Monday, January 23, 2012

Welcome to Atlanta!

We made the move!

Well, we've been here since January 1, and we are finally pretty settled in our new place!  I know my way around, and we have established a sense of normalcy, so that's good.  Chick-fil-A wanted Brian really close to the store where he's an Interim Manager, which is in Lenox Square Mall in the Buckhead District of Atlanta.

Lenox Square Mall

So they put us about a half mile away in a nice apartment complex, Post Alexander.

Living Room
(I'll try to show you a better picture of the view on a day when it's not so foggy!)
Dining Area
(And doorway to laundry room behind the double doors.  The guest bedroom is to the right, guest bath to the left)
Master Bedroom
Master Bedroom (sorry about blurriness)
Master Bath
Guest Bath
Guest Bedroom (had to take on the phone)

So, that's a short tour of our living situation right now!  We're enjoying it and we're very happy here.  We've had several visitors so far, and have had a blast showing them around.  Our latest visitors we took to the World of Coca-Cola.  We hadn't been since they re-did the museum and moved it next to the Georgia Aquarium.  We topped off the night with family-style Italian dining at Maggiano's!  (yummmm)

 (American Idol couch from Season 5)

(The vault that supposedly holds Coca-Cola's "secret recipe.")

And just for the fun of it, I'll leave you with a few of our other favorite spots since we moved to Atlanta.

Beauty and the Beast 3-D was our first movie seen here. :)

We have the privilege of having Andy Stanley as a pastor, as least while we're here.

 Buckhead Station:  It's right around the corner and has a few of my favorite stores.
 Grass-fed beef, build-your-own burgers, and sweet potato fries make this a winner for us!

 Huge chain...we know...but we've never lived close enough to take advantage.  YUM.

 It's no La Berry, but it's not bad. ;)

 Seasons 52:  A different menu every season, with 52 weeks of seasonal specials.  Awesome.

This gym is like two tenths of a mile from us and has the best rates and classes of anywhere I found.

That's just a few of our new favorites!
Have places that are must-sees, must-eats, must-do's, must visits, etc. from the Atlanta area?

We may have tried them and been less than impressed, but maybe not!  Leave me your comments about your favorite places in Atlanta.

Until next time...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

ZUMBA! Yourself Into Shape!

Unless you've been living under a rock, there's absolutely NO way you haven't heard of it.  It's probably the biggest workout craze since...well...I don't even know what to compare it to.  I've been meaning to write about this forever, but it's one of those topics that I could go on and on about, so the task of condensing my thoughts is just a bit daunting.

I'm one of those people who goes through health phases.  I'll run every day for a few months, then I'll do home workout videos for a few months, then I'll eat strictly healthy for a while...but all of that gets old after a least for me.  And see the thing is, a healthy lifestyle is about finding what works for you...because it won't be the same for everyone.  For example, I'm not willing to give up all sweets.  Giving up sweets would seriously ruin my quality of life! haha.  On the other hand, I can totally give up breads.  If I never had another roll, biscuit, muffin, etc...I would be just fine.  I'm also not willing to stick to a workout routine that bores me.  And that's where Zumba comes into play!

Beto Perez
Beto Perez is the founder of Zumba.  You can learn all the ins-and-outs of Zumba here, but basically it's easy-to-follow Latin-style "dancing" (I use the term loosely because it still has an aerobics feel to it).  It burns lots of calories, makes you sweat like crazy, but it's STILL FUN!

My first few classes I was a bit skeptical.  Why?  Because I have never been a very good dancer, and I had a little trouble following the steps.  But after a few classes with each instructor, the moves started to come a bit more naturally, and I felt myself exerting more energy...causing me to sweat like crazy!  I found that once you learn the moves a little bit, you can put more "umph" into them and control your own intensity.  And now that I've been doing it for a while, I find that's even a lot easier to pick up on new routines because the rhythms are very similar!  I even have more confidence to get up on the dance floor when I'm out places too. :-D

And, yes, Zumba will help you manage your weight.  Especially if you do it often like I did/do.  But it will also improve your cardio fitness tremendously!  Most classes are 45 minutes to an hour long, which is manageable because the instructors are typically very purposeful about sticking a few lower intensity songs in there to help you catch your breath after higher intensity songs!

Zumba has helped me strengthen my core as well.  Many of the movements in Zumba involve moving or shaking the hips, and you wouldn't believe the core workout there!  haha. And of course, if you want to build even more strength, there's Zumba Toning.

Zumba toning uses the same Latin-style music, rhythms, and moves, but adds light weight with "toning sticks."  The purple sticks on the top are 2.5 lbs. each and the lime green sticks on the bottom are 1.5 lbs each.  Seems extremely light, right?  Wrong.  After using these for an hour, I can promise you that you'll feel like you got your workout! haha.  In fact, Zumba toning is the only class that I have ever taken and seen my body -really- change.  I now have muscles!  Who knew? ;)

So how do you get started?
You can go to and look up class locations and times in your area.  You can even search by facility!  If you live in the Atlanta-area, the best classes I've found are at Urban Active-Buckhead.

