Restaurant Review: Varuni Napoli

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Ciao bella! Today I want to share my experience at one of Atlanta’s finest pizzerias, Varuni Napoli. This little restaurant transports you from Midtown Atlanta to the streets of Naples with its traditional Neapolitan cuisine and familial atmosphere. Sticking to the Italian tradition, the team of Varuni Napoli is ready to welcome you with warm smiles and pizza.

Last week my husband and I had the pleasure of eating at Varuni Napoli. Something we immediately appreciated about the restaurant is the big, comfortable seating space. We sat in the main room where we got to see the open kitchen and brick ovens. We ordered two glasses of red wine and a few starters- Salad Varuni {wild arugula, local spring mix, roasted pecans, mixed tomatoes, Prosciutto di Parma, Luca’s homemade balsalmic vinaigrette} and Varuni’s famous meatballs. The salad was fresh and packed with flavors- I especially loved the roasted pecans with the balsalmic vinaigrette.

Next up was our main entrees we took Chef and owner Luca Varuni’s advice and ordered his favorites- the Reginella Calzone, Oro Bianco (white pizza) and the classic Margarita. Each of these were extremely delectable but let me tell you about the Reginella. This masterpiece of a dish consists of a lightly fried half-moon calzone, stuffed with Fior di latte mozzarella, buffalo ricotta, cherry tomatoes, salami, black pepper, Pecorino Romano, basil and extra virgin olive. I am not exaggerating when I tell you it was to die for! Since it’s lightly fried, it does not leave you feeling heavy and full. Honestly, I could have eaten the whole thing by myself! But good thing I didn’t so I could enjoy Varuni’s famous pizzas. With such an extensive pizza menu, here are my recommendations-

Looking for a lighter pizza? I recommend the Oro Bianco- fresh buffalo mozzarella, buffalo ricotta, Taleggio cheese, pancetta (Italian bacon), Pecorino Romano, basil and black truffle oil. Looking for something more traditional? Order the Margarita which will never disappoint- fresh buffalo mozzarella, Pecorino Romano and basil. Want to try something a little different? Be bold and order the spicy Porreca Piccante- fresh buffalo mozzarella, hot soppressata (spicy salami), Nduja (spicy spreadable pork sausage in ragu sauce), cherry tomatoes, hot Italian peppers, Pecorino Romano and basil.

Last and certainly not least is Varuni’s authentic Italian desserts. For anyone with a sweet tooth, Varuni Napoli offers a wide selection of dessert favorites, from the ever popular tiramisu, cannoli and gelato to the rich and decadent chocolate fondant and the more traditional torta della nonna. We went with the cannoli’s and they were the best I’ve had in Atlanta! The cream inside is rich and perfectly sweetened. You can actually build your own cannoli or order a pre-made one. Pretty neat, right?

Varuni Napoli is not just great, authentic pizzas but also a tradition of recipes passed down from generation to generation. With such favorites as mamma’s meatballs and eggplant parmigiana, arancini and panzerotti- there is something for everyone. Buon appetito!

Xo,

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The Ultimate TV Binge: Comcast and DreamWorks

Today’s post sponsored by XFINITY, but all opinions are my own. Please see below for additional disclosure.

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Happy Monday friends! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. If you’ve been following along my Instagram, you saw I am officially done with my clinical internship! Yeah!! Now that I have all this free time I am going to kick back, relax and catch up on some much needed TV time. Speaking of TV, did you hear the big news? Comcast announced that they have acquired DreamWorks animation. By doing this, Comcast is thinking ahead and concentrating on innovation and the future of technology. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Comcast said that the acquisition would not only strengthen its film animation portfolio, but also “build its consumer products business, expand its theme park attractions, and enhance its position in the kids TV space.” Pretty amazing, right?

What is your favorite DreamWorks film? Although I like all of them (I mean, who doesn’t love Shrek, Madagascar and Antz?), my favorite has to be How To Train Your Dragon. That movie is just so sweet and magical! But remember if you have Comcast you don’t have to pick just one to watch- you can watch them all! With the XFINITY TV App, XFINITY allows you to access that On Demand library of TV shows and movies from your mobile devices, meaning you’ve got access to more than 21,000 select TV shows and movies you can watch on the go on your tablet or smartphone.

So if you need me I will be right here watching all my favorite DreamWorks movies!

Xo,

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XFINITY partnered with bloggers such as me for this program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any product mentioned in these posts. XFINITY believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. XFINITY’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. All opinions about XFINITY are my own and I personally have been using it for years at home. 

