Monday, June 13, 2011

Wineries of North Georgia

Andy and I headed to Dahlonega this past Saturday to spend the day at the wineries in the North Georgia mountains.  We both had never been before and thought it would be a nice, close trip to celebrate our 3rd anniversary, which is tomorrow!
We started the day off at Three Sisters Winery where they were having the 10th Annual Georgia Wine Country Festival.  There was live music, BBQ, and a "wine garden."  We weren't that impressed with the wineries that had come to be a part of the wine garden and actually liked Three Sisters Wine the best of what they had to offer there.  
 Andy was excited to discover that the Miata's sister decided to park next to her in the parking lot of Three Sisters when we were leaving!
 The next stop on our tour was Frogtown Winery.  This winery had a lovely setup--up on a hill overlooking the vineyards.  The views were beautiful!  We enjoyed a panini lunch on a covered porch and a tasting of their wines after our meal.
 It was cool to see the wine grapes growing on the vine!
 Our next stop was Blackstock Winery.  This winery had the best views of the North Georgia Mountains.  Unfortunately, we got there just as the live guitarist was finishing up but enjoyed a glass of wine in rocking chairs on their porch while taking in the scenery.
 Andy in the vines at Blackstock Winery.
Our last stop was Wolf Mountain Winery.  In our opinion, we concluded the trip with the best wine.  We enjoyed a tasting and chatting with a couple we met who live in Roswell.  In the picture above, you can see the pavilion where they were setting up for a wedding ceremony!  Beautiful location for a wedding! :)
 We spent the evening in downtown Dahlonega, going to the Corkscrew Cafe and staying at Park Place Hotel.  Overall, we had a great time and although I'm sure it's no Napa Valley, it's only about an hour to hour and a half drive and we look forward to going back again!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Our New Home!

We moved into our new rental home this weekend!  It feels so good to be out of our little old apartment after 3 years of marriage.  The move went smoothly and I am loving our new home.  We still have a lot of work to do in the way of unpacking and getting organized!  We also purchased a new memory foam queen sized bed (we've been on a double for 3 years) that will be arriving on Saturday!

Now I just need to get everything in working order before I host my "Flight of the Kiwi" Wine Night on June 3rd!

In other news, two more half days of school with the students!  Wahoo!  Summer here I come!!!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Christ the Lord is risen today...alleluia!  Hope y'all had a fabulous Easter!  We went to church and lunch with my parents today.  The weather today was gorgeous--sunny and warm.  When we got home, I took a nap, cleaned, and relaxed.  

Our dog, Spot, had to spend the night Thursday at the ER vet and then at the regular vet all day Friday.  She came home Friday night.  So with her home and happy this Easter, we couldn't ask for anything more!  God is good!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Update on recent happenings!

Gosh, I'm a horrible blogger!  It's been an entire month...and I've been busy!  I was back to school last week after being off for Spring Break the previous week.  During Spring Break, I was busy with wedding preparations for my sister who got married last weekend!  It was beautiful and I can't wait to tell you all about it in an upcoming blog post!

In other news, I'm excited to say we are moving into a house!  Wahoo!  It's a cute little brick ranch house about 2 miles away from our current apartment.  We are still just leasing--it's not the time to buy since we are not sure where we'll end up next year when Andy graduates.  Regardless, we're extremely excited! 

I truly believe this rental house is an answered prayer.  After giving our 60 day notice at our apartment complex, I started getting stressed and worried that we would not be able to find anything we liked at the right price and in the right location (Smyrna is very hit or miss).  Well I started praying about it and low and behold after work a couple Fridays ago I drove down the street that I like, turned the corner, and there was a new for lease sign!  The realtor, owner, and current leasers were standing in the driveway talking and I opened my car door and asked if the house was still available.  They said yes and invited me in to look around!  The price was right, the area was right, and I knew it was the one!  They actually had just put up the for lease sign 15 minutes before I pulled up.  Talk about perfect timing! :)

I thought that it would be difficult convincing the husband that this was the one--but it actually wasn't as difficult as I thought!  

So, we signed a lease 3 days later and we move in May 21st.  Now to start thinking about packing everything up!  Pictures to come.
Hope you have a fabulous week!

