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Preview: Stories, photographs, recipes, and more straight from the Dirty South

Stories, Photographs, Recipes, and More Straight from the Dirty South



This blog is all about me living in Atlanta; what I see, what I do, what I cook, who I am



Updated: 2017-04-05T10:00:06.844-04:00

 



Almost the end of the year...

2014-12-30T07:22:53.590-05:00

So yeah, a long break totally happened. Again, I always think about things I should write on the blog, but never pull the trigger and actually write them. I really need a robot secretary in the car with me to take down my daily stream of consciousness and turn it into a blog post. It would be peppered with a lot of fuck yous, but whatevs. So I went on one big trip this year. I made it to Italy. I need to pull a couple of blog posts together about it while it's still fresh. I really enjoy doing them just so I can go back and read through what happened. Here's to hoping.




Squidy Delciousness

2014-04-17T11:22:50.743-04:00

I told y'all I'd be back soon with a recipe right? Back soon = 2 weeks. Sorry. Basically this recipe is stolen from Martha. It all starts with my favorite restaurant in Atlanta- Boccalupo. The chef of said restaurant has been my favorite ever since I first tasted his cooking at La Pietra Cucina which has since semi-shuttered (it's been renamed, rebranded, and rechefed as LPC). At La Pietra Chef Bruce Logue had this excellent app on  the menu that was one of my favorites Calamari in Sicilian tomato brodetto with pine nuts and caperberries.  Basically small rings of squid in this amazing thin tomato sauce with sweet bites of raisins, acidic caperberries, and the interesting flavor profile of pine nuts. There were some tiny pearl like pasta in it as well. For about a year in between La Pietra and Boccalupo the Chef wasn't cooking, which means I was deprived of this delicious dish. When he opened his new restaurant it just so happened to be situated less than 1 mile from my house (OH Happy Day!). I was so glad to see the calamari made it back on the menu; first as an entree then as an app. I wish it would be offered up in either sized portion. I typically make it there once a month... its not the cheapest place...and I generally have to get one homemade pasta dish, if not 2, an appetizer (typically the calamari), and a glass of wine (or 2 or 3).  I was trying to cut down my spending lately and it occurred to me that I should try and make the calamari at home.  I went on the internet in search of tomato/squid recipes and stumbled across two that looked similar.  Martha's recipe happened to be the one I tried first and the one that most reminds me of the dish at Boccalupo.  Now that I make this bad boy at home I don't ever get it anymore at the restaurant, but Chef Bruce should worry not because I still have yet to make a promising homemade linguine or pappardelle.Sauteed Calamari with Tomatoes, Pine Nuts, and RaisinsINGREDIENTS3 cloves garlic1/2 cup and 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil1 tbsp minced salted anchoviesLarge pinch of crushed red pepper flakesOne 32-ounce can crushed tomatoes1 tbsp capers1 bunch basil leaves3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted3 tbsp golden raisinsCoarse salt and freshly ground black pepper1 1/2 pounds squid, cleaned, tentacles removed and trimmed, and bodies cut into very thin rings2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsleyDIRECTIONSPreheat oven to 450 degrees. Thinly slice the garlic cloves. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic,anchovies, and red pepper flakes; cook until garlic has browned. Stir in tomatoes; transfer to oven and roast until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes.Add capers, basil, pine nuts, and raisins; stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper; place over low heat to keep warm.Heat a large skillet and add 3 tablespoons olive oil; heat until smoking. Add squid, cook, stirring constantly, until squid rings begin to open up and become firm, about 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper. Add tomato sauce to skillet, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until squid is opaque and sauce is hot, 2 to 3 minutes.Divide calamari evenly among 4 shallow bowls. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with lemon zest and parsley. Serve immediately with toasted bread to sop up the delicious sauce.  **I buy my squid already cleaned and prepped in the frozen section at whole foods.  You can buy just the body and cut them into rings, but I prefer bodies and tentacles.[...]



A Minute

2014-04-02T15:37:00.249-04:00

Yeah, yeah, yeah it's been a minute or five since I lasted posted. It never gets old does it? Loads have changed since I last spoke with you friend.The biggest, and by far the worst, is that Bella is now in doggy heaven. Just thinking about it makes me tear up. In some ways I'm lucky that she lived with my parents this last little bit.  It sucked that I didn't get to see her on the daily, but it has made the mourning process a whole lot easier.  After all I mourned her absence from my daily life for a long time after she left. I experienced all those moments of coming home and not being greeted by my best friend. However, I did get to go over to mom and dads and get the most loving welcome ever. The end came because she basically lost use of her back end...she could no longer stand or walk. My parents called me on Valentine's Day and told me this  It didn't make for a good day. I went over the next morning to hang out with her and assess the situation. I helped her get around by wrapping a towel around her back end.  She was so miserable trying to move like that and hadn't eaten in 2 days. It was time; I knew it, as did she. Of course my vet was out of town (of course) so I made an appointment with another vet I knew. I stopped on the way and got Bella a steak and egg biscuit. She wolfed it down, which made me quite happy. As we continued on my car died on the side of a highway. I proceeded to call my dad to come pick us up and take us on, and then I had a meltdown in my car. Being trapped on the way to do something you don't want to do, but know you have to is the worst! We made it to the vet and I spent some time cuddling my girl in the car. Despite it being a chilly day I decided I would rather the vet come out to the car then for me to bring Bella inside... she just gets too stressed out in the vet and I didn't want her to experience that. The vet came out and I stayed with Bella the whole time. It was hard as hell, but at the same time I am glad I was with her. To be with her in that moment helped me heal quicker I think. I also think your pet deserves for you to be there. It is a scary moment and the last thing you should ever do is leave them alone in that kind of situation  I don't care how hard it is for you...it is obviously harder for them. At least be there with them to see them on through. They need your comfort.Here is one of the last pictures I took of the best dog I will ever have: allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="375" mozallowfullscreen="" msallowfullscreen="" oallowfullscreen="" src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/38053501@N02/12613206284/player/" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="500">And here is my mini eulogy to her:My best friend Bella past away. She was 12 years old. It hurts so much. She was the most loyal companion dog. She loved me over anything else and would always keep one eye on me to make sure I didn't go anywhere. She loved to rub her head against people in order for her eyes to be rubbed. She always slept in a tiny ball near the foot of my bed. She got a long well with all the foster dogs and cats who came in my house, but was also quick to put them in their place if they messed with her food or her while she was laying on her bed. She loved to go on walks, hikes, or for a ride in the car. She was my perpetual companion starting my senior year of college. She would sit in the car for hours perfectly content to wait on me. She rarely needed a leash because she would always stick on my side. She would go shopping with me and most shops would allow her to sit patiently in the changing room while I tried on different outfits. She had her faults- she'd bark at strange men and sometimes unstrange men, when I first adopted her she had horrible separation anxiety and clawed up my flooring, once she got old she got anxiety in my house due to pecans falling on the skylights. Even with the faults I can never imagine loving another dog as much as I love her. She was my buddy.The next shitty thing that happened [...]