What’s Going On Atlanta

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 ATLANTA ARTIST COLLABORATE FOR EVENT

Heart Space | May 21,2016 | 5:00pm

Gallery L1 | 828 Ralph McGill Blvd NE, Atlanta, GA 30306

Atlanta, GA, April 28, 2016–Choreographers Leah Boresow and Christen Sewell Weimer announce a unique collaborative experience of upcoming art in Atlanta. Visual artist Melissa Lee and sound artist Paul Stevens join to explore the physical and emotional space around the heart—Heart Space.

Heart Space will be held at Gallery L1 off the Atlanta Beltline on May 21, 2016 at 5:00pm. The event is free and open to the public, but donations are encouraged. Proceeds benefit Wellspring Living, an organization dedicated to helping victims of sex trafficking.

Participating Artists:

Leah Boresow | Leah is a movement artist, choreographer, and dance instructor. She has been dancing her entire life. Starting in classical forms, Leah expanded her dance career after high school with contemporary dance and ballroom dance, and she is always excited to use these forms in the dance world. As a choreographer, Leah is inspired by the idea that movement can speak for itself–stories come from dance in a variety of shapes and forms. Leah has shown two solo works, “Like Butter” and “Were Here” in Tel Aviv, Israel, and in New York over the past two-years. She is thrilled to be showing her newest work “Bees and Birds” for Heart Space.

Christen Sewell Weimer | An Atlanta native, Christen Sewell Weimer embodied a passion for movement at a young age. Before fully actualizing her love for dance, Christen competed both national and internationally as a rhythmic gymnast. Transitioning to the art of dance came somewhat organically for her when she enrolled in the school at Atlanta Ballet in 2001. Christen’s pursuit of movement propelled her first to Indiana University’s ballet program, and then to New York, where she studied,

choreographed, and performed at Barnard College, Columbia University. Graduating from Barnard magna cum laude in 2006, Christen holds a BA in psychology and a minor in dance. Christen has performed professionally with Brooks and Company Dance, as well as with Bodiography Contemporary Ballet. She also occasionally dabbles in commercial work, and in 2001 Christen was featured as a rhythmic gymnast in Outkast’s music video “Trans DF Express.” Christen furthered her studies at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, from where she received an MFA in dance performance in 2011. Christen currently serves in the faculty of the Drama and Dance Department at Spelman College, the Visual and Performing Arts Department at Clayton State University, and works as an instructor at the Ballet Institute of Atlanta.

Melissa Lee | Melissa is a South Georgia native and alum of the University of Georgia where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Painting. She continued her studies at Florida State University, receiving a Master of Arts in Arts Administration. During her three-years living in Atlanta, Melissa interned with SouthArts and volunteered with Living Walls and the American Museum Alliance. She recently returned to Athens to pursue a career in higher education fundraising, but continues to paint and exhibit locally. Melissa’s art explores the nature of vulnerability and self-content by creating an allegory of the inner self as celestial phenomena. Her fascination with astronomy and existentialism drive her focus, as Melissa draws parallels between the primordial void of energy in outer space and the individual creative energy within ourselves.

Paul Stevens | A native of Atlanta, percussionist Paul Stevens obtained a music performance degree from the University of Georgia in 2012 and has since maintained a busy schedule as a freelance musician. Although solidly grounded in classical music, he remains versatile, moving fluidly between electronic, rock, jazz, and experimental contemporary styles. Paul occupies his time as an accompanist for dance classes, a session musician and recordist, and an educator; he teaches piano and percussion lessons to people of all ages in his home studio. Current projects include indie bands Grand Vapids, Slow Parade, and Moloq, Atlanta-based contemporary music collective Chamber Cartel, corporate keynote ROC Ensemble, and the Albany Symphony Orchestra. When he’s not playing, he is listening, and when he’s not listening, he is asleep.

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South City Kitchen Buckhead Opening Tuesday, May 24

Fifth Group Restaurants’ iconic southern concept opens this month on Peachtree Road

The much-anticipated South City Kitchen Buckhead by Fifth Group Restaurants will open for its first dinner service on Tuesday, May 24, at 5 p.m. South City Kitchen Buckhead will be open for lunch starting Wednesday, May 25. Located at 3350 Peachtree Road in the heart of Atlanta’s upscale Buckhead neighborhood, the restaurant is the third location of the iconic South City Kitchen outpost. South City Kitchen Buckhead remains true to the concept’s tradition of authentic yet sophisticated southern cuisine and genuine hospitality while offering guests a more contemporary environment within the multi-level, urban space.