Monday, March 14, 2011

ABCs of Me

A. Age: 26

B. Bed size: Double...too small for a husband, wife, and dog!  Can't wait to get my king-sized bed!

C. Chore you dislike: Quite a few but taking out the trash and cleaning the bathroom top the charts!

D. Dogs: The sweetest dog you'll ever meet, Spot.

E. Essential start to your day: OJ and the Today Show

F. Favorite color:  Pink and teal.

G. Gold or silver: Mostly silver but I've recently added in some gold.

H. Height: 5' 5"

I. Instruments you play(ed): The flute for 4 years starting in middle school.  I was required to take piano in college for my degree but sucked at it.  I cried when I had a required "private" lesson with my teacher because I was so terrible!  Pitiful!

J. Job title: Middle School Dance Teacher

K. Kids:  Hopefully sooner rather than later.  We'll have to talk to the husband about this one!

L. Live: 900 square foot apartment.  Hopefully moving in 2 months when our lease is up!

M. Mom’s name: Diane (Hi, mom!)

N. Nicknames:  Andy and I have called each other Bro (pronounced "brew" with a NZ accent)since our trip to New Zealand over Christmas 2009....see video below to fully understand!  Also, my dad used to call me Little Britches as a kid

O. Overnight hospital stays: Fortunately, none.

P. Pet peeves:  People pretending to be someone/something they're not
Q. Quote from a movie: "I want it now!"  Veruca Salt on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  I can quote the whole song!

S. Siblings: Beautiful Bride-to-Be (April 9th) Sister, Stephanie.

T. Time you wake up: About 7am on weekdays.  Although I like it staying light later in the evening, I am really HATING the dark mornings!  I sleep much later on weekends if I can.

U. Underwear: Thongs.  Would hate to have a panty line!

V. Vegetables you don’t like:  Not very many.  I think I tried to like brussel sprouts a few years ago but haven't had them since.

W. What makes you run late: Wanting to sleep for "just 5 more minutes" and not being able to find something to wear.

X. X-rays you’ve had:  Foot and back back when I was dancing but they never did find anything wrong with me.  I guess that's a good thing? 

Y. Yummy food you make:  Fajitas!  Simple, but good. 

Z. Zoo animal favorites:  Pandas!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Coming Home

Sorry it's been awhile since I've blogged.  I've certainly lacked some inspiration and time lately but oh my gosh was I moved and inspired last night!  Did y'all watch the series premier of "Coming Home" on Lifetime last night after Army Wives?  The show documents military dads/husbands coming home to their family.  The twist is that one of the dad's child/wife does not know their dad/husband was coming home from Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. at that time.  It certainly makes for an emotional surprise when they show up!  I was bawling like a baby.  Check out the emotion when they first see their soldier!
Probably my favorite story of the night was the high school football player at his college signing day.  The HS senior is sitting at the signing table and they ask him where he will be playing next year.  He reveals he is signing with the Air Force Academy.  Dad comes out, the son does not see him yet, and yells, "That's my boy!," something Dad would always say as his son ran down the football field towards the end zone (they showed home videos before the surprise).  The son is so surprised and moved that he starts crying and the two embrace in one of the biggest man hugs I have ever seen.  They say how much they missed each other, love each other, and dad says how proud he is of his son.  Bring on the tissues!
My heart certainly goes out to the soldiers for their bravery and service to our country.  It also goes out to the families they leave behind here in the States!  I can't even imagine the sacrifice these military families are forced to make each and every day.  So, THANK YOU for your sacrifice!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mondays Aren't So Bad (when you don' t have to work)!

I enjoyed lunch and a movie with my mom today.  When I was working part-time at the school and the Loft, I often had week days off when I could do this exact thing with my mom.  It was great--we saw so many movies together.  Now that I'm teaching full time, it is definitely a bit harder to have this time with my mom.  Because I'm off this week, we took full advantage and went and saw:
This movie is up for some Oscars and won a few Golden Globes.  It's based on the true story of King George VI and his speech impediment of stuttering.  It was a bit long at times but overall pretty good.  It definitely had a feel good ending to it.  I'm sure my speech therapist best friend would enjoy it! :)

After the movie, we went to T.J. Maxx for a return and I ended up with these two fun items:
 A yummy Yankee Candle for only $7!
And some fabulous red flats!  These are Nine West that were compared at $70 but I got them for $35.  So cute but I still need to figure out (or go out and buy) something to wear with them!
I do love me some T.J.Maxx!