Mediterranean Chicken Salad for Whole30

2014-01-08T16:26:34.363-05:00

I'm on my 4th, err...5th day of whole30. (And I just learned 2 spaces between a period and the first letter of a sentence is wrong. FUCK!; who knew? Apparently not I because my mind is blown. I'm also pretty sure you can't start sentences with AND nor can you put parentheses around regular sentences, but then again I am so not grammatically correct. If you have read anything I have written I will apologize to you now for what is considered a poor public school education... or perhaps it was all those drugs I took during my public school education). Aside aside I'm feeling pretty good. The second day migraine and third day headache (which I didn't tell y'all about) have worn away and other than not particularly enjoying meals all things are pretty good. I made it to the 7 pm workout Monday (woo hoo) and then did a quick 12 hour turnaround and went to the 7am workout on Tuesday. Hard as heck... as is only typing one space between sentences. Right now, afternoon on Wednesday, I'm feeling good. Kind of hungry, but good. I haven't had caffeine since last Friday and no sweets since then either. I've been trying to finish my large batch of tuna and egg salad (2 hard boiled eggs, 2 cans of tuna, half an onion, and homemade mayo). It's pretty good on endive lettuce leaves, but even better stuffed inside those mini sweet peppers you can purchase by the bag.Today I wanted to give you a recipe for Mediterranean Chicken Salad. I grilled up four chicken breasts last night and this is what I will be eating for the next few meals. The chicken was so good that I even enjoyed a bite of it alone. I'm not sure if I could have stomached the whole thing by itself, but one bite didn't get stuck in my literal craw. Here's a horrid picture to make you not so hungry for it. It really is good though.Mediterranean Chicken Salad1 lb skinless boneless chicken breastFor the marinade:2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice  (1 lemons amount of juice)1 tsp dried oregano2 cloves of garlic, crushedSalt and ground black pepper to tasteFor the salad:1 cucumber, peeled and cubed1 pkg small grape tomatoes, halved1/2 of a bell pepper, diced2 tbsp red onion, diced1/4 cup black olives1 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice 2 tsp olive oil1/8 tsp dried oreganosalt and black pepper to taste4 cups shredded lettuceMarinate the chicken  2-3 hours or overnight. Combine the first 10 salad ingredients (cucumbers through salt and black pepper, not the lettuce) and set aside in the refrigerator to let the flavors set.Cook the chicken on a hot grill until chicken is cooked through. I cooked my chicken on a panini press because it was 15 degrees outside. Once cooked take a heaping amount of lettuce and top with tomato-cucumber salad and grilled chicken. Store the 3 prepped items separately until you are ready to eat.  [...]



Whole30 time

2014-01-06T10:47:49.967-05:00

Welcome again!  Look at me posting so close to another post.  I should start strutting around, I'm so proud of myself. Something I didn't mention in the last post is how I am doing a 28 day detox with my boot camp group Fitwit.  I thought it would be good to do something that would hold myself accountable for my eating and working out.  Also it will make me actually go to all workouts scheduled.  I don't love the diet we are doing, but it was their only option so I'm stuck with it. The Whole30 is a limited version of the paleo diet.  Mostly paleo-eating people I know have added a limited amount of dairy, gluten, and other items in since eating on this diet can be hard and limiting yourself at first allows you to see what items in your diet might be affecting you.  Basically the whole30 is meat, vegetables, a bit of fruit and nuts, and some fats (olive oil, coconut oil, ghee, and avocados). No sugar, no gluten, no grains, no legumes, no... While we are on topic let me tell you about my eating habits.  I don't eat any red meat, only poultry and seafood. I tend to eat lots of noodle dish and tortilla dishes because I don't like chicken by itself.  It grosses me out a bit.  I'm fine when it's mixed in, but a plain chicken breast makes me nauseous.  While there is a not-so-recommended whole 30 for vegetarians it is limited and I would really like to try the mostly meat and seafood version.  I might throw in some lentils and beans towards the end if the meat thing gets too hard. I started the diet right after measurements were taken on Saturday.  Oh yeah, the attractive Fitwit trainers weigh you, take all your measurements, and then check your body fat composition.  Not Fun At ALL. Saturday evening I made a turkey breast in the slow cooker and a roasted a bunch of root vegetables (recipe below). I ate this for breakfast on Sunday; I'm odd, I know. I feel like a drank plenty of water Sunday before I went out to see the Wolf of Wall Street. *Side note- crazy amounts of nudity in it.  It also has the most amount of F words in any non- documentary film, but of course I didn't notice that since my vocabulary incorporates F bombs on the daily.*  During the movie a headache moved in and it was tough going for the rest of the day.  I got home from the movie in starvation mode and cooked up some eggs with avocados and tomatoes mixed in.  I then had to lay down because medium-sized headache turned in to a massive migraine.  I got up after a nap for a quick turkey and root veg dinner that I had to choke down because meat makes me nauseous and migraines make it that much worse.  Sleeping last night was tough.  I would sleep for a while, then wake up with my pounding headache and the feeling that  I needed to get sick.  I never did, but the feeling is awful.  I'm not sure what brought about this horrid headache.  Migraines are a rare occurrence for me.  I tend to only drink coffee during the work week so I don't think it could be the coffee.  I'm thinking it might be the lack of sugar for 2 days.  I tend to have something sweet on the daily, but I omitted this Saturday and Sunday.  Could that be the cause?  Either way I hope it doesn't happen again because it is hard enough to choke down some meat without feeling like crap. Because of the migraine I skipped my 6 am workout.  I am going to the 7 pm one since my goal is hitting 100% of the workouts this month.  I semi-tried to meal plan for the week and am going to make tuna salad on endive leaves (I've already made olive oil mayo for this), Mediterranean chicken salad, and lots of egg and turkey bacon muffins.  I made a big thing of cauliflower hummus (too lemony) and have lots of different vegetables to snack on.Welp, I'll be posting more about how I'm feeling and what I'm eating during the next month.  I'll try an[...]