Executive chef Jason Starnes, previously of The Sun Dial, will helm the kitchen boasting a curated mix of traditional and contemporary Southern cuisine – a unique blend of the South City Kitchen specialties that have made the concept so beloved as well as seasonal dishes created by chef Starnes exclusively for the Buckhead location. Signature dishes include she-crab soupfried green tomatoesbuttermilk fried Springer Mountain Farms chicken and shrimp and Red Mule grits, among others, while Buckhead exclusives include pickled shrimp with crunchy vegetables, pickled jalapenos and watercress; local strawberry and wood sorrel salad with pickled green strawberries, Bermuda triangle goat cheese and strawberry gazpacho; smokey grilled pork chop with barbecued hazelnuts, cornbread puree, charred broccolini and sorghum vinaigrette; and spiced grilled quail with Carolina risotto, lemon-tomato jus and crispy okra.

Fifth Group’s executive pastry chef Eric Wolitzky also draws on the traditions of the South to offer an expanded selection of cakes and pies exclusively for the Buckhead location with a “southern desserts: redefined” theme. The result is a diverse dessert menu with creative, modern twists on eight classic southern desserts from puddings and cobblers to cakes and pies. Dessert dishes include banana bread brulee puddingbeet red velvet cakesourdough beignets with pecan pie filling and chocolate caramel angel pie.

 Staying true to Southern traditions, the cocktail program focuses heavily on bourbon and offers exclusive collections. The cornerstone of the bourbon offerings is the new South City Kitchen barrel program. This one-of-a-kind program leverages Fifth Group’s standing relationships with individual distilleries and wineries to create something exciting yet familiar. The three tapped barrels are proudly displayed above the bar and will be changed on an ongoing basis as the barrels are emptied. The initial barrels will feature a spicy rye whiskey (High West) rested in a zesty Russian river Stuhlmuller zinfandel barrel; a custom Woodford whiskey blend exclusively for Buckhead; and a summertime whiskey staple of the South, the mint julep cocktail.

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In need of a fast, fresh and affordable weekday lunch? Head over to Bellina Alimentari located in Ponce City Market for their weekday lunch combo! For $12, choose any half panino and soup OR half panino and side salad. Take a look at the full menu!

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After a smashing year of success since opening its doors just over a year ago in the heart of Sandy Springs, MAYA Steaks and Seafood is inviting food lovers to join them for giant paella party beginning at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 22, 2016. With proceeds benefitting CURE Childhood Cancer, this family-friendly event taking place inside and outside of the restaurant will feature Chef and Owner Mimmo Alboumeh cooking his signature seafood paella to perfection in front of partygoers eyes, his house-made sangria, live music, specialty tapas from 4 to 6 p.m. and more. Named after his youngest daughter and known for its undeniable Spanish flair, MAYA Steaks and Seafood has quickly earned acclaim as a favorite go-to Atlanta destination for steaks, seafood and great service and an undeniable neighborhood feel. Admission to MAYA Steaks and Seafood One-Year Anniversary Paella Party is $20 per person, plus gratuity. For more information or to make a reservation, call 404-705-8880 or visit www.mayasteaks.com. To purchase tickets, visitAfter a smashing year of success since opening its doors just over a year ago in the heart of Sandy Springs, MAYA Steaks and Seafood is inviting food lovers to join them for giant paella party beginning at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 22, 2016. With proceeds benefitting CURE Childhood Cancer, this family-friendly event taking place inside and outside of the restaurant will feature Chef and Owner Mimmo Alboumeh cooking his signature seafood paella to perfection in front of partygoers eyes, his house-made sangria, live music, specialty tapas from 4 to 6 p.m. and more. Named after his youngest daughter and known for its undeniable Spanish flair, MAYA Steaks and Seafood has quickly earned acclaim as a favorite go-to Atlanta destination for steaks, seafood and great service and an undeniable neighborhood feel. Admission to MAYA Steaks and Seafood One-Year Anniversary Paella Party is $20 per person, plus gratuity. For more information or to make a reservation, call 404-705-8880 or visit www.mayasteaks.com. To purchase tickets, click here.

 WHAT: MAYA Steaks and Seafood One-Year Anniversary Paella Party
WHEN: Sunday, May 22, 2016
2:00 p.m.to 6:00 p.m.WHERE: MAYA Steaks and Seafood
6152 Roswell Road
Atlanta, GA 30328
CONTACT: For more information, call 404-705-8880 or visit www.mayasteaks.com.
TICKETS:  Purchase tickets here.
 