And speaking of shoes, I found these cuties on  I'm just not sure I can justify the $89 price tag!

My Weekend

I had a fun weekend filled with pre-wedding festivities for my sister, 
including a shower thrown by me and Lisa

Kicking off the party with some mimosas before the guests arrive.
The spread.  Mmmm!
My gift to her!  I got this idea from my friend Ashley.  Two Junior League cookbooks wrapped in a kitchen towel and stuffed with collapsible measuring cups from her registry.
I was pretty proud of my creation! :)
The hostesses with the bride.

I was also lucky enough to get to spend two days of the weekend getting to hold this precious baby girl (Lisa's neice)!
Ella Elizabeth and me
With big brother Thomas.

I'm super thankful for the week off school this week.  I don't have many plans with the exception of lunch/movie with mom tomorrow and getting some choreography created for my dancers.  

My sister has one more bridal shower next Saturday and then my mom is planning a special surprise birthday dinner for my dad that night.  He's got a big birthday coming up on March 1st!

Hope y'all have a great start to your week!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I'm still in shock of a fire that destroyed half a building (12 units) in our apartment complex on Friday night. 
Andy and I went to bed early the night of the fire since we were getting up for the Marietta Mardi Gras 5K.  I want to say we were in bed by 10:30 on Friday night.  I heard sirens while we were in bed but didn't think much of it.  They sounded close...but not that close.  We woke up, went to our race, went out for brunch with some new friends, and came back to our apartment.
 Andy's mom called just after noon and said that her friend had seen on the news that there had been a fire in an apartment complex in Vinings and thought it might be our's.  Remembering the sirens the night before, Andy and I took our dog, Spot for a walk to investigate.

After going all the way to the back of our complex without seeing anything suspicious, we went up one last hill and holy moly!!!  We saw the damage.  It was unreal.  And scary.  Everyone got out just fine, no one was hurt but homes were lost.  My heart and prayers go out to the families that lost their "homes" due to the fire.  I cannot even imagine.  The news on Saturday night said that the fire started on a first level balcony but they were still investigating the reason for the start of the fire.  Regardless, I'm still pretty freaked out.  This tragedy is a little too close for comfort.  I hope and pray that  nothing like this ever happens to us and our home!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

CDs I'm Loving!

I got 2 new CDs a couple of weeks ago (yes, you heard that correctly...I do not have an iPod connector in my car...and both of my iPods have died).  I have been loving belting out to them in my car!  I'm sure I give my fellow drivers sitting in traffic a real laugh when they look over and see me jamming!  The first is:
Yes, that's no ordinary version but the special deluxe edition from Target!  Bonus acoustic tracks!  I know I'm probably a bit late on purchasing this CD but it's still pretty fabulous.  I know some may not care too much for this gal but I do love how her lyrics seem (or maybe are?) so real!  My favorite song on the CD right now is "Mine."  I just love how the lyrics turn from her point of view to his at the end of the song.  Ah, so sweet.

You said I remember how we felt sitting by the water
And every time I look at you, it's like the first time
I fell in love with a careless man's careful daughter
She is the best thing that's ever been mine

And the second CD in my player right now is:
This CD has some awesome songs on it!  I'm a bit ashamed to admit I already owne 2 or 3 Glee CDs before this purchase.  And also a little more ashamed that I am so looking forward to the Justin Beiber episode of Glee tonight!  My favorites on this CD are:  "Forget You" (Gwenyth Paltrow), "Tennage Dream,"  and "Lucky."  I could go on and on...there are some good ones on here!

So how about you?  What's your favorite CD or song that's fabulous for jammin' in the car while belting at the top of your lungs?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Gifts

Andy and I have laid low today this Valentine's Day night but we did give some each other some pretty fabulous gifts if I do say so myself!!