Hip Hop Happy New Years

2014-01-02T10:42:29.542-05:00

Yeah, yeah, yeah it's been awhile.  I wanted to wish all one of my readers a Happy New Years.  I hope you ate your greens (for money), black eyed peas (for luck), and pig (for progress (I think)).  I ate two of the three.  Bet you can't guess which one I skipped?  Actually I think I might have eaten the 3rd too since I went over to a friend for a gumbo party and he snuck in about 7 different species of animal in to the pot. There were the typical seafood; shrimp and oysters.  Some freshwater food by way of crawfish.  Andouille sausage made an appearance which is normal.  On the abnormal side of things were some random pieces of bacon, ham, and beef (who knows what cut). I picked out the sausage and beef, but I'm thinking a bit of the small chopped bacon might have made it's way through my no red meat filter.  Oh well, at least I'll progress this new year instead of staying stagnant like 2013. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="331" mozallowfullscreen="" msallowfullscreen="" nbsp="" oallowfullscreen="" src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/38053501@N02/11698113444/player/505b73b8d9" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="500">Looking back over 2013 makes me feel like I was stuck in a rut.  I did do a bit of traveling (Maui, DC, Okefenokee), but nothing outside my comfort zone.  This year I really want to try and step out of my comfort zone.  I want to accomplish something.  This leads me to the whole I am going to try and do a picture a day for 2014. I have tried this damn project three times (2009, 2010, and 2011);  All were failures.  I could only shoot self portraits in 2008 and 2009 and that was tough.  My narcissism only runs so deep.  I got tired of coming up with different ways to pose or not pose and what body part picture I should take that day.  You can see my feeble attempts HERE.  In 2011 I went with Project 365 (see HERE) which just has you taking one picture a day of any subject matter.  It was easier, but I still stalled out around August.  I didn't take a ton of pictures with my cell at that time and the ones I did looked terrible.  Editing photos from my Nikon became old.  I just sort of pooped out with the "difficulty" of it.  Weak fucking excuses, I know. This time around I'm going to allow myself to shoot with my iPhone and my brand spanking new D7000 (and bad ass 2.8 zoom).  If I get tired of editing my Nikon photos I'll just switch over to my iPhone for awhile.  I am bound and determined to do this.  Ultimately I would like more shots to come from my Nikon because I would like to become a better photographer, not just a person who uses editing software (especially on the IPhone) as a crutch.  Hopefully this project will make me plan additional spur of the moment trips places that I wouldn't normally go.This year I will definitely be hitting up the beach and DC (to visit my homies).  I already have plans to go on a service trip to Cumberland Island, on a canoeing/camping trip down the Flint River, and to a beer festival in Tupelo, Mississippi.  I would like to go to Asheville for a weekend and also to Canada for some Canadian Rocky Mountain hiking. Finally I want to eek out a trip to the West Coast. Other than a trip to San Fran in high school I've never been to the West Coast.  I think it's about time to make that change. So gals and guys Cheers to the New Years!  May it be filled with a whole lot of luck, money, and progress...and pictures...and memories. ***To view Project 365 2014 click HERE.  [...]



Okefenokee Recap

2013-11-21T11:40:04.694-05:00

I made it back from the Okefenokee Swamp in one piece.  All fingers and toes are still on my person.  To be honest all the alligators we saw were quite small.  While I'm sure they would gladly eat a toe or two I also think that they would have a hard time if I was fighting them.  I was expecting much larger specimens and instead I got this:I'm pretty sure this was the biggest one we saw and he was about 9 feet long from nose tip to tail.When we arrived Friday night our leader had us set up our tent at the same campsite as this delightful older gentleman's campsite since we are new to camping.  John from Plains was his moniker.  John is in his late sixties maybe and is a very experienced camper and canoer; he owns a peanut processing facility in Plains, Ga. He is the nicest guy.  My friend and I really didn't understand that we would actually be camping right next to our car and that it meant you could stock your car full of shit you might or might not need.  Despite me telling y'all that I found out we would have power at our disposal I still packed pretty minimalistic.  I'm not really sure what I thought about camping since I've only done it a couple of times, but I thought you eat, sit on the ground around the campfire and go to sleep or whatever.  We pull up to the site and John asks us if we have blah blah blah.  No, of course not.  Much later after the fire is stoked he tells us to bring out chairs over. Um, what chairs?  The next morning he asks if I want coffee (we are still at the campsite).  "Sure" I say.  He tells me to bring my cup over and get some.  I told him point blank "John, I didn't even have camp chair.  Why in the hell would I have a coffee cup?".  Needless to say I am much more prepared for the next time I go car camping.We spent the first night in the tent.  It proceeded to rain all night and my one tiny sleeping pad didn't really cut it.  I tossed and turned all night long.  It doesn't help that I like my feet out of the covers and my mummy sleeping bag was constricting.   The next night the park ranger from Cumberland Isl and a wildlife refuge employee from the Okefenokee (both were the coolest folks on the trip other than John), invited my friend and I to sleep in their cabin since they had a whole extra room with 2 twin beds that were going unused.It's quite hard to resist the siren call of open beds when they are free and it's raining cats and dogs. So I agreed and my friend and I spent a comfortable night in a plush cabin. They really are plush too. I highly recommend you stay in one if you go visit the western side of the Okefenokee.Other things we saw: a wood stork, a red shouldered hawk, plenty of ibis, anhinga and deer, and a couple of cute yellow-eared sliders.The paddle was fun.  I think we did somewhere between 8 and 10 miles on Saturday. We walked around Billy's Island a bit, but that wasn't the best part for me.  The history of Billy's is cool though, there just isn't much to see other than your typical coastal interior. The paddle to Minnie's Lake and back was my fave.  It gets quite narrow in the canal and cypress dot the way.  Despite being with a very large group, there were parts were no one was close to me so I got to experience the swamp all alone.  So quiet and magical.  Also spooky since it was overcast and grey outside.  Because of that I didn't use my good camera during the run up to the lake and back.  I got some cool pics on the IPhone, but it's not the same.  By the end of the paddle I was really hurting.  My shoulders and arms were out-of-control sore.  I had to push through and get back though.  Especially since I spent the last hour really needing to use the restroom and a swamp is not a good place to go out and pee behind a bush. I am defi[...]



