked like a commercial for moms gone wild.  thank goodness there is no visual evidence of this outing.  all i can tell you is that the next day, i felt like absolute and total hell.  i get a little queasy just thinking about saturday morning.

but that didn’t stop us from a full day of being about town and heading down to scott’s!
more to come…going to get some water.  i really think i might still be a smidge hungover.
xoxo

pumpkin pie smoothie

after being ordered by rinne’s doctor to eat “less salads and more milkshakes” (i swear!) in order to make fattier milk and also fatten up that baby in the process, i am getting some good mileage out of our blender.  ever since i tried it in the fall, this pumpkin pie smoothie has been one of my go-to faves for breakfast.  you can easily make it low-fat with skim milk and non-fat yogurt, which is what i would normally do.  and don’t worry about any exact measurements…i just eyeball everything and it always tastes great.  i mean, it’s hard to mess up a smoothie.

pumpkin pie smoothie:
1 banana
1 cup greek yogurt (use whole, 2% or non-fat depending on how thick you want it)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
pinches of: ground ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. turbinado sugar {optional – i just like mine a little sweet}
ice (i usually add one and a half handfuls)

then you just whir it up!  and it is deee-licious.  rush agrees.

mmmm.  off to finish mine now!
xoxo

come and get it

around these parts, dinner doesn’t make itself.  i don’t know about you, but there is always at least one day a week (if not…four) that i look at the clock which says 5:00 p.m. and think, “well shoot. what in the world am i going to make for dinner!?” my saving grace as of late has been a new business that just blossomed a hop, skip and a jump away from where i live, and it’s called – come and get it.

from my understanding, come and get it is run by two friends here in atlanta who are pretty talented in the kitchen.  they make large quantities of lasagnas, soups, veggie sides, breads, desserts, etc. and keep them stocked in a freezer in brookwood hills, which is open from 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. every day.  the convenience cannot be beat – you drive down a little path, see the open garage, check out what’s in the freezer, write down what you took and leave a check.  i mean, how cute is that.  i love an honor system.  here’s what the freezer looks like…

now people, this is not your average frozen dinner.  these are things like ina garten’s turkey sausage lasagna…confetti quinoa…spinach chicken burger patties.  everything is made with fresh ingredients and it is DELISH!  we have tried the chicken and mushroom crepes, turkey lasagna, chicken & wild rice casserole and vegetarian taco pie.  YUM!  it was all scrumptious and at $15 a pop – i couldn’t even buy the ingredients for the dishes, not to mention spend the time to cook said items.  the soups and veggies are even less than that at $9 and $12, respectively.  
here’s a picture of the (well done…i love crispy cheese) chicken and mushroom crepes.  mmm.
i try to keep at least one of their concoctions in my freezer at all times…i mean, all you need is to defrost that sucker, toss it in the oven, throw together a salad and voila – dinner is served!  
to get on their listserve, email them.  they will send you all of the particulars (exact location, etc.), as well as a current menu of the dishes they offer, since some are seasonal.  and they aim to please – they do deliveries to the brookhaven / dunwoody area once a week (to your door!!!!), and will also open the freezer earlier than 3:00 p.m. if you need for them to.  i mean, let’s hear it for a flexible, customer-centric small business with a great product that makes life easier!     
come and get it indeed.  i sure am!
xoxo

and p.s. after you’ve picked up your meals to go, take a spin through the neighborhood…brookwood hills is my favorite in the whole city.  when rbb and i play the “where would you live if we won the lottery?” game, my answer is so predictable…and you’ll see why!

that darn gywnnie

i bet it’s tough for gwyneth paltrow to be this talented, this pretty and also able to pull off such a gorgeous dinner party table.  oh, and i suppose she probably cooked the entire meal from scratch too.  what a showoff.

wouldn’t you just DIE to have a place setting at that table though?  i would!
xoxo

pin it up

have y’all caught on to the pinterest craze yet??  it is the BEST.  you can organize all of your favorite images that you find online in little categorized boards, repin images you find from your friends (who you “follow”) and it is just the most fun.  i have gotten so many great dinner recipes, party ideas and decorating inspirations so far.  i highly suggest you join if you haven’t already!

just look at what i am on the up and up with after learning from my friends on pinterest.  so much.

great go-by for my bookshelves.  plus i love a framed piece of art hanging on them…so unexpected.

i just do back flips every time i see this room.  so perfectly imperfect!  so random yet goes!

i had a little deja vu when i saw this kitchen image…i had just been poring over it in an old issue of atlanta homes and lifestyles a couple of nights before.  it’s a kitchen in madison, georgia of all places – where my dad’s family hails from and where i spent many a lazy sunday afternoon after church on my grandmother’s front porch growing up.  it is such a wonderful town.  love the beadboard, the vintage ship lighting fixures, the reclaimed hardwood floor, the marble countertops, the island…
as of right now, i am officially on the hunt for all of things, an old garden rake.  i am sure rbb will think i have gone bonkers when i bring it home, but what a chic way to hang your necklaces!   mine are forever getting tangled in my jewelry box.
of course i have a board devoted to paper.  are these not the cutest place settings slash favors you’ve ever seen?  would be so sweet for a little girl baby shower.
embarrassingly enough, the board of mine that has the most pins on it is the food board.  such irony from the pregnant girl.  but i can’t help it, it all looks so delish!!!  and i want to make it all.  oh, and there are always links accompanying the gorgeous photos so you can track down the recipe.
these summer corn cakes with tomato and avocado salsa may be dinner tonight…if i can find some ripe avocados at the farmer’s market this morning, that is.
and with autumn on the brain, are these cookies not genius?!?!  or that would be, jenius if you watched last monday’s bachelor pad…no judgement.  i kind of live for that show.
and for fab party ideas, check this out.  premade cocktails in mason jars.  just grab one and go.  love!
viva pinterest.  see you there i hope!
xoxo

paris in nyc

you’ll never guess…

…who is finally making a home is the cozy us of a.  laduree is coming to new york!  i could not be happier to have another good reason to visit nyc.  thanks to my friend cassie for letting me know the good news!!  
xoxo
p.s. blast from the past?  one of my first posts was about laduree’s fantastic packaging…and scrumptious treats, natch.