Monday, August 30, 2010

urban picnic

one of my favorite things about portland is their food carts! when we went on our honeymoon down the west coast, we started in portland. the desk clerk at the ace hotel recommended that we check out the food carts and we decided it was a perfect fit since we wanted to see as much of the city as possible. we decided to get a "whole bowl" which is brown rice, red and black beans, fresh avocado, salsa, black olives, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and their special tali sauce.

sadly for us southerners in atlanta, street food vendors were not allowed; therefore, a wonderful non-profit called the atlanta street food coalition has been striving to "campaign for safe, affordable, and legal access to street food". the atlanta street food coalition teamed up with slow food atlanta to host a monthly urban picnic. this monthly urban picnic is held at the sweet auburn market in downtown atlanta.

as you pull into the market, there are tons of food carts, food trucks, and food stands with all sorts of great different foods. whether you're in the mood for korean bbq, burritos, soups, pizza, pimento cheese and toast, or popsicles - the urban picnic has it all. i am such a supporter of local food and local businesses and this is the perfect culmination. i definitely hope that we can get food carts all over atlanta in the near future!

i had the bell street burritos and loved it! they totally sucked me in with the "for those who miss tortillas" tagline. bell street burritos delivers burritos from decatur to the west end every monday night so for those who don't want to cook on those first days back to work, you should defintiely hit up bell street burritos!

i believe the last urban picnic for the summer is next month so if you haven't had to chance to come out yet, definitely try to next month! you will not be disappointed. plus, just the king of pops's popsicles is as good of a reason as any!

i'm off to travel to good ol' texas today. i'll be there for almost the whole week for work. too bad i never get to go any fun (or anywhere that is vegetarian-friendly for that matter), but i'll try and make the best of it!

happy get-back-into-the-grind day!

Friday, August 27, 2010

true love stories never have endings

[video via storycorps]

i can't decide if this video makes me so happy or so sad, but either way it is an honest story about love. new found love and until death do us part love. i need to start writing more love letters.

storycorps is a nonprofit organization who provides americans of all origins and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve their stories. if you live in the atlanta area, you can go and make a reservation to tell your story.

so, now the hard part - what story would you tell?

five years

can you believe that on sunday it will have been 5 years since hurricane katrina destroyed new orleans and numerous lives? it feels like just yesterday that i was in my women studies course and our professor told us that she was heading down to new orleans to see what she could do to help. her husband and her ended up bringing back 2 families to live with them until they were able to get enough money to start a new life. i've never forgotten that professor and she will always inspire me.

when i was in seattle a few years ago, j and i went with my best friend to volunteer for pasado's safe haven. she had organized a work event to go and volunteer and we were lucky enough to be able to join them! we helped them load up all of their equipment as they were about to drive all the way down to texas and louisana before hurricane gustav hit. they didn't know for sure if it'd hit louisana, but they were making the drive regardless to ensure that any abandoned, misplaced, or injured animals were taken care of. during katrina, they were the first rescue organization on site and rescued over 1200 animals! how amazing is that? they also have 85 acres which is home to hundreds of dogs, cats, cows, chickens, ducks, goats, turkeys, pigs, and donkeys (most were brought to pasado's due to abuse or neglect and now live out their lives in peace). after loading up the trucks, we got to drive an hour outside of seattle to see this sanctuary and it was so magical. all of the animals get to roam free and they have some incredible views!

here's the crew after a hard day's work!

see what i mean? anyways, if you are a huge animal lover and want to support an awesome organization, definitely check out pasado's.

sorry for the tangent, but as i was watching the today show this morning and they discussed katrina, it was ironically relevant considering i just finished reading "zeitoun" by dave eggers for our next book club meeting. it is a book that tells the story of the zeitoun family, a muslim family, before, during, and after hurricane katrina. although i've never been a huge dave eggers fan (actually i've always been anything but), i did actually really enjoy this book. it highlights how so many families stayed behind like they had done numerous times before with minimal damage. it is a story of heroism and horrible government injustices. i don't want to say too much since we haven't had a chance to discuss it yet in book club; however, i definitely recommend the book. plus it's so important that we don't forget the atrocities that occured 5 years ago and the book even ends with resources so that you can continue to help rebuild new orleans.

happy friday! have any fun things planned?
j and i may be having my niece over for a sleepover, but other wise we're going to take it easy. i just want to spend as much time together since i'll be traveling for work all of next week. hope you get to spend some time with your favorites this weekend!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

return to sender

now that we have bought a home, i am always on the lookout for some great personalized return address stamps. i love these personalized stamp with the wood handle. and the caligraphy is stunning. these could have come in very handy when i was sending out wedding invitations!

i also love primele's place cards! not that i'll be needing any anytime soon, but i love the wood grain background and handwriting.

