A Few of My Favorite Things (65)

[mini brownie delivery]

[Stella & Dot outfit of the week:: blue J.Crew Outlet sweater // pink Tieks flats // Frida Necklace // Odeon Stretch Bracelets // Renegade Bracelet // Linda Studs]
unnamed (1)[Krispy Kreme = new neighbor]
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[flower delivery]
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[salon Saturday]
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[blue sky delight]
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Is spring officially here to stay? By the looks of that photo above, I certainly think (hope) so. Last week was busy with having to work a couple events, Craig starting a new season of rec softball, and Coco having more obedience training, so the weekend couldn’t come quickly enough. We tried out a new place that just opened in the Highlands called Bar Meatball — I’ll have a recap post coming soon. The deck table project is also coming along! After several searches, we finally found an outdoor varnish to coat the wood in so that it’s extra protected from the elements. I’m hoping to work on that some this weekend, and when it’s all done, I’ll have a fun DIY post for you! Here’s to a bright and sunny week for us all!


baby nora {newborn}

A couple weeks ago, I got to spend the morning photographing little newborn Nora, who was 15 days young. Her mom Chelsey is a friend of a friend who I hadn’t seen in years, so it was really fun to catch up and meet her so sweet husband Chaz — and of course  ”ooh and ahh” that precious baby girl. It was a very rainy and dreary day when we did their session, but this little lady’s nursery was  full of warmth and joy. I just love that banner over her crib — one of Chelsey’s friends made it for her, which makes it even sweeter. And oh, that tiny tutu — it’s just too much. Enjoy!

For more of where this came from, hop on over to Melissa Hayes Photography!

A Few of My Favorite Things (64)

[tutu thief]
[Stella & Dot outfit of the day::  pink JCrew sweater // GAP skinnies // Toms wedges // Rebel Pendant // Aviva Chandeliers // Florence Stackable Bands // gold bracelet stack]
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[Downtown Nashville]
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[George Strait’s farewell tour]
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[Sheryl Crow]
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[some fun appearances on stage with George!]
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[birthday celebrations]
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[Craig’s mom’s chocolate Oreo dessert – yum!]
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This past weekend, we drove up to Nashville to surprise Craig’s little brother for his 21st birthday. Last Monday, thanks to Craig’s dad, box tickets to the George Strait farewell concert, which just happened to be taking place in Nashville that Friday night, pretty much fell into our laps… talk about one excited husband I had! It was such a fun night hanging out with Craig’s parents, brother, and his girlfriend. Sheryl Crow opened and then came back to sing a couple songs with George, and there were a couple surprise appearances by Eric Church and Kenny Chesney. Again, very excited husband. 🙂

The rest of the weekend was sort of a whirlwind trying to fit in visits with Craig’s grandparents (and a very yummy breakfast at Cracker Barrel), lunch with a couple of his high school friends, and a surprise birthday celebration for his brother that night.  The weekend only would have been better had both of us not been taken down by seasonal allergies. Trips to Franklin and Nashville are always too short, so hopefully we’ll be back soon to visit everyone else we missed this time around.

new eats coming to ATL

sprinklesPhoto courtesy of Sprinkles Cupcakes

For those of us who call ATL home, we know that it plays host to a large variety of some of the most amazing restaurants in the country — from order-at-the-counter types like Taqueria del Sol and Antico Pizza to fancy-schmancy types like Bacchanalia. I currently have a running list on my phone of probably 75-100 restaurants that we like to go to and/or want to check out. And according to this article on Atlanta Eater, it looks like the restaurant scene here is just going to keep getting better this year and into 2015. Looks like my list is about to get a little bit longer…. here are some of the new and “coming soon” places I’m most excited about.

1. MAX’s Wine Dive:: Their slogan is “Fried Chicken and Champagne?…Why the hell not?!” — and their menu includes fried chicken dishes, a grilled cheese, “haute” dogs, pulled pork peppers, and of course, lots of wine. They’re set to open in Midtown in May. I’ll be there.

2. Amelie’s French Bakery:: This Charlotte, NC-based bakery will be coming to West Midtown. I’m looking forward to coconut macaroons, chocolate croissants, French baguette sandwiches, and quiche. Yum!

3. The Pig and the Pearl:: This combo of smokehouse and raw bar will open in Atlantic Station this year — I’m looking forward to some more non-chain options over there. They don’t appear to have a website yet, and I couldn’t find much info on their facebook page…. but the idea sounds good.

4. Shake Shack:: My old coworker is OBSESSED with this establishment, so I can’t wait to try out the burgers, fries, and shakes when it makes its way to Buckhead this year. Started in NYC, Shake Shack is a modern take on the roadside burger stand and is known for its beef burgers, flat-top dogs, fresh-made frozen custard, and more. YUM.