Blackwater

2013-11-14T14:20:10.971-05:00

Welp, I said I would make an appearance this week and so here I am... ready to prove myself wrong and actually follow through with a promise. Ahhh it sucks.  So I kind of wish I could be writing this post next week because I'm hoping I have a lot of pictures and things to share.  Why you ask?  Because I'm headed to the Okefenokee Swamp to do a little canoeing and camping.  Sounds like I've become a bit outdoorsy right?  I hate to burst your bubble, but not really.  As much as I wish I could say I've been hiking and camping all year, sadly I haven't.  I've done a few hikes, but nothing that's taken me outside of the state or even really to the mountains.  I have most certainly not camped since my 30 x 30 list when I did a camping night near Blood Mountain.    I'm pretty pumped about this weekend though.  It's supposed to be lovely, except for a bit of rain and I have never been the Okefenokee which I've heard is beautiful.  I just got this cool waterproof case which might (or might not) allow me to get a close up view of an alligator in the water.  It probably won't since south Georgia swamps tend to have black water.  And because I am afraid of alligators.  So the chances of me sticking my hands in the water anywhere near an alligator are slim to none.   I do hope to get lots of wildlife shots though which y'all know always makes me happy. I'm camping too whichis killer, especially considering we will have a partner cabin that we are paired with.  Therefor I get to use running water, showers, and fridges while camping.  Instead of camping I should just call it laying my head down in a tent. The one other big thing that has happened lately is that my newest nephew, Easy E has arrived weighing in at 10+ lbs.  Kid was big.  He's  now 2 months old, but I'll post newborn pictures below so that you can roll your eyes and grumble to yourself about how this blog is turning all baby blog on you.   It's not, don't worry.  If anything I'd turn this bitch in to a puppy blog with pictures of cute dogs all day long.  Kind of like this one:Oh yeah, Moose the baller, shot caller...twenty inch blades...on the Impala Highlanda'Anyways here goes some of those annoying pics of Easy E I was talking about.  Remember to not roll your eyes too much otherwise they might get stuck like that.   and the pièce de résistance:*I'll be back next week with a recipe.  Only because I took pics of the food on instagram so now I feel I gotta give you something to wet your lips and quench your thirst.[...]



Hawaii and Back

2013-06-13T14:08:36.951-04:00

Fuck me, I am a terrible blogger.  Maybe because I don't get any comments so I feel like I am talking to a wall. To be honest that shouldn't matter much since I talk to my dog and cat all the time (the joys of being single) and they sure as hell don't understand anything I say except maybe hungry, walk, and out.  So I last left off by telling you I was leaving to head out to Hawaii for a family vacay.  Well I'm back, slightly tanner, and a whole lot more annoyed at my family.  Basically Hawaii is an amazing spot with lots to do and I hope to go back, but I sure as hell will never go back with my family.  It's sad that I feel this way and maybe I am being a spoiled little brat since my parents footed the bill for housing and airfare, but golly gee whiz my parents seem to have forgotten that I am 31 and not 13. The week started by my brother, sis-n-law, and parents picking me up at my house- I should have taken public transit.  I spent 2 hours with them waiting for the first leg of the flight.  Then it arrived and there were 4 hours in the plane together.  We landed in Phoenix and had an hour to hang before we got on another 6 hour flight to Honolulu. Needless to say I spent 13 hours in extremely tight quarters with my family and we hadn't even arrived at our destination.  I should also tell you that my parents and bro talks incessantly. I'm not saying that I'm quiet, I am also a talker, but not anywhere near the extent they are.  After 13 hours of constant chatter and claustrophobic quarters we arrived to our first stop Honolulu.  Since we arrived at 7 pm, we were just spending the night and flying out to our final destination of Maui the next day.  As we are heading to our hotel scummy motel my dad tells us he got 2 rooms; one for my brother and his wife, and one for me and my parents...because a 31 year old single woman shouldn't be afforded the same amount of privacy as a married couple.  Needless to say I booked my own room.  Good thing since the dump we were in contained one full bed in a room with about 2 feet of clearance on 3 sides of the bed.The next morning we headed to the airport to catch a 9 seater plane out to Maui.  I got to listen to my parents and bro bitch about how long the line was taking when clearly a 9 seat plane wasn't going to take off without 5 of it's passengers.  The best thing about riding such a tiny plane is that the weigh all your stuff as well as every person in order to distribute the weight evenly throughout the plane.  When it was my turn to get on the industrial sized scale instead of averting his eyes like everyone else does my DAD blurted out to my family, everyone in line, and the dude behind the counter helping us  "Looks like my daughter needs to go on a diet".  Oh yes, he really did say that.  I immediately walked off with tears in my eyes.  Anyone who knows me, and I would say my parents know me pretty well, knows how sensitive I am about my weight.  I have always been chubby.  Funny thing is I work out more than any one of my friends, all of whom are smaller than me.  Oh and I had foot surgery in January so I haven't really been able to work out since then (though I am back at boot camp now).  This pretty much put a damper on the rest of vacation.  While I got past it, I will never get over it.  My mom played it off like "Oh, men don't realize what they say".  Fuck that... there isn't a person in this world that doesn't realize that weight is not a subject you bring up with women.Anyhoo back to this long winded retelling of my story.  We get on a the tiny plane and after 45 minutes arrive in Maui.  The airport overlooks the gorgeous crystal blue waters.  We arrived at 10, but can't get in our condo until 3 so w[...]



Over and Out

2013-05-02T16:28:01.376-04:00

Flying out to Maui in the am.  Who's jealous??  The pups are all snug in their temporary homes and I am prepared to be back in a couple of weeks with some amazing photos.  Get pumped up!