However, if you live in the Macon-area, you're in luck.  Those classes are my favorite!  Here are a few you may be interested in.  All of these instructors are absolutely FABULOUS.  There's -at least- one opportunity every day to Zumba in Macon.  These are classes I have personally been to and know for a fact they're awesome.  Most of them are $6.00 or $7.00 per class, if you're not a member of the gym.  It's even cheaper for members.

ZUMBA! with Jasmine Peschel
Mondays at 6:30 p.m.
Wellness Center (Northside Dr., Macon)

ZUMBA! with Stephanie Huff
Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
Body Evolution (Spring St., Macon)

ZUMBA!  with Carol Johnson
Wednesdays at 9:00 a.m.
Wellness Center (Northside Dr., Macon)

ZUMBA Toning! with Jasmine Peschel
Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.
Wellness Center (Northside Dr.,  Macon)

ZUMBA! with Stephanie Huff
Thursdays at 6:30 p.m.
Body Evolution (Spring St., Macon)

(instructors vary, but I promise they're all great!)
Fridays at 4:00 p.m.
Wellness Center (Northside Dr., Macon)

ZUMBA! with Jasmine Peschel
Saturdays at 10:00 a.m.
North Macon Park (North Macon Park Dr.)

(instructors vary, but I promise they're all great!)
Sundays at 3:00 p.m.
Wellness Center (Northside Dr., Macon)

Yes, you can get the DVD Zumba workouts, and I was recently given Zumba for the Wii for Christmas (which is so fun!), but I still believe the class setting is the best.  There's just something about a room full of people having fun and keeping you accountable.

I absolutely love Zumba and have no problem sticking to it as a workout routine, even on the laziest of days.  I always feel better after the class than I did before.

If my love of Zumba isn't enough to convince you, try and see for yourself!  I know everyone's different and you may feel completely opposite, but that's totally ok

Until next time... 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

What I Wore...Thursday?

What I Wore Wednesday Thursday...

So as I was looking through my iPhone photos the other day, I found these oh-so-fabulous (ha!) pictures still on the camera roll.  I apparently took these photos sometime in November before we started packing to move and everything got so hectic...and then never posted!

So, forgive me for not knowing the dates or where I was wearing these outfits, but I've written the details nonetheless. :)

Light orange-"ish" and gray striped tunic:  Dress Up Boutique (Dahlonega, GA)
Brown sleeveless sweater cardigan: Gap Outlet
Black leggings: Forever 21
Brown flat boots: Target
Bangles: Charming Charlie

3/4 sleeve ivory shirt: Target
Denim skinnies: Old Navy
Brown & camel houndstooth scarf: Dress Up Boutique (Dahlonega, GA)
Flat, camel-colored boots: Old Navy

Black skinnies:  Old Navy
Brown flat boots: Target
Printed tunic: Kohl's (ELLE)
Bangles: Charming Charlie

Denim skinnies:  Old Navy
Brown flat boots: Target
Gray-ish tank: New York & Co.
Oatmeal zip-front cardigan: Banana Republic

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mini French Dip Sandwiches

Mini French Dip Sandwiches...are so unbelievably easy!  In fact, they really don't even need a blog.  But still, I'd like to share this simplicity and goodness with you! :)

Let me  just be the first to say, these aren't healthy.  I got the recipe for this on Pinterest, which originally came from a blog called Mama Loves Food.  It just had the hubster's name written ALL over it.  So, if you're being health conscious, just watch your portions and you'll still be fine.

Also, just as a warning, I'm a total cheater.  Not only did I buy pre-sliced cheese and roast beef (although I selected the natural kind with no preservatives), I also didn't make my own Au Jus!  (gasp!)  I bought the starter mix where all you do is add water, stir, and wait for it to boil.  I believe it taste better for no other reason than it was much, much easier.  However, if you do not prefer to take any shortcuts, you can buy blocked cheese and get the deli to slice you up some fresh roast beef.  Also, Mama Loves Food has an "easy" recipe for Au Jus Gravy.

You'll need...

2 pkgs Crescent Rolls (8 count)
Roast Beef (about 1 lb. or a little less)
1 pkg Provolone Cheese (or Swiss if you prefer)
Horseradish Sauce
Au Jus Gravy Mix

(Preheat oven to 375 degrees)
1.  Unroll crescent rolls and separate into the cut triangles.
2.  Spread horseradish sauce to taste on triangles.
3.  Add roast beef and cheese, and then roll up the crescents.
4.  Bake 11-13 minutes.
5.  Au Jus Gravy: follow directions on back of pkg

I served our Mini French Dip Sandwiches with...