I was excited to give Andy his Valentine's Day present as I have had it for a few weeks now.  It's rare that I have a gift that that long without ruining the surprise and giving it early!  I made him a love book on this fabulous website called Love Book Online.  I got this idea from Lisa as she made her husband one for Christmas.  Basically the website has a database of reasons why you may love someone.  Every page can be personalized with something that you love about the person.  You can choose from the templates they have, add texts or pictures to their templates, or make your own.  I had fun making it and I think Andy enjoyed looking through it this evening.  He even asked if he could keep it on our coffee table so he can look through it again and again!  I'm sure it will be fun to look back at throughout the years. Hard to believe this is the 9th Valentine's Day we are spending together as a couple.  Here's one of my favorites from the book:
As for my gift from Andy, I asked told him yesterday that I wanted the Michael Jackson Experience Wii game for Valentine's Day after hearing how great it was from a few friends.  I know, I know such a romantic gift, huh?  Well, when I got home today, a card and some candy awaited me.  No big deal, I had almost forgotten that I had asked for the game.  Then, I asked where he went for the card and candy.  Target.  Hmm, strange since Target really isn't on his way home from work at all.  Here's how our conversation went:  "Ohh, did you get me the MJ game since you went to Target?"  "Nah, they were sold out."  "Oh, well then did you go look at Walmart?"  "Nope, you have plenty of Wii games!"  Andy proceeded to get up to look through the few Wii games we have.  And low and behold, he pulls out the MJ game!  Wahooo!  I love it when he surprises me!
So I've been spending my Valentine's Day evening playing the game--which by the way is totally AWESOME!  I did have to cut my dancing session short as we had to turn on Jeopardy to watch"Watson" the computer take on Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter...but I'll save my opinions on Watson for another post!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ballethnic Dance Co.

Sorry I've been behind a bit on my blogging!  Things have been pretty busy in my world recently.  The end of last week brought some exciting things for my students at school that I'm excited to share with you!. 
On Thursday, I scheduled members from the locally-based African American Dance Company, Ballethnic to come do a workshop with my 7th and 8th grade dancers to help celebrate Black History Month.  It was nice and refreshing to have some other professional dancers in the dance room.  Sometimes teaching in the public school setting (instead of a private dance studio), can get a bit lonely in what you are doing since no one is a part of the "ballet world."  As much as you try to explain to other teachers and administrators, I don't think they will ever truly understands what you are doing with your students since they're all basically academic (expect the fine arts/PE department) educators. 

The Ballethnic dancers seemed impressed with the dance program at my school and the facility we have.  It reminded me just how lucky I am to be where I am at.  It also reaffirmed the fact that the ballet world is a truly a small world as we exchanged stories of who we knew and who we have danced with in the past before and after the workshop with the students.

Although my students seemed somewhat timid at first (I mean there were unfamiliar professionals in the room--including two men with African drums!), once they got started, I think they really enjoyed the class they gave.  I was so excited to hear one of the dancers explaining to my students that ballet is the basis of all dance as they warmed up.  Thank you!  Maybe now they will believe me after hearing it from somebody else and quit groaning when I tell them "We are doing ballet today!"  The live drumming was awesome and I loved the African choreography they taught the kids at the end of the class period.

Hopefully my students are inspired and energized!  And hopefully I will have the opportunity to bring in more dancers to give my students the opportunity to work with someone other than your's truly.  I'm sure they get sick and tired of having me as their only dance teacher every single day, all 3 years of their middle school career!

Oh yea, and the bonus for me in this whole experience is that my administrative evaluator is cousins or something with one of the co-founders of Ballethnic.  This lady was one of the dancers that came to do the workshop at our school.  Anyways, my administrator came in to my room and watched the whole first class.  She seemed so very excited to have them at our school.  She also decided to do my 2nd observation of the year while they were conducting the workshop.  Score!  We'll see what she says when we have our post-observation meeting this week--but I'm guessing it will be all positive! :)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Gettin' some culture!

Andy and I went to the local Cobb Symphony Orchestra Jazz Concert with some friends last night at the Strand.  I'm still amazed at the restoration of this historic theater on the Marietta Square.  It's just beautiful inside and the venue also tempts me to organize some sort of fine arts performance there for the students at my school.  The jazz performance was awesome!  I think Andy may be inspired to pick up his guitar again and call up his old friend that he used to play in the middle and high school jazz band with for a "jam session"!  I do love it when he picks up that guitar! :)

This coming weekend, I got Andy and me half-price tickets via to see Atlanta Ballet's Sleeping Beauty.  Score!  I love the classic story ballets and am excited to see their "new" version.

And to balance out the culture in our lives, the following weekend, we'll be going to a NASCAR race....just kidding! :)