Thursday, June 28, 2012


     I guess they aren't joking when they refer to Atlanta as 'Hotlanta'. And as of right now, it is living up to it's nickname beautifully. Today was a scorcher and it looks like it is only going to get worse before it gets better. The temperature on the car hit 107 for a bit before settling around 102 in the afternoon. But the thing that is most crazy for me is that I played in this heat when I moved here. I can't even remember how it felt but I'm sure it was miserable...ahhh the things we can do when we are young ...and stupid.  I actually circled the grocery store parking lot today 3x just so I could buy time in hoping that the people in the front spaces would walk out because parking far away was out of the question. And even though it may be frowned upon (at least by some), the thought of just wearing a bathing suit to run errands all day has lingered in my head. So if you read about some girl going nuts in her skivvies at the store, it may or may not be me. But wait, who am I kidding? You wouldn't read that, I live in Atlanta and even that wouldn't make a blip in the news.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


{The lobby}
     Atlanta and coke go hand in hand...and not that coke (or at least I hope not). I am talking about Coke, the refreshment. Although up until 1903, Coca-Cola did contain around 9 milligrams of cocaine per glass...hmmmm, wonder why they didn't tell us that on the tour? So while we had visitors last week, they had a request to do the World Of Coca-Cola tour and since we had heard good things about it and had never been, we decided it was the perfect time to go. I won't bore you with the details but we did learn a good bit about the history of Coke, took some goofy pictures and got to taste 60 different types of Coca-Cola beverages. For me, the tasting was the best part of the tour not because I love Coke but because of Beverly. Who is Beverly you ask? Well Beverly is not a who, it is a what...and a bad what at that. Beverly is an Italian soda made by Coke that was absolutely terrible, kind of tasted like a few aspirins dissolved in fizzy water. We spent 25 minutes tasting all 59 flavors and then another hour just watching people try the Beverly and gag, it was an entertaining end to the tour. Sorry Italy, but you got a raw deal.

{Original soda fountains}

{Can't get away from the French...}

{Some bubble thing that mirrors your image with, yep you guessed it... bubbles}

{Had to be an idiot}

{Just a few of the different flavors}

{The downtown skyline}

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer...and a birthday

{Kramer wishing me a Happy Birthday}
     This post was supposed to go out yesterday but since our internet decided to stop working, I had to post-pone it until today. Somehow I managed to go to bed Tuesday night at age 33 and wake up Wednesday morning, a 34 year old. Yep, yesterday was my birthday. I'm not one to get all googly eyed for birthdays or do the opposite and dread them, I am somewhere in the middle. To me, June 20th is just another day and a number is just a number. Usually right after my birthday (literally since yesterday was the official start of summer) the summer really gets going and as a result, flies by. Before we know it, it will be early August and we will be saying our annual goodbyes and heading back overseas. But I digress... yesterday was pretty great, I was sung Happy Birthday to by my mother, Shaun's parents, and some friends visiting, ate a slice of vanilla sheet cake with butter cream icing that very much tasted like a Twinkie, and was greeted in the AM by a wiggly Kramer (a golden we are watching for friends for the next few weeks..whom they will most likely have a very hard time getting back once they are home). It was a good birthday indeed.

Monday, June 18, 2012

America's favorite past time...

{Turner Field}
      A few times a summer, we 'brave' (pun intended) the heat and head to a baseball game here in Atlanta. We are fortunate to live only a few miles from Turner so going is never a big hassle. However, we try to avoid day games like the plague since the weather can be downright brutal. (Although the weather has been all over the map... we even had a night in the high 50's the other day!!) So fresh off our trip to San Diego, we went to the Braves/Yankees game with our friends Vic and Lisa, who also happens to be a baseball agent...good to have friends in high places. I was excited since I am a Yankees fan, and before you ask why, my family is originally from the east coast and I kind of started following them in the early 90's. I know that disappoints Shaun since he is a die-hard Red Sox fan but I am sure he'll live. And besides..don't tell his family but he has been known to root for the Yanks ever since his buddy Mark Teixeira became one of the Bronx Bombers. So on an uncharacteristically cool Atlanta evening, we sat back and enjoyed some good 'ole baseball/ ballpark food and watched the Yanks beat the Braves. And even saw a grand slam to boot, must have been our lucky day.

{Cheered extra loud for Mark}

{A-Rod's 23rd grandslam that tied Lou Gehrig's record}

Friday, June 15, 2012

Hotel del Coronado

{The view as you pull up to the entrance}

  While we were in San Diego, we spent an afternoon/early evening having drinks at the Hotel Del.  Along with the Gaslamp District, La Jolla and Balboa Park, the Hotel Del is a must-see if you're visiting San Diego. I've only been a handful of times, but The Del (yep, us San Diegoans call it The Del) leaves a lasting impression. Opened in 1888, The Del was once the largest resort in the world and has played host to royalty, presidents, celebrities and has been featured in many films, one of the most notable being Some Like It Hot with Marilyn Monroe. The grounds are immense and immaculately landscaped with lots to do for kids and adults alike. You can have a casual burger and drink out on the patio overlooking the beach that seems to go on for miles, or you can indulge yourself in the Sunday Brunch in the upscale Crown Room (although the patio holds a special place in my heart since Shaun and I and about 25 other people spent the day after our wedding eating burgers, sipping cocktails and enjoying the live band there). Just like the beach there, the options are endless...and call it The Del if you go so you sound like you're in the know.