CONNECT: Stay connected on Twitter and Instagram via @mayasteak and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MAYAsteaks/
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 Osteria Mattone will feature live, local music every Wednesday evening starting at 6:30 p.m. throughout the season. Guests are invited to relax on the patio and enjoy great food and drinks while listening to local artist, Crooked Wits.

 

Based in Metro-Atlanta, Crooked Wits is an acoustic cover band playing everything from bluegrass to blues, Dylan to Dead. The members of Crooked Wits originally met in Clinton, South Carolina at Presbyterian College, and although they all came from different backgrounds, they quickly bonded over their love for music.

 

Osteria Mattone’s menu of fresh, regional Italian cuisine highlights local ingredients. Their extensive wine program, curated by sommelier Daniel Pernice, offers guests wonderful choices, both by the glass and bottle, along with a variety of beers and signature cocktails.

 

For more information, please call Osteria Mattone at 678.878.3378 or visit the website, www.osteriamattone.com. Osteria Mattone is located at 1095 Canton St., Roswell, GA.

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Due to the overwhelming response to their regular lineup of wine tasting events, Stem Wine Bar will now offer two tastings each week in June on Wednesdays and Thursdays. For each tasting, chef / owner Doug Turbush pairs six small bites with sommelier Chris McNeill’s wine selections from South Africa. I’ve included links for each event below, and you can click here for photos.

BEGINNING MAY 18 | THE NOOK ON PIEDMONT PARK | DRINK FOR THE TREES

Joining The Nook’s Specialty Drinks menu this Wednesday, May 18 is the “Drink for the Trees – Dixie Darlin’!” A relaxing double shot of Dixie Mint Vodka with lemonade and sprite (garnished with fresh mint), the Dixie Darlin’ is served in a “you better be thirsty” 18 oz. Mason Jar. For only $11, this refresher’s proceeds go to support the Piedmont Park Conservancy — all the more reason to drink one (…or three!).

1144 Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

Thenookatlanta.com | 404.745.9222

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MAY 19 – JUNE 23 | VENKMAN’S | ATL KARAOKE LEAGUE

Are you tired of your singing skills being ignored? Need a community to show off how well you can sing it and bring it? We are proud to announce Atlanta’s first-ever team-based karaoke league at Venkman’s! Starting May 5th Venkman’s will begin hosting an official league night every Thursday starting at 9pm  with the season concluding on June 23rd. Groups of 6-8 players compete over an 8 week season comprised of a 7 week regular season and a one day playoff. Cost for teams of 8 is $25 per team member for an 8 week season. For official rules, please visit Venkman’s league rules page and visit Venkman’s official site to register. Grab your crew and head to Venkman’s to show off your talents this summer!

740 Ralph McGill Blvd NE, Atlanta, GA 30312

venkmans.com | 470.225.6162

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MAY 23 | TABLE & MAIN | SOUTHERN FOODWAYS ALLIANCE PIGGY BANK DINNER

Mark your calendar for a night of Southern goodness! “Drinks for Dinner” will be held Monday, May 23 at 6:30 p.m. at Table & Main. Welcome reception with signature cocktail and passed hors d’oeuvres will begin at 6:30 p.m. and dinner will begin at 7 p.m. The participating chefs will create a one-of-a-kind dish to pair with the signature cocktails prepared by mixologist Greg Best of Ticonderoga Club. Guest chefs include Woolery Back – Table & Main, Richard Neal – 5 & 10, Jason Paolini – Linton’s in the Garden, Zeb Stevenson – Watershed on Peachtree, and pastry chef Vivian Lee – Osteria Mattone. Tickets are $135 per person (including tax and gratuity), and include a five-course dinner with cocktail pairings provided by Greg Best of Ticonderoga Club. To purchase tickets, visit http://brownpapertickets.com/event/2543130.

1028 Canton St, Roswell, Ga. 30075

tableandmain.com  | 678.869.5178

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MAY 25 | VENKMAN’S | FREE MUSIC PARTY

You may have heard already, but just in case you’ve been living under a rock… Venkman’s is now offering free shows every night before 10:00 p.m.! Never pay for early shows, brunch shows, ATL Karaoke League, Jazz Jam or other programming before 10:00 p.m. any night, weekends included. News this big can only mean one thing: Venkman’s is throwing a party to celebrate! And guess what? The party is free, too!! On Wednesday, May 25, come see Amy McCarley at 7:00 p.m. and enjoy a few new sandwiches from Chef Nick Melvin – a burger, chicken and veggie option, all grilled on the Venkman’s Big Green Egg on the patio. Chef Melvin will be sending out platters of these new Wednesday night specials from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. for the low, low price of “on the house,” and cans of Monday Night Brewing Slap Fight IPA will be available for $3! Every night at Venkman’s is a party, but they can’t all be Free Music parties! Make your reservation today, and don’t forget to tip the band!