Finally Finished

2013-04-30T10:40:22.293-04:00

This is hopefully my last post about my one and only bathroom.  Click HERE to read a previous post.To bring you up to speed... months ago when I had already started purchasing items for my kitchen renovation, I noticed that there was an odd spot on the ugly pine floors right next to the toilet.  I felt this and realized the wood was rotten.  Uh Oh!  I decided  I needed to go ahead and get the bathroom done before I fell through the floor while sitting on the toilet.  I have HATED the bathroom in my house since I bought the place; the light was hideous (me not adding missing bulbs didn't help), the mirror builders grade, the old POS vanity, and the super grungy pine floors better suited to a cabin in the woods. Since I was already going to get the floor replaced I decided I would go ahead and replace the light, mirror, vanity, and toilet.  The 1950's ceramic tub and decent square white tile would be left alone.  Flash back to the beginning of April. The contractor is supposed to start on my house this morning.  I get a call around lunch from him telling me I need to come by and look at some things in the house. I ask if this is bad.  "Could be worse" he answered. I had a co-worker who has been a home inspector for years come with me to make sure whatever he had to tell me was true and honest.  I don't want to get scammed for being the naive homeowner that I am.  Basically we get there and he has already started the bathroom demo.  He found all kinds of rotten wood; from a supporting wall to the sill of the house.  He also found that it was rotten under the tub too, which meant the tub had to come out. Sad day indeed.  This is one of the problems with owning a 93 year old house.  You open something up and notice all the rot and decay that needs to be redone. The main reason for all the rotting had to do with the toilet pipe being attached to nothing so basically it just moved slightly all the time so water was always leaking out. Basically what should have been a quick remodel tuned into a major renovation.  I had to stay at friends house for 2 weeks since this is my house's one and only bathroom. Staying in a friends small 800 sq foot house with me, her, her 2 anti-dog cats, and my brand new adopted great dane Moose was a bit difficult, but we managed.  Now I have a nice new bathroom with no plans to redo it any time soon.   The things I had done:- New tile floor (also new subfloor) which is penny round from The Tile Store- New toilet - New tub- New vanity (Godmorgon from Ikea)- New mirror (Molger from Ikea)- New overhead light (indoor/outdoor light from Home Depot - I might replace this, I'm not sure I like it here)-New shower curtain (Restoration Hardware)- New trashcan  (SimpleHuman)-Wall and ceiling repainted (Moonshine by Benjamin Moore) Things to do: -new door handle (Bella has chewed up the one on the door)-hang art-hang towel holder-hang a window shadeJust a few pictures of the (mostly) finished product (click on any of the pictures to make them bigger):and some comparison shots from what it looked like to now:[...]



Kitchen Confidential

2013-04-23T10:29:57.526-04:00

Well, my kitchen is finally finished and my house is mostly back in order, other than the massive amounts of art that haven't been rehung.  I wanted to show you some after shots of the space as well as some comparison views.  First off, the remodel took a lot longer than it should have.  This isn't due to the kitchen, but due to massive amounts of rotting wood hidden behind the bathroom walls and under the bathroom floor.  Yay 93 year old house! Here is the link back to my last kitchen post.  I will post about the bathroom next time.Anyhoo, the things I redid this time (I had already repainted bottom cabinets grey, replaced hardware, and painted the fridge):-New counter tops (On the main stretch it was a lovely patterned Formica and it is now Glacier White Corian, on the microwave stretch is it is now butcher block)-New sink (went from a shallow 5 inch two bowl, to a 9 inch one bowl)-New faucet (short to crazy tall)-Microwave is up on a shelf (not wasting valuable space)-White subway tile back splash with dark grey grout (possibly my favorite feature)-Ceiling and walls painted pale grey-New track lighting-Open shelving repainted white (still need to do the inside of the dish area open shelving)Last things that need to be done are to get a new range, hang up artwork, paint the insides of the main open shelving, and paint the upper cabinets and put new hardware on them.  Then I can call this kitchen finished. Here are the pictures (click on any pictures to make them bigger):And some comparison shots of what the kitchen either looked like before I bought the house or before this round of work was done (click on any pictures to make them bigger):[...]



Welcome Home ze' Moose

2013-04-23T10:04:08.084-04:00

Ooops, I did it again.  I welcomed another new animal into the household.  Since Bella has been living with my parents full time because of her aversion to my house (I'll share that story some time soon) and since Hobie the lab left to join his dad up north and since Tommy the cat is lovely,  but isn't a dog I felt I needed another warm body with me.  This is where you meet ze' Moose.Basically I was sort of kind of looking for another dane, but kept backing out.  I emailed a local rescue after I saw an extremely crappy pic of him just asking how he was with dogs, cats, and people.  the lady emailed me back, but I never responded.  Right before I had to drive Hobie up to Knoxville to give him back to his dad the lady emailed again saying Zeus (Moose's former name) would be at Petsmart @ perimeter the following day if I wanted to meet him.  I was going to back out and then decide "what the hey, it can't hurt".  The following day, after suffering from Hobie withdrawals (I mentioned him HERE), I went to meet Zeus (Moose).  He seemed nice enough, but I was still going to let him slip out of my life.  The rescue lady asked me to fill out an application though so being the good follower I did.  She called me two hours later to tell me I was accepted to adopt him. Errrr, don't you need to actually check with my vet and references to make sure I'm not bullshitting.Anyhoo, we made plans for me to pick him up.  They allowed me to take a week to essentially foster him and make a decision.  To be honest I wasn't planning on keeping him.  I don't think I made the final decision until the day the week was up.  The reason I wasn't going to keep him is because he was (is) super needy in the house. He is constantly on me like white on rice and doesn't give up. Some people may like this quality, but I can't stand a super needy anything, be it man, dog, or friend.  Also he wasn't (isn't) Bella.  The reasons I did decide to keep him are simple.  Moose is great with dogs, ignores cats, and loves people.  Those are important traits for a dog to have.  He also is very easy going.Right now we are in a training class. Luckily I had him stay at the training peoples farm a couple of weekends ago so they could drill in the basics. I now realize what they meant when they told me "[he's] stubborn"  when I picked him up.  Moose and I have had a trying time with the commands, but hopefully he will pick things up.Without further ado meet Moose:[...]



Recipe Time: Jerk-Spiced Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower and Chickpeas

2013-06-13T14:50:45.245-04:00

I made quite a delicious meatless meal a couple of weeks ago;  this brussels sprout, chickpea, and cauliflower dish as well as cream-less cauliflower leek soup. I often cook veg at home, I just find it quicker. This dish is quite tasty; I adapted it from Food & Wine Mag. Recipe 3-4 Tablespoons of jerk seasoning (I like to find the most interesting and legit looking seasoning at the grocery.  Oftentimes it's easier to find if you look in the grocery stores specialty section.) 1+ tablespoon of red pepper flakes ( I like to stir things with my spicy spoon [so says my friend] so if you don't like things quite so spicy don't add the flakes considering jerk seasoning tends to be spicy as is)1/2 cup of olive oil (extra virgin or plain)One 15 oz can of chickpeas, drained and patter dry (It's important to get these dry.  The drier they are, the crispier they will get)1 lb of small brussels sprouts, halved lengthwise4 cups of cauliflower florets (or 1 heads worth)Salt-Preheat the oven to 425.  Pour the jerk spice mix into a large pan that is oven safe.  Heat on the stove top at low heat for about 2 minutes shaking the pan constantly.  - Add most of the oil to the pan (save a tablespoon or two for the cauliflower). Once it shimmers add the chickpeas to the pan and cook on medium to high heat for about 5 minutes or until the chickpeas are getting slightly crispy.  -While the chickpeas are cooking take a baking sheet/ roasting pan and lightly oil.  Put the cauliflower on the sheet and then coat with a smidge of oil. Sprinkle with a bit of salt.  Put the pan into the oven.-Add the brussels sprouts to the pan of chickpeas and mix in. Let cook for another 3-5 minutes, stirring once or twice.  You want the brussels to slightly brown.-Once the brussels are slightly browned take the chickpea and brussels pan and put it in the oven next to the cauliflower pan. -Cook for 15 - 20 minutes stirring once. By this time the cauliflower should be slightly brown, the brussels cooked and browned, and the chickpeas are crispy. -Pull out of oven and mix the cauliflower in with the brussels sprouts and chickpeas. Add a bit of salt and some ground black pepper.  You are good to go. Enjoy![...]