{VIew from the patio bar}

{The beautiful grounds}

{Bonfire set up by the staff for guests}

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

San Diego

{The downtown skyline of San Diego}

     We just got back from 8 days in sunny San Diego visiting my family and boy, are we tired. San Diego is the kind of place that there are so many things to do, that just sitting around isn't an option. Sure we relaxed and spent some time at the beach, but we also hit up many of the usual suspects and even squeezed in a trip to Laguna Beach and ice skating ( I know, odd). Just for the record, no falls  for Shaun or I. We had so much fun and I am sure, tired my mom out in the process. I could only imagine how she feels since we are dragging ourselves. Because we only get out to San Diego 1 time a year, we make it count by eating as much Mexican food as humanly possible before actually making the transformation into a rolled taco ourselves. Shaun also takes advantage of golfing with no humidity and we also spend as much time as possible outdoors to enjoy the San Diego scenery (just taking a guess that it has to do with no humidity also). We ate at the harbor, at the bay and had coffee on the ocean, so basically we pretty much covered all water forms besides a pool and I will take what we had over a pool any time. Until next time family and San Diego, we had a great time and we will see you soon. As difficult as it was, I narrowed down some of our highlights of the trip here with some pictures. Enjoy...

Balboa Park
Just a few blocks from the heart of San Diego, lies roughly 1200 acres of open space called Balboa Park. In addition, it houses museums, theatres, multiple cultural attractions and the San Diego Zoo. Truth be told, I don't remember if I have ever been there before so we spent an afternoon there wandering around and taking in the sights.

{Fun Facts about Laguna de las Floras.. In WWI, the Navy used the pond to train swimming and rowing to sailors: In WWII, the Navy deepened the pond and used it as a rehab pool for wounded soldiers and from 1945-1949, the pond was opened to children for swimming and adults for bait and fly casting}
Laguna Beach
We took the 1 hour 15 minute drive up north to Laguna Beach to mill around the town center and eat along the coast. It is such a picturesque little town everywhere you look. Laguna has the perfect balance between beach life and sophistication with the galleries and shops dotting the streets.

{This was our view at lunch}

 Mission Beach and Mission Bay
At least once a week, my mother and Randy go down to Mission Beach to a little coffee shop to watch the sunset. For my mom, it has been something she has done for around 10 years. In that time, she has kind of joined a group of 'randoms' that meet up everyday. And by randoms...I mean randoms. I couldn't even start to describe the walks of life that are there, but all I know is it's awesome. Some days they talk, others they just sit and gaze out at the ocean. Shaun and I went down with my mom and Randy for the afternoon and the conversation that occurred was something straight out of a Seinfeld episode. We covered everything from the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Voice to toilets and sports. And since it was Shaun's first time down there, they didn't pull any punches with him. We will remember that afternoon for years to come, thanks guys.

{Our view from the coffee shop}

{Just after eating at Barefoot bar and grill at Mission Bay}

Here are some random pics of the downtown skyline and some Mexican food (already missing)

{ And no my mom is not that much taller than me, she is standing on the heels}

{Carne asada burrito}

{Rolled tacos from the best little dive around, Nico's}

Monday, June 4, 2012

We are off...


 Cue the Anchorman quotes... we are headed out to San Diego for the next week or so. While we always make a trip every summer, we normally give my mom a little more than a 3 day notice, but keeping others on their toes has always been one of our strong points. Fortunately, she was a step ahead of us and never skipped a beat when we told her we were arriving in a few days. So while Atlanta decides between rain, thunderstorms and the rare but ever so appreciated 'sunny day with out humidity', we will be soaking up the sun and enjoying as much beach time/Mexican food as we can get in the next 8 days. Packing was difficult since we both anticipate eating Carne Asada burritos and rolled tacos on a daily basis, so clothes that went with our meals were a must, and by that, I mean ones that are stretchy around the waist. Nicos, Alibertos, Roybertos, or any-berto for that matter, here we come!!! Oh and 'you stay classy San Diego'.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Some Pinteresting DIYs

  Since getting home last week, everything has been unpacked, we have adjusted to the time, and overall, settled in. For Shaun, settled means being able to golf, golf and then golf some more. He barely used his clubs this past year in France, injuries and the lack of anybody to golf with really threw a wrench in the gears. So he set out early this am (and I mean early...6am) to beat the heat and get a few rounds in with hopes of blowing off the dust that has accumulated on both his clubs and his swing. I would say the weather got the last laugh since it was a cool 68 with no humidity today so going that early wasn't really needed. But since I was up and dropped him off at a friend's house, the weather got the last laugh over both of us. Weather-1,Shaun and Nikki-0. For me however, being settled means I can finally do some of those DIYs I pinned on Pinterest for the last 6 months or so. Sure we can find most of the stuff in France but there is nothing like taking a trip to Michael's or Hobby Lobby in the US and having everything in 1 store. No need to pick up 2 things here, then take a trip to another city to pick up the rest. Come to think of it, France really needs to step their game up on the craft stores. However, I am sure Shaun is happy they haven't since I am a sucker for crafts and that would only add to our 25 boxes or so that we store in the off-season. So while Shaun was out, I semi-organized a 'to-do' list of all things DIY that had caught my eye before going out and gathering some supplies for a few projects. I am starting small since I do have a tendency to take on too big of projects than get mad and walk away when it doesn't go exactly as planned. So for now, I will leave you with some of the projects on my list for the next little bit (like anything these days though, they are subject to change with out notice). 

{Easy homemade art, link here }

{Canvases covered with foil tape designs, link here }

{Refinery 29 DIY clutch, link here}

{DIY canvas portraits by A Beautiful Mess, link here }

{ Cute bracelet courtesy of I Spy DIY, link here}