740 Ralph McGill Blvd NE, Atlanta, GA 30312

venkmans.com | 470.225.6162

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MAY 26 | ONE EARED STAG | ROSÉ DINNER

The last Thursday in May, One Eared Stag is reprising one of Atlanta’s most delightful summer traditions: Chef Robert Phalen is again serving his popular Rosé Dinner. On Thursday, May 26 at 7:30 p.m., lucky diners will begin their five course dinner on the patio featuring rosé pairings , creative seasonal dishes and a communal, summer evening setting. The dinner costs $80 per person and reservations can be made by calling One Eared Stag at 404-525-4479. Please reserve early as seats are expected to sell out. Should it rain, the dinner will be moved inside.

1029 Edgewood Ave. NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30307

oneearedstagatl.com | 404.525.4479

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DAILY | OSTERIA MATTONE | PER Il VOSTRO PIACERE

Looking for the perfect spot to grab a leisurely but delicious lunch? Stop by Osteria Mattone to dine in the casual osteria style side of the restaurant and enjoy their daily two course lunch special with selections per your pleasure! Choose between the soup of the day or a salad for the first course and then your choice of pizza, piada, or panini for the second. All combinations are only $15.

1095 Canton St, Roswell, Ga. 30075

osteriamattone.com | 678.878.3378

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DAILY | VINE & TAP | $1 OYSTERS

Vine & Tap serves $1 oysters from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. EVERY DAY! Available indoors or on the Lenox Road-facing patio, there’s no better way to enjoy the happiest hours in Atlanta – and no better beverage selection to pair with your oysters. Did we mention that the oysters are $1 every day – including weekends?!

2770 Lenox Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30324

vineandtapatl.com | 404.600.5820

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WEEKDAYS | LIVINGSTON RESTAURANT + BAR | PRONTO LUNCH

Don’t sacrifice flavor for time anymore, Atlantans. Livingston Restaurant + Bar has rolled out a brand new Pronto Lunch that is perfect for your limited lunch break. Served Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., guests can enjoy delicious salads, soups, and sandwiches in no time at all. Dine on Terrace Chicken Salad with smoked almonds on local field greens or a hearty Smoked Brisket Cheese Steak Sandwich.  Livingston’s Pronto Lunch will be served in conjunction with their regular lunch menu. Whether you only have thirty minutes or you have two hours, Livingston Restaurant + Bar will be your new favorite place to dine.

659 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30308

livingstonatlanta.com 404.897.5000

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WEEKDAYS 3-5 p.m.| THE PINEWOOD | $5 BURGERS

End your workday with The Pinewood $5 burger happy hour! Stop in between 3:00-5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday for a single patty stack. Bonus: Pair with our half off Whiskey Wednesdays for a $10 cocktail and burger combo!

For more information, call us at 404.373.5507.

254 W Ponce de Leon Ave, Decatur, Ga. 30030

www.pinewoodtr.com

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POWER HOUR | JP ATLANTA | WEEKDAY FOOD & DRINK SPECIALS 5:30-6:30pm

Looking for somewhere to wind down after a long work day? Pull up a chair at JP Atlanta weekdays from 5:30-6:30 pm for Power Hour at one of Atlanta’s newest restaurants. Our lineup of food and drink specials will help you decompress in an inviting downtown setting with 2 hour complimentary valet parking. Executive Chef Julio Delgado offers his popular JP Burger for only $5, alongside a menu of delicious bites and cocktails for an unbeatable price! JP Atlanta is located at 230 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30303.

www.JP-Atlanta.com | 404.523.4004

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WEEKNIGHTS | ONE EARED STAG | $1 BEER AND OYSTERS

How much selling do we really have to do here? One Eared Stag is serving up 7 oz. Miller High Life pony bottles and fresh oysters on the half shell for $1 each, Monday through Friday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. throughout oyster season. The oyster selection changes daily and is based on what’s fresh and available from our sources, but the High Life is forever. This deal is only available at the bar, so get here early before it fills up!