My Kitchen Renovation

2013-04-23T10:02:05.888-04:00

I told you about my bathroom renovation and showed you my plans so now I am showing you my kitchen plans.  Right now the glaciar white corian counter tops are on and the sink and faucet are in (check out the instagram photo on the side if you want to see them).  What isn't done is the butcher block counter top, microwave shelf, lighting, and tile. Oh and I'm going to get a new range at some point.  I wasn't planning on it, but with clean white counter tops my cheap Magic Chef range that has been in this house for who knows how long sort of looks like shit so I've decided to replace that too.  The tiny cabinet where the microwave sits is what will be butcher block and there will be a shelf for the microwave to sit giving me access to that counter top. In a kitchen as small as mine I need all the space I can get. Please don't be scared by all the crap junking up the kitchen.  It doesn't normally look that junk filled, but for some reason I decided to take picture after I had stocked the kitchen full of the items that will be used in the reno.  Also the tidy cats container contains dog food, not litter and I have cleared off the fridge completely since viewing how messy it appears in photos.  I hate my house being cluttery and these pictures make it seem like that is true.  Wait until the finished product.  Hopefully I'll have new pictures for you in 2 to 3 weeks.Before:My Kitchen Reno by bella-zella on PolyvoreVigo Teramo Stainless Steel Spiral Kitchen Faucetoverstock.comGardening Indoors Knobanthropologie.comUndermount 30 in. x 18 in. Single Bowl Kitchen Sink-VG3019C at The...homedepot.com120 Volt Flex Track Head Brushed Steel Metal Shade-EC4155BA at The...homedepot.comRadar Wall Sconce Light Fixture | Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.schoolhouseelectric.comIKEA Numerärikea.com[...]



Bathroom reno redone and a bedroom contest

2013-03-07T09:21:51.441-05:00

My bathroom renovation is starting in two weeks. Hurray!I changed up the plans a bit- hopefully for the better. I went with a glossy white floating vanity from Ikea since it seemed more structurally sound then the last one I picked. I also went with a cheaper and (I think) cooler light. A bit more industrial. I am very pumped about finally going ahead with this. Oh and I should tell you that my kitchen renovation has already begun. My new counter tops, sink, and faucet are in. I have to wait on tiling and some other stuff for another 2 weeks when the contractor and his crew come back and do the bathroom work. Things are rolling and I am quite pumped.I should also throw out that my bedroom is in an Apartment Therapy bedroom contest. AT is a design blog and it's pretty exciting to actually make it on there, even if just for a contest. If you want to vote and I would love it if you did, here is the link: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/stephanies-original-details-bedroom-185669 . Here is the picture of what my bathroom looks like now.  Terrible, I know:And here is the plan:My Bathroom Reno by bella-zella on PolyvoreAmerican Standard Cadet 3 White Round 2-piece Toiletlowes.comIKEA Molgerikea.comIKEA Dalskärikea.comBrushed Nickel 1-Light Outdoor Cottage Lantern-BOA1691H-BN at The Home...homedepot.comIKEA Godmorgon/ Bråvikenikea.com[...]



Work

2012-12-21T09:50:32.873-05:00

Today, or perhaps next week, is my 5 year anniversary of working in the same place.  Not with the same company, but being in the same seat or near enough to the same seat. When I started here I was working for one company as a consultant, sitting in a small cubicle.  2 years later my company sold my business group to an investment firm and *BAM* new company, which also means new policies, etc.  I just stayed in my cubicle working as diligently as always.  One and a half years after that my company didn't even try to win the bid for the new contract so I was in danger of losing my job.  Luckily the company who did win the bid had no clue what my job entailed and gave me a raise to stay.  They also gave me an office.  So here I am another year and a half later sitting in said office thinking upon my 5 years in the same position, but with no recognition that I have even hit this 5 year milestone what with all the change that happens around this joint. It leads me to think of how I got here in this office with no windows. My first 2 jobs out of college I hated.  The first one I stayed in for only 4 months because I was tucked away on a military base in a small southern town were I didn't know a soul in a house literally crawling with cockroaches; I was only 1 block away from the Chattahoochee. I worked in a huge building with 3 people, all of whom were ex-military and decades older than I. The second one I lasted a year, but only by necessity. My boss was a micro manager who had his one favorite employee and damn the rest of us. Let me tell you a lovely story about that boss.  I have plenty, but this one still pisses me off to this day.  Actually everything that boss did pisses me off, from telling me to drive to a meeting and saying I should be able to know how to get there without directions because I made maps of the county (said county is 271 sq miles and I had been working in said county for 1 month), to making me go to meetings were I was the lone female in a group of 200 men who made up the roads and drainage crews for the city  (nothing like being sexually harassed at meetings, but still being forced to go) to telling me that if I ate lunch at my desk, we had no break room, that I would have to answer and do anything he wanted me to do ( I promptly began eating in my car in the parking lot) . Anyhoo this one day the boss approaches my cube, and asks me to come to his office.  I begin to make my way over when he tells me I need to bring a notepad.  I grab it then follow him to his office, both of us passing the department admin who is reading a romance novel.  The first thing out of his mouth after I sit in his office is "This might offend you, but...".  You know you are going to love what your dickhead boss, whom you already hate with a passion, says when this is how he starts off a sentence."This might offend you, but I need you to take dictation and compose a letter to someone for me". "Actually, it does offend me" I say. " I didn't go to college for 6 years and get 2 specialized degrees in order to be a secretary".He sputters "Well, this is what you have to do to get ahead...I had to do this for my bosses, blah, blah, blah:".Needless to say I made my anger be known and then wrote that fucking letter for him and gave it to him.  To piss me off even more he then walks passed the mailbox and the copier, hands me the letter and an addressed envelope and tells me to make a copy and mail it.  Let's just say that I cried daily the entire time I worked in that offic[...]