5. Superica:: You know that if Ford Fry has a hand in it, it’s going to be a hit. He and chef Kevin Maxey are opening a “Mex-Tex” restaurant at the highly anticipated Krog Street Market that will feature with casual fare (tamales, tacos, margaritas,etc.) and a big patio.

6. Bar Meatball:: Lotsa’ meatballs… and ice cream sandwiches… and margaritas? What? Those things don’t really mix, but I’m still interested. It replaces Pozole in the Virginia Highlands and is already open for business. I plan to be there next weekend.

7. Sprinkles Cupcake ATM:: Really??!! My dream has come true, and it’s already open at Lenox Mall — 24 hours a day. Good thing we don’t live closer.

What new places around ATL are you looking forward to trying?

A Few of My Favorite Things (63)

[official power tool user]
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[fancy tea syrups at Restaurant Eleven @ Loews]
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[Stella & Dot outfit of the week:: red Old Navy dress // taupe Toms wedges // Rory Necklace (new!) // Nancy Studs // Paloma Rings // gold bracelet stack]
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[goodbye lunch for one of my favorite coworkers]
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[mango key lime pie for PI Day]
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[more newborn photos coming soon!]

Talk about some beautiful St. Patty’s weekend weather (for Saturday, at least). We made good use of the sunshine and warm temps with a trip to the park with some friends (and our favorite red-headed baby friend), had lunch on the patio at our favorite neighborhood spot, celebrated our friend’s birthday @ Village Taqueria, and I even got around to putting the first coat of stain on our “live edge” table for the deck.  It’s coming along nicely — now we just need to get some marine-grade varnish to make it extra protected from the outdoor elements.

I spent Sunday morning photographing the most precious little 2-week-old baby girl. She decided she didn’t want to sleep for the session, but that was perfectly ok because we got some really great shots of her pretty eyes and little mouth (see above) — and even one of her sticking her tongue out at the camera. So cute. I will be sharing some of my favorites from her newborn session later this week, so hop on over to Melissa Hayes Photography to check them out!

restaurant review:: hammock’s trading company (sandy springs)

Last weekend, we mad a little drive up to Sandy Springs for a Saturday night dinner date at Hammock’s Trading Company. We’d seen the restaurant highlighted on an episode of Atlanta Eats, which I mentioned in a post earlier this week. It’s located in an unassuming stretch of Roswell Road, but inside, it’s full of beachy character, music, and what appear to be a lot of neighborhood customers. The restaurant describes itself as a place where Southern Coastal Seafood meets Baja California. We happened to be there over the end of Mardi Gras week, so they had a special New Orleans-inspired menu (and lots of Mardi Gras beads) in addition to the regular fare.

They have $5 sangria, margaritas, and mojitos every day, so we took advantage of that. My sangria was very festive, as you can see.
We started with one of the specials, chicken and sausage gumbo, and added on some jalapeno cornbread from the regular menu. We couldn’t get enough of the gumbo — it was spicy and filled with lots of meat. The cornbread, however, left a little to be desired… it was late coming out from the kitchen, and I think they under-cooked it in an effort to get it to us more quickly. I liked the presentation, though.
The dinner menu is pretty extensive, but I don’t eat a lot of seafood, so I went with the Crabcake appetizer and a side of Cheddar Grits. Crabcake = full of meat and really good. Grits = AMAZING! I am a sucker for some good cheese grits. They were thick, cheesey, but not overpowering, and just so good.  Craig went with one of the specials — the Shrimp Creole — and it was a pretty big dish filled with nice-sized shrimp.

One of the best parts of our dining experience was the waiter. I can’t remember his name, but he was so enthusiastic and really seemed invested in working for this restaurant. You don’t often see that, so it was much appreciated. If you’re out in Sandy Springs and want some good seafood options that won’t break the bank, check out Hammock’s Trading Company.

A Few of My Favorite Things (62)

[dainty lounging]
[Stella & Dot outfit of the week:: citron Old Navy skinnies // black Old Navy sweater // taupe Toms wedges // Linden Necklace // Cleopatra Studs // Camilla Ring (retired)]
[Krispy Kreme opened up less than 2 miles from our house. YES.]

[favorite funny photo of the week. priceless.]

[spring – pretty in pink]

[fun finds @ The Merchant at Howell Mill]

[Midtown ATL view from 5 Seasons Brewing]
Can every weekend go by as slowly, yet still be as productive and fun as this one was? Mon-Fri didn’t bring much excitement other than dinner with my Springbluff girlfriends from college, which I really look forward to every month. This time, we did hibachi, which involved a lot of fried rice, as it should.