1029 Edgewood Ave NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30307

oneearedstagatl.com404.525.4479

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MERC MONDAYS | THE MERCURY | ALL DAY DRINK SPECIALS

Pull up a chair at The Mercury’s bar or lounge and enjoy half priced cocktails all day long from our Classics menu. Open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., beverage director Julia Goglia curates a full service cocktail program rooted in approachability and familiarity updated with modern technique, house made ingredients and premium spirits. The Mercury’s Merc Monday specials range from $5-7. In a hurry? Take your cocktail to go! For more information, please visit www.TheMercuryATL.com. The Mercury is open daily for lunch and dinner, and is located at 675 Ponce de Leon Avenue NE Atlanta, GA 30308.

675 Ponce de Leon Avenue NE Atlanta, GA 30308

www.TheMercuryATL.com

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MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY| COOK HALL |PUNCH OUT AT 5

Work hangover: the feeling after long hours, days, or weeks of stressful and strenuous work, cured only by Punch Out at 5. Join Cook Hall every Monday through Friday from 5-7pm for $5 cups of boozy punch and small plate specials. What better way to lighten the work day blues than sharing delicious small bites from Chef David Gross and a drink or two with friends? This deal is only available at the bar, so get here early before it fills up!

Small plate menu:

Deviled Eggs. Country Ham, Tomato Dust

Popcorn Shrimp. Ranch Dressing

Crispy Shishito Peppers, Sea Salt, Lemon

Marinated Olives, Focaccia, Hummus

Home Made Ricotta, Local Honey, Olive Oil Flatbread

W Atlanta – Buckhead, 3377 Peachtree Rd. NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30326

cookhallatlanta.com | 404.523.3600

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MONDAYS | ONE EARED STAG | MONDAY NIGHT FRIED CHICKEN

Chef Robert Phalen is teaming up with Monday Night Brewing for One Eared Stag’s Monday Night fried chicken. Each order will be served with three pieces of chicken and two side items for only $15. Guest also have the option of upgrading a whole chicken for $22 and two whole chickens for $32. This event will take place every Monday night staring at 5p.m. what better way to enjoy your Monday night than with plate of Chef Phalen’s signature fried chicken and Monday Night Brewing.

1029 Edgewood Ave NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30307

oneearedstagatl.com404.525.4479

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TUESDAY | VENKMAN’S | JAZZ JAM WITH JOE GRANDSEN
Attention jazz fans!  Venkman’s is the new home of Atlanta’s most legendary jazz jam hosted by Joe Grandsen.  Every Tuesday night, Joe Grandsen and his house band will keep the smooth tunes going  all night long and visiting musicians are invited to bring in their own instrument and take the stage with the band. Dinner reservations begin at 5:30 p.m., sign-ups will begin around 8:30 p.m. and the music will start around 9:00 p.m. Everyone is welcome to jazz jam and the admission is free! Guests will also enjoy half-price bottles of wine and a happy hour from 5:30 until 7 p.m. with $2 PBRs, $5 well drinks and $7 classic cocktails. Don’t miss out on this exciting night full of jazz, booze and fun.

740 Ralph McGill Blvd NE, Atlanta, GA 30312

venkmans.com | 470.225.6162

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TUESDAY- THURSDAY & SUNDAY| OSTERIA MATTONE | BUILD YOUR OWN PIZZA

Open for both lunch and dinner service on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, Roswell’s favorite Italian eatery is offering a customizable pizza bar where diners can craft their own specialty pizzas using unique and seasonal ingredients. Stop by for a date or with friends and family to channel your inner chef. You can choose between a selection of sauces, fresh cheeses including mozzarella, taleggio, and pecorino, as well as unique toppings like grilled eggplant, arugula, shrimp, prosciutto, and more!

1095 Canton St, Roswell, Ga. 30075

osteriamattone.com | 678.878.3378

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TUESDAY- FRIDAY | WATERSHED ON PEACHTREE | MARTINIS ON PEACHTREE

If you’ve had a shaken, not stirred kind of day, don’t worry, Watershed on Peachtree has a happy hour you don’t want to miss! Tuesday through Friday evenings from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., Watershed offers five house made martinis for only $5 each served alongside small bites from Executive Chef, Zeb Stevenson. Pull up a seat at our bustling bar for an easy sipping cocktail or join a group of friends for a martini of two! Let’s mix, mingle, and martini!