Yep, that's right.  Our side dish came out of a can.  It's the only way Brian will eat English peas!  They are seriously one of his favorite foods.  Needless to say, it was the easiest dinner in the world...AND he's already said he wants them again soon.  They really were awesome.  

(Told you he enjoyed them!)

Let me know if you decide to try!  :)
Until next time...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Blog a Day

WOW.  Has is really been than long since my last post?

So, rather than apologize for my lack of blogging during the past several months (because seriously, that could take all day), I'm just going to tell you what I'm going to do about it.  I know that today is Tuesday, but for the rest of this week, I promise to blog every day.  Seriously, every day.

See, the fact is...I have tons to say to you guys since it's been so long since my last update.  I think my problem has been that I've had SO MUCH to say...I just really haven't known where to start.

How about the holiday season?

We kicked off our holiday season with a trip to Athens for the UGA vs. Kentucky game.  It definitely wasn't he Dawgs' best game, but they still won!  It was somewhat of a "Thanksgiving" weekend with Brian's family, since his brother and sister-in-law live in Boston and wouldn't be home on the actual holiday.

From left to right that'd be Brian's Dad and Brother (Mr. Pat & Kevin), Brian, Me, and Kevin's sister -in-law Julia and wife Allison.

On the actual day of Thanksgiving, we were all set to be at Brian's grandmother's house for his family's gathering.  Unfortunately, due to health issues, his grandmother was in the hospital for Thanksgiving and the gathering was cancelled.  She wasn't out very long before she was put right back in, so please keep her in your prayers!

We love you, Nanow!

December was a month of transition for Brian and me.  We moved out of our apartment (our least was up) to prepare to move wherever his job sent us.  The entire month of December, we lived with Brian's parents, all the while waiting on that phone call.  We were incredibly my parents-in-law let us completely take over the second level of their home.  Our families have made the move very easy on us!  
My last day as a News Producer at WGXA-TV/NewsCentral (FOX 24 & ABC 16) in Macon officially ended December 9th.  It was bittersweet because I left a job in the field of my passion to further Brian's. I must say, it's been worth it 20 times over.  :)  That month marked the end for several members of the NewsCentral team besides myself, including two reporters Larry & Linnie.

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."

Winding down my work days...

Linnie's (in the red, third from the left, back row) "Last Hoorah" at Fabrik!
All the NewsCentral girls

My "un-official" last day, Larry's actual last day! (right)  Black Friday took on a whole new meaning. :)
NewsCentral anchor Mario Ramirez, me, Meteorologist Tyler Southard, and Reporter Larry Spruill.

NewsCentral Reporter Johanna Torres and me on my actually last day. (Tear!)

A news team Christmas party!  (more to come on another Christmas party later!)
My fellow producer Amber Jones is to the left of me. :)

I have such fond memories of my co-workers.  I already miss them immensely!  One of them is visiting this weekend, and I'm so excited that I can hardly stand it.

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord."

Since we'd been at Brian's parents' home the whole month of December, we spent the week of Christmas at my parents' house to get some quality time with them as well.  Christmas was absolutely wonderful to say the least.  My mom's birthday is on Christmas Eve, so we had all sorts of celebrations going on. :) Christmas Eve is my favorite of all the holiday season.  Even at my age, it's still magical.  I'm getting teary-eyed now just thinking about it! :)
We attended the Christmas Eve service at our church, as is tradition.  This year I sang my absolute favorite Christmas song of all time at the service.  It was special to share the wonderful message that I hold dear to my heart with everyone else.  It may not be Christmas Eve anymore, but you should still check out "A Baby Changes Everything" by Faith Hill if you haven't already. :)  Here are a few pictures from that night.

(Blake, my brother, on the right)

 The family at Mom's birthday dinner

About to open our present piles! :)

Christmas day was just as wonderful as Christmas Eve too!  We woke up early and ate brunch with Brian's parents.  Since his brother and sister-in-law were at home in Boston, we opened presents with them over iChat (similar to Skype for you non-Mac friends).

Happy New Year!

So, Brian and I have never been too big into the New Year's Eve festivities.  
In fact, he had to commute to Atlanta that day for his first day of work as an Interim Manager at the Lenox Square Mall Chick-fil-A.  (Proud wifey, yes, I am!  Just not getting ahead of myself.  Saving that for a whole other blog post!)  
We spent New Year's Eve packing and watching Dick Clark (bless his little heart), since we had to move on New Year's Day!  
I really can't think of a better way to spend the first day of 2012 than the adventure of moving our lives to Northeast Atlanta.  We are so happy here!  It's so close to home, but it's also a much different world than Macon.  We live in the city, not a it's been lots of fun so far!  All one week and a half of it. ;)
Later this week, I'll have to be sure to update with pictures of our new apartment and Brian's store. :)

But for now...

(Please forgive me for quoting Oprah!)