We started training with Coco this weekend (at 8AM on a Saturday, no less), and I’m looking forward to learning how to better command our very giant puppy. She is such a great dog, but she’s also very stubborn and a little too smart for her own good. She needs to learn that we’re the boss (despite what she may think), and especially because she’s so big and strong, we need to learn how to better command her in situations where she’s anxious or aggressive with other dogs. She never used to be as crazy around dogs she didn’t know until she was attacked by one (a Golden, of all things) in our neighborhood last fall.  We’ve only had the first lesson, but so far, it’s going pretty well. The company we’re working with is called Sit Means Sit, and they’re located out in Douglasville, GA if you’re in need of similar training. I believe they have locations around the country, too. 

With such great spring weather going on all weekend, we made time for some in-house brews on the rooftop at 5 Seasons, overlooking the Midtown skyline. We also tried out a new restaurant, Hammock’s Trading Company out in Sandy Springs, which we saw on an episode of Atlanta Eats. If you’re in Atlanta and looking for new restaurants to check out, this is a cool show that airs weekly and highlights different restaurants around the city (and some that are OTP). 

And we have started our next house project — building a “live edge” table for our deck. I found the inspiration for the table on a blog I follow called The Hunted Interior, and I’m so happy with how it’s turning out! Next steps are staining and coating with varnish. I’ll have a tutorial coming when it’s finished, so stay tuned!

spring 2014 bucket list


This list has become pretty standard for me each season now. I’m a perpetual list-maker, and I love the satisfaction of crossing things off of those lists. It’s also a fun reminder to try new things. So here’s my list for Spring 2014!

1. Try 2 new restaurants each month or take one another to a place we have yet to try together (March — Hammock’s Trading Co., Village Taqueria, Bar Meatball; April; May)

2. Visit the Grand Canyon and road trip it through Arizona!

3. Find a place to volunteer together (I’m in the process of signing up with a great non-profit called Preemie Prints, where I’ll be able to donate my photography services to families who have a baby in the NICU. We have a few friends who have been through this trying time as new parents, and I’m so excited to give back to this very special, brave group of people.)

4. DIY project — design and build a wooden “live edge” table for our deck — in progress

5. Take more walks in the park… and picnics in the park… and just enjoy the spring weather as much as possible

6. Continue advertising and growing my photography business by booking newborn, maternity, couples, and spring mini sessions

7. Continue learning Lightroom editing software

8. Visit Craig’s family in Nashville and hopefully my family in Florida — Nashville visit done!

A Few of My Favorite Things (61)

[fab new print for my desk]
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[Stella & Dot outfit of the week:: citron Old Navy skinnies // cream GAP sweater // taupe Toms wedges // Rory Necklace (turquoise and new!) // Somervell Necklace // Nancy Studs // gold bracelet stack // Paloma Stack Ring // Gilded Arrow Ring // Capri Pouch]

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[SIL’s bday celebration starts with a lot of french fries]
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[chocolate stout @ Twain’s and a very cute clutch]
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[bride and her couples shower hostesses]
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[custom cookies inspired by the shower invitation]
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[hopped on the #whatsinmybag band wagon]
Another pretty solid week is in the books. Stella & Dot’s March capsule collection just launched (available for sale on Tues, 3/4/14), and I am IN LOVE with the pops of turquoise in these pieces. The Rory Necklace is just a bundle of happiness, and the the Capri Tote is perfect to toss into a larger, every day bag OR grab for a night on the town. Shop this online “mystery hostess” trunk show this week, and for every $30 spent, you’ll be entered to win free jewelry rewards!

We celebrated our SIL’s 28th birthday on Friday night with a night out in Decatur — we made our way around to Leon’s, Twain’s, and Sun in My Belly. We have done brunch at SIMB, and I feel like they’re more known for that, but let me tell you — if you have not had dinner there, you need to do it now. We had a group of 7, and every one of us raved over the starters (mussels, fried green tomatoes w/pimiento cheese, and an eggplant dip), dinner (grilled meatloaf, pork chop, shrimp and grits, and fried chicken, all with fabulous sides), and dessert (mini brown sugar cheesecake w/blueberry compote and a lemon/coconut sorbet). I CLEANED my plate, and I wanted more. Can’t wait to go back.

Saturday, I co-hosted a couples shower for my dear friend Shannon and her super sweet fiance, David. It was probably the easiest, least stressful shower I’ve helped plan, and we had a great time celebrating them with their family and friends. My favorites were the mini cupcakes and custom cookie favors…. clearly, I have a serious sugar problem. Cheers to S + D!

Y’all have a great week… this Sunday = daylight savings time!