1820 Peachtree Rd. NW, Atlanta, GA 30309

Watershedrestaurant.com | 404.809.3561

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TUESDAY-FRIDAY | VENKMAN’S | HAPPY HOUR

Skip the mind-numbing traffic and just head to Venkman’s new happy hour to wait out the rush. Starting March 8, Venkman’s will begin running their happy hour Tuesday through Friday from 5:30 until 7:00 p.m. Available at the bar and communal tables only, guests are invited to enjoy $6 offerings including Fried Pickles, Smoked Wings, Hummus and Pickle Boards and Daily Toasts, like delicious Smoked Ricotta Toast with Pickled Beets. Drink specials will also run during this time to top off the delicious food options.

740 Ralph McGill Blvd NE, Atlanta, GA 30312

venkmans.com | 470.225.6162

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TUESDAY – SUNDAY | OSTERIA MATTONE | LUNCH

Osteria Mattone offers a delectable selection of lunch choices Tuesday- Sunday from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Try one of our homemade pasta dishes or a crispy pressed piada alongside hand-cut fries. The menu highlights traditional Italian dishes from light salads to heartier entrees, plus our “Per Piaccere” two-course lunch special for $15. Whether you are looking for a causal lunch with friends or weekly business meeting, Osteria Mattone caters to your every need. Click here to view the full lunch menu!

1095 Canton St, Roswell, Ga. 30075

Restaurant Review: Brezza Cucina Brunch

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Happy Tuesday friends! Today I’m so excited to tell you about a delicious new restaurant in Atlanta located at Ponce City Market called Brezza Cucina. Described as 
Italian roots meet American influence this restaurant has quickly become one Atlanta’s best brunch spots. Celebrity chef Jonathan Waxman, who previously ran the celebrated Chez Panisse in San Francisco, placed fourth out of 22 cheftestepants on Top Chef: Masters in 2010, and is launching restaurants across North America, tapped former Optimist executive chef Adam Evans to head his first Atlanta restaurant.

Last week I had the pleasure of trying out Brezza Cucina’s famous brunch. The restaurant has an open kitchen which gives it a welcoming, fun atmosphere. Sticking to its Italian roots, Brezza offers delicious brunch cocktails like mimosa rossa, campari mimosa and peach sangria. I went with the campari mimosa which was primaterra prosecco, campari and orange juice. Yum!

Next we got to try a few of their starters- moist banana bread, french toast and the jw kale salad. I highly recommend getting all three of these when you visit for brunch- absolutely phenomenal. Chef Adam also brought out a beautiful radish salad on whipped butter. He told me that it’s a special dish he only puts on the menu when a local farmer brings the radishes!

Following the starters we moved onto a few entrees which included pizza with farm eggs, pancetta, béchamel, vidalia onions, fresno chili and a bucatini alla carbanara, pancetta, egg yolk, parmesan cheese. Chef Adam also sent out fresh oysters and breakfast potatoes. Everything was divine!

Last and certainly not least was dessert- ice cream and donuts! The different flavors were vanilla, chocolate sea salt, blueberry and strawberry. My favorite was the strawberry but my friends really loved the chocolate as well. But the true winner was the donuts with caramel dipping sauce.

On top of this amazing menu, Brezza Cucina has also launched a new buffet-style Sunday brunch offering this past weekend. Moving forward on Sundays, sample all-you-can-eat Southern-inspired dishes such as buttermilk pancakes topped with seasonal fruit and shrimp and grits, paired with Brezza’s signature items like baked frittata, kale salad and a savory antipasto plate featuring salumi, country ham and soppressata.

The regular a la carte brunch menu will still be available on Saturdays. The Sunday brunch buffet is available for $24 per person and $12 (for kids 12 and under). Both Saturday and Sunday brunch are available from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Salute!

 

Xo,

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Exploring South Carolina: An Agricultural Adventure

The following travel post was sponsored. All thoughts and photography are my own.
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When you think about traveling to South Carolina, what comes to mind? Perhaps the beautiful beaches of Hilton Head or the culinary city of Charleston. Well what if I told you there’s much more to explore in South Carolina that is more affordable, and off the beaten path? Today I want to share my wonderful agricultural weekend through South Carolina.
A few weeks ago my best friend and I took a bestie trip unlike any other. We met some amazing people, ate fresh food and got to meet farmers passionate about what they do. Want to take the same trip? Here is an Exploring South Carolina Guide by yours truly.