[images via etsy seller primele]

wouldn't it be nice if we could all write so lovely?

today is my ukelele lesson and i'm so excited. want to see what i've been working on since last week? you wouldn't think it would sound as good on the uke, but i really enjoy playing it.

happy one day away from friday! ♥

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

la montgolfière

i love these images of these hot air balloons. they make me wish i could see all of the world from the basket of one of these huge balloons. i love the vibrant colors and beautiful surroundings. i think it's incredible that the hot air balloon is oldest successful way of carrying humans in flight.

[image via here]

[image via here]

[image via here]

[image via here]

below are some fun hot air balloon-inspired finds from etsy:

[necklace from etsy]

[t-shirt from etsy]

[framed print from etsy]

i hope you're all having a wonderful week - we're half way done!

Monday, August 23, 2010

banana bread GO!

i am so guilty lately of buying bananas with every intention of eating them and then letting them go bad. some people love very ripe bananas but i absolutely can not eat them. this time, instead of throwing them away (which reminds me how badly i need a compost bin), i decided to make banana bread!

i looked through all of my cookbooks and eventually decided on veganomicon's low-fat banana bread. i thankfully even had all of the ingredients already in the house so it was so quick and simple!

2 large or 3 small very ripe bananas
1/4 c. applesauce
1/4 c. canola oil
1/2 c. sugar
2 T. molasses
2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 t. baking soda
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/2 t. salt

preheat oven to 350°F. lightly grease a 9x5 loaf pan. in a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas really well and then add sugar, applesauce, oil, and molasses, and whisk briskly to incorporate. sift in the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. use a wooden spoon to mix until the wet/dry ingredients are just combined. fold in chocolate chips/nuts if using. transfer batter to prepared pan and bake for 45-50 min. when done, the top should be lightly browned and a knife inserted should be clean.

i must say that this banana bread is incredible! the house instantly smelled like cinnamon and nutmeg. it also doesn't hurt that it's low(er) in fat. if you're looking for a great banana bread - definitely check out veganomicon's recipe and you will not be disappointed.

now if only i could find a way to have banana bread with no calories. there's the rub!

hope your week is off to a great start!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

scared of worms

one year ago, my nanny passed away. she died in her home with family all around. i wish i could say it was peaceful - i can just hope.

i just hope that she's with my papa now.

not a day goes by that i don't miss her horribly. just look at that smile -

she also had incredible style. she was so beautiful and always looked so young. and get this - she always wore heels! to her, they were more comfortable then tennis shoes! this picture was taken when she took my 16-year-old mom to the beach.

here's some pictures of my nanny and papa. they were next-door neighbors and my nanny hated my papa. he'd always tell her that he'd marry her one day and he'd be waiting on her porch with her dad when she'd get home from dates! in the end, he won her over and they were together for 50 years before he died. ♥

on their 50th wedding anniversary. still with that huge smile -

and a few months before she passed away, my mom and i took her to madison, ga to show her the farm where j and i were going to get married. i am so thankful for that day we had together. even though she didn't make it to see us say our "i do's" i think she found her way back there on our wedding day, because i definitely felt her and my papa there with me. they are always with me.

lastly, this is the beautiful quilt that my mom and her sisters had made for them on their golden anniversary with pictures of the love birds, their huge family tree, and all their favorite memories (there is even a picture of my nanny's childhood pet skunk, fifi, on it)!

i'm thinking of you both today. i love you both dearly. thank you for everything ♥

Thursday, August 19, 2010

bbq and bluegrass

i can't wait! this weekend is the decatur barbeque and bluegrass festival! it's saturday from 4-10 pm with live bands and lots of bbq (and even vegetarian options for j and me)! it's $10 to get in and benefits the local decatur community. if you're local, you definitely need to come and if you need more information, check it out here!

plus, as j would say, it's all the great b's: bluegrass, beer, and bbq. what else do you need?

also, i pick sasha up from the airport today! can't wait!!! tomorrow i'm taking off of work and hopefully it won't rain so we can go tubing. fingers crossed!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

hello goodbye

[image via robert doisneau]

sorry for the hiatus. i had to run to texas for work for a few days and it has thrown me completely out of whack. i can't believe it's already wednesday!