My Bathroom Renovation

2012-12-11T11:50:37.223-05:00

Guess what?  Thanks to some rotting boards on the floor of my bathroom I will be renovating the bad boy sooner rather than later.  Good for my love of design, bad for my pocketbook. At the same time I will also be redoing a bit of my kitchen.  Why do both at the same time?? Because I already started buying kitchen items and the ball is rolling.  Let's hope that the bathroom dealio isn't immensely expensive.  I guess the nice thing is that my bathroom is 5x6 (not counting the tub area).  The only negative is that the house was built in 1910ish and who knows whats lingering under the floor boards. I'm sure they will have to replace the sub flooring, what with the leak, but I'm hoping nothing else major is happening.  So today I am posting a mood board of my new and improved bathroom..or at least what it will look like once it's been improved.  I'm going for a modern and crisp, yet semi-cheap approach.  After all, who knows how long I'll be in this house.





*Toilet by American Standard
*Penny round tile in moss from thetileshop.com
*Lillangen sink cabinet from Ikea
*Dalskar sink faucet from Ikea
*Molger bathroom mirror from Ikea- It looks like crap in the mood board, but HERE is a better picture
*Light by kichler nicholson on wayfair.com





Election Day Recipe

2012-11-06T10:56:14.644-05:00

Here's were I tell you to go vote right?  Ummmmmm probably not.  While you should vote, I'm not going to tell / remind you because if you didn't remember today is election day then you shouldn't fucking vote and if you don't want to vote well then don't.  It's your right as a citizen to not vote. Who am I to tell you otherwise? Do realize though that these are the people out there voting:

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Anyways I'm sick of this election and am so glad it's about to be over (until the lawyers get involved of course). A couple of weeks ago I threw together a super easy meal and thought you might want the recipe.  Just keep in mind it's not precise (at all).  I'll call it goat cheesy pasta



Goat Cheesy Pasta
-whole wheat noodles (fun shapes are good.  oh and you can use regular noodles if you want).
-vegetables ( I went with asparagus and arugula)
-goat cheese (makes sens right?)
-squeezed lemon juice
-salt n' peppa (the spices, not the girl duo)

-Basically cook you noodles like you like them and save a large spoonful or 2 of the well salted pasta water.
-I then cooked the asparagus on the stove top.  Little olive oil in a pan and throw them over medium heat, stirring every couple minutes until cooked the way you like.  I prefer crunchier and less done, but some people prefer soggy.
-Mix the noodles and cooked vegetable(s).
-add in 4 oz of goat cheese and a spoonful of the water and mix until the goat cheese and water has turned into a sauce.
-add in your greens (spinach or arugula). I like doing this after because I HATE soggy greens, but some people prefer to wilt with the asparagus on the stove top for a moment.
-squeeze 1 lemon over and mix.
-Grate fresh black pepper and then add a teensy bit of salt to taste.  If you salted your pasta water then you shouldn't need to salt the dish much. Use lots of black pepper.
-Eat and enjoy!



Hiking for Dummies

2012-11-01T15:26:55.594-04:00

1.  If it says it's gonna be cold, believe 'em.  Weather reporting has gotten much better over the years.

2. If it says it's gonna stop raining by 11 don't buy it.  Apparently what I just mentioned in number one isn't all that accurate.

3. Pack some type of food in your pack.  It sucks to be in the woods with major hunger pains and no food for miles.

4.  If random creepers on the trail hang back until you start hiking, wait them out until some friendly people get on the trail.  It's no good to lose your life on the trail.

5.  Just because your "hiking" shoes were created for trail running doesn't mean they are any good for hiking up mountains; even the little ones we have here in Georgia.

6. Wear layers. You get hot hiking, but once you stop the sweat will make you chilly; especially in winter.

7.  Drink the water that you spent time putting in to your camel pack.  It's pointless to hike in and out with every drop of it.

8.  Hike with dogs, unless your dog is no longer living with you.  In this case find a log, tie a string around it, and pull it behind you during your hike.  It's sort of like the same thing only you don't have to clean up after it.

9.  If it's raining and foggy in the woods chances are good that the views won't be very pretty.

10.  Enjoy the day!  It takes 1 1/2 hours to get to the mountains from Atlanta.  Suck up all that goodness while you can.





The Zombie Family

2013-09-26T16:34:27.880-04:00

Just wanted to wish y'all a Happy Halloween from Bella, Tommy, and I!  Don't eat too much candy and whatever you do don't get eaten by Zombies.



Pictures were all created in PicMonkey.  An awesome and FREE photo editing website.




New Recipe Time

2012-10-30T11:33:26.607-04:00

When I first started this blog I promised you recipes and delivered... for awhile (search for "recipe" in the search box above to see all).  Then as the blog, my photography and cooking fell by the wayside I stopped posting pictures and recipes.  I got on this crazy eating out spree and it spiraled out of control to where I barely cooked for weeks at a time. Well I'm trying to turn that around. I want to bring you recipes from my adventures in cooking and I want to start cooking more.  I hate that because while it IS easier to eat out, I truly enjoy cooking and trying new things. It's fun.Anyhoo while I do love cooking, I don't normally bake.  Baking is much too structured for me.  I'm no good at paying attention to exact measurements as any of my friends can tell you.  I distinctly remember making a recipe for whoopie pies and "accidentally" adding one tbsp of baking soda, instead of 1 tsp. I then tried to scoop what I thought was the extra out to no avail.  The recipe turned out fine, but it proved to me that I am horrible at following directions. However I saw a recipe for pumpkin and brown butter blondies (dreamed up by Rasberri Cupcakes) on the internet one day and I immediately pinned it.   I love anything pumpkin so it was a need-to-try.  I also love changing leaves, falling leaves, s'mores, campfires, and anything else fall related, but that's neither here nor there. Last week I was craving sweets and I saw a Pinterest Challenge post from Young House Love so decided I need to bust out this recipe. The Pinterest challenge was created by Katie and Sherry so that people would actually make some of the things they have pinned be it DIY or recipes which is a good thing since I pin a lot and actually follow through with very little. Despite my shitty measuring (and following directions) track record I figured I would make a batch, eat a couple, and bring the rest to work if they were good.  If bad I would consume them all. Just kidding (maybe). Shockingly I did nothing wrong, except maybe not brown the butter long enough, and they were amazing.  As in, I wish pumpkin desserts were accepted year round and not just fall. Check the recipe below and prepare yourself to amaze everyone with your stellar baking skills at your next potluck, thanksgiving meal, work cube, or surprise freezer find. Pumpkin & Brown Butter Blondies1 stick unsalted butter1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar1/3 cup sugar1 large egg1 tsp pure vanilla extract1/2 cup pumpkin puree fresh or canned1 cup plain flour1 tsp salt1 tsp pumpkin pie spice or (3/4 tsp ground cinnamon,1/8 tsp allspice, and 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg)1 cup white chocolate chipsPreheat oven to 350°F. Brush a 8-inch square baking pan with some melted butter; line pan with a piece of baking paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides. Butter paper.To prepare the brown butter: place butter in a small saucepan on low heat until it melts, continue to stir over low heat but keep a close eye on it, as it begins to bubble and the milk solids separate and settle at the bottom of the pan. Stir it frequently at this point, so that the milk solids do not settle at the bottom of the pan for too long and burn. Continue until the mixture turns brown and smells nutty but take care not to leave it for too long or it will taste burnt. Remove from the heat.In a large bowl, lightly whisk browned butter and sugars until smooth. Whisk in the egg, vanilla, and pumpkin pur[...]