feels like just yesterday was the weekend. this past weekend we went roller skating and had the best time. if you ever want to get some exercise, laugh a lot, dance to hip hop, and go to the bathroom with no doors on the stalls, then the roller rink is the place for you! it is amazing to me how much more difficult it is to skate after 15 years passes. we went with a big group for a friend's birthday. here's my best friend, beth, and me in our skates. such a good time!

beth is on her way over now to have dinner and just hang out. it is probably the last time i'll see her before she leaves for grad school. i could not be more excited for her and i'm really looking forward to visiting her, but it will definitely be so hard to see her go. she is my best friend and means the world to me. i am so lucky to have her in my life!

tomorrow, my other best friend comes in from seattle! i haven't seen her since my wedding and i am so excited for a girls weekend full of manicures, tubing, movies, and good times.

"sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down”

p.s. here's our weekly csa package! eggs, apples, peaches, popping corn, spinach, squash, zuchinni, garlic, soap, and 7 pepper goat cheese! the goat cheese is unbelievable!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


as promised, here are some picture of our newly revamped bedroom! please forgive the bad quality of some of the pictures (our camera was dying to i took them very quickly). we still have to get a new duvet cover and pillows, but we LOVE it. technically this is our first big furniture purchase outside of ikea. i will never go back to a platform bed again. i know it's mental, but having a bigger and taller bed instantly made the bed a million times more comfortable. the only downside is having to get out of it every morning!

thankfully it's now friday because that means we get to sleep in tomorrow!

this weekend will be pretty laid back. tonight we're possibly doing dinner with my parents to give them a thank you gift for the wedding (yes, it was almost a year ago). tomorrow is our friend's birthday celebration. sunday will be just the two of us before i have to travel for work early next week.

i'm glad things are going to be somewhat slow this weekend since we have a lot of things coming up for the rest of august. i will enjoy this down time while i can.

any fun plans for the weekend? hope it is wonderful!

"people with many interests live, not only longest, but happiest" - george matthew allen


to follow up from yesterday's "paper cuts" post. this is our jack wittenbrink print that adorns our art room wall.

"happiness bought with unpaid lazy hours well spent not with money pilfered, earned, or lent"

this message is really hitting home with me these days. the happiest moments in my life are those that don't cost a penny. for instance, dancing in the kitchen with j while we cook breakfast, cookouts with friends, watching the birds in our yard, playing my ukelele, swimming, and laying around in our new bed reading.

i just really wish we had more time to do the things we enjoy most. it's cruel and ironic how once you get older and finally have the money to do more things, you don't have the time. there has to be a better balance, don't you think? now just finding the middle ground is the hard part.

what steps do you take to find a healthy balance? is it even possible these days?

i sure hope so.

lovely lace

one of my favorite etsy sellers of all time is white owl. i love their intricate lace jewelry. their jewelry can dress up an outfit dramatically and add some vintage flair. i think it's great that most of their materials are recycled and reused products. another person's trash is another's treasure, right?

i actually wore one of their collar necklaces for our rehearsal dinner and loved how it added so much to my outfit. it was the first time i actually felt like a bride.

make sure to check out their etsy site and support handmade! xo

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

paper cuts

one of my dearest friends, susannah recently gave me my birthday gift that she MADE. the piece is so beautiful and i know she worked really hard on it. i am so lucky to have such great friends! i really hate that the picture above doesn't do this beautiful artwork justice! it is now hanging in our office and i love it so much. carnival double date 2010, sue? gwinnett county fair GO!

i love papercut art. the valentine card i made j this year had some papercutting on it and it was so fun to make. i have been wanting to try some more papercutting. scherenschnitte is a great blog with a lot of inspriration and great templates. i love this mermaid template:

also, if you're ever in the french quarter in new orleans, make sure to stop by jackson square to find the artwork of the insanely talented, jack wittenbrink. he does amazing papercuts (many of them have bicycles in them which makes them even better). we have one in our art room that always makes me smile. sadly you can't find any of his work online, but here is one of his pieces:

[image from here]

lastly, you can't forget the uber talented rob ryan.

if only i could afford any of his actual pieces! thankfully he's got an etsy shop and book available. this would make a great gift *hint*

sorry for all the picture sizes! i really need to get a handle on resizing. i'll work on it, promise!

happy wednesday! half way there! hope you have a great day. tonight j and i have a date with my best friend for some bangledeshi food! yummm!
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