Wedding Bells

2012-10-30T11:11:31.516-04:00

Not for me, but for my bro.  I attended his wedding two weekends ago and had a great time seeing family and old friends.  The wedding venue was gorgeous and the wine was plentiful.  I also got my dance on which is possibly my favorite thing about a wedding, other than the booze, food, and people. I didn't bring my camera along, which was a good thing so I don't have pictures, but I do have some pics I snapped pre-wedding. One is of my bro, new wife, and son.  The other is my cuz' Rachael, her partner, and their 2 kiddos.   Other than this fun not much else has been going on.  I'm in talks with Dames for Danes rescue on fostering a great dane so there might be a new temporary member of my household soon.  I've also been cooking at home a lot lately instead of going out to eat at every chance I can get.  Some delicious things I've been making have been: eggplant parmesan and gnocchi (hands up for meatless mondays), salmon sliders, (You must try them! They are amazing!!), mediterranean eggplant and barley salad, shrimp and grits casserole, salt-wrinkled potatoes, and migas (my for-now fave brekkie).  I also planted a lot of new plants in the backyard to try and make it look a little better.  It does, but the out of control liriope pisses me off. Sad to say, but unless I resod the whole yard I'm stuck cutting that nasty shit down. I'll try and post before and during pics soon.  There are no afters since the yard isn't done. I went and saw the Lumineers this past weekend.  I dig them.  They only have one album out so there aren't a bunch of things for them to play, but they had a good vibe and their music sounds great. Next weekend I'm going hiking so get pumped for fall colors pictures. allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/zvCBSSwgtg4" width="560">[...]



Bratislava, Slovakia (4 of 4)

2012-10-12T12:06:54.705-04:00

Well friends and foes the time is upon us.  It is time to give you the last glimpses of my Euro Vacation. All these posts were brought to you free by my pockets.  Feel free to say thanks or throw a penny in a well. Is it sad that it has taken me a whole month to posts the last pictures of the bunch? I'm so ready for another vacation.  Too bad I've got no vacation time left.  You know how it is.B and I train it over to Bratislava bright and early in the am. Her dude is going to meet us later that night.  The train ride from Vienna to Bratislava takes about an hour or so.  The double decker train is empty or at least out level is.  Feels kind of lonely. We arrive to the lonely train station that is more in Petrzalka than in Bratislava.  We try and figure out where we go to catch the bus. Finally we make our way to the street.  As we are waiting some Brits come over and ask us which way Old Town Bratislava is, we had assumed we were standing on the proper side of the road- we weren't.  Good thing Brits ask questions. We make our way over to the proper side and get on the bus heading away from Petrzalka and the many communist era buildings that are located there.  Did you know that Petrzalka housing estate is the biggest communist-era concrete block housing in Central Europe?  Nor did I.  They now try and paint the concrete housing bright colors to make things look a bit more chipper.  The bus finally lands at our stop and we get off walking through the Old Town's cobblestone streets with our suitcases.  That wasn't fun.  When we arrive at our delightful hostel 20 minutes later I am so thankful I can FINALLY ditch the luggage.  B, her man, and I are sharing a 3 bed single.  Nice, except for the bathroom shared with 4 other rooms. After the luggage drop we head out to the city. Cute place, tight streets, no real car traffic. Lots of cafes and tourists. Street performers abound.  The other thing I notice as we walk is the amount of graffiti marring the old buildings.  Sad. We climbed a top the tower that you see in the picture above, St Michael's Gate, and got some fabulous views of the city.  The gate is the only remaining gate to the city and was built in the 14th century.  I pretty much had a heart attack when trying to walk out on to the skinny cat walk. I plastered myself to the walls and used one hand to hold on while, I walked step by step around.  My fear of heights is out of control.  I mean sweaty palms, fast shallow breathing, trembling, one hot mess.  I'm sure the other people out there gave me the stink eye for being such a baby.  Of course B had no such problem.  She was cool as a cucumber.  FYI if you ever go it costs money.  They charge you 9 euro to see the weapons museum and that price includes getting to go out on the balcony. I'm pretty sure most people skip the weapons and go straight to the view. After checking out the view we decided to leave the Old Town area to check out the sights.  There weren't many.  We did find Grassalkovich Palace where the Slovakian president lives.  We even got to see the changing of the guard.  What an absurd production that was; horn blowing and marching all for the 4 spectators watching.  I'm not sure how often this goes down, but however [...]



Hey There Superstar

2012-10-08T10:26:27.562-04:00

This past weekend is in the record books and it was a good'in. 

Friday night: pet sitting and bed by 11. Ahhh delightful.

Saturday: 5 year old t-ball game (Ben won the game ball), VIP for a day at Hotoberfest beer festival in O4W, and a show at the Masquerade (Vacationer and Bombay Bicycle Club) with pet sits interspersed throughout.

Sunday: Brunch at Atkins Park with a friend. Pet sits. Lazy Sunday sitting on the deck reading.  Can I just say how pumped I was to be sitting bug spray free on my back porch.  Watched a movie or 2 as well. Best Sunday in awhile.

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Game Ball Bad Ass


MMMhhhhh Stout!


T and I cheesing- the pretzel necklaces are on loan