Day 1: Traveling to South Carolina

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Travel Note: The best part about South Carolina is that it’s relatively close to Atlanta. If you get out before traffic, you can easily make the first leg of the trip in less than three hours.
Where to stay: Inn on the Square, Greenwood South Carolina
This cozy boutique hotel is the quintessential way to start your trip in the south. Located in the middle of town, it is walking distance from cute shops and restaurants.
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Where to eat: Stay in and eat the hotels restaurant, The Carriage House Restaurant. They offer a delectable menu of French and American fare with creative, seasonal dishes. Within an atmosphere of southern elegance and class, their attentive staff provides exceptional service.
Foodie Note: I highly recommend ordering their Low County Cobbler cocktail (Hendrick’s Gin & Peach Brandy with fresh-squeezed lemon juice, and muddled raspberries), crispy calamari and the Herb Encrusted Lamb over Gnocchi. Everything is made in house and is phenomenal! And just wait until you see the incredible price point- you’ll want to drive in every weekend just to eat here.

Day 2: Let the Adventure Begin

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Start your day out with a healthy breakfast at the hotel {it’s complimentary} then pack your bags and hit the road.
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First Stop: Emerald Farms, Greenwood South Carolina
Who wouldn’t want to start their day with baby goats and fresh air? Emerald farm is especially perfect for those with little ones because not only does it have friendly animals, but it also has a train room! With 75 acres of beautiful rolling pasture, Emerald Farms allows visitors to experience the basic elements of life.
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Where to Eat: Old Edgefield Grill, Edgefield South Carolina
Sourcing all their produce from local farms, this restaurant offers a wide array of fresh dishes. Set in a Victorian House built in 1906, the grill gives you a true Southern experience. It has been featured in famous magazines like Southern Living for its beauty and great cuisine.
Foodie Note: I went with their chicken salad and it was some of best I have ever had. It was served over a bed of greens, strawberries and came with homemade toast.
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Second Stop: Titan Farms, Ridge Spring
Being a huge peach lover {does my blog name make it obvious?} we had to make a stop at Titan Farms, the largest peach grower on the east coast-with over 5,000 acres of peaches in production! They also have 385 acres of bell pepper and 325 acres of broccoli.
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Third Stop: Windy Hill Orchard , York South Carolina
Windy Hill Orchard is a family owned and operated boutique apple orchard and Hard Cider producer located in the upstate of South Carolina. Open every fall from Mid August until Christmas they offer visitors, Award Winning Hard CidersPick Your Own Apples, Fresh Pressed Apple Cider, Fresh Made Apple Products and much much more.
Foodie Note: I strongly {STRONGLY} recommend ordering their seasonal cider {for us it was blueberry} and an order of the Apple Cider donuts. I kid you not, best donuts I have ever had!
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Where to Eat: The Garden Cafe, York South Carolina
This adorable little restaurant is the perfect spot to end your day with. With an extensive menu, The Garden Cafe has something for the whole family.

Day 3: Final Day of Exploring

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First Stop: Sanders Peach Stand and Roadside Market, York South Carolina
This was truly the highlight of our trip because we got meet the famous Miss Dori Sanders. Miss Dori was the epitome of a southern lady- beautiful, hospitable and gracious. We had the pleasure of chatting with her and learning more about her life as a peach farmer.
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Where to Eat: The Pump House, Rock Hill Souther Carolina
This unique restaurant is situated over the Catawba River and was actually once a pump house! The Pump House Restaurant features the freshest ingredients prepared by accomplished local chefs who know what great food is all about.
Foodie Note: Request to sit outside {if weather permits} and order the Chicken and Waffles. Yum!
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Final Stop: Kayaking in Goodale State Park, Camden South Carolina
While all things must come to an end, it’s always a good idea to end them on a high note. We spent our last few hours at Goodale State Park paddling through the gorgeous bald cypress trees in total serenity. It’s on the way back to Atlanta, so if you’re taking our trip I’d highly suggest ending this way. It gave us the opportunity to decompress and relax before starting a busy week.
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 As you can see there is a tremendous amount to see and do in South Carolina. Every stop along the way was unique and special to us. One of the things that stood out the most is how passionate every person we met was about their state and about their jobs. Our tour guide at Titans Farms, Mazio, said it best when he told us “If you love what you do for a living, it is not work- it’s fun. And if you don’t like what you do, then just leave it behind.”
Happy exploring pretty friends!
Xo,
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Menguin: The New Way to Rent a Tux

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Happy Wednesday pretty friends! Today’s post is all about the men in our lives. For any of you who have ever helped your handsome partner rent a tux, you can agree that it can be a pain. Sometimes when you get the tux something will be too short, too snug, or sloppy and since traditional suit/tuxedo vendors typically allow for pickup only 48 hours before the big event, there isn’t a lot of time for a plan B.

This exact scenario happened to my little brother during my wedding. The day before my big day, he was scheduled to go pick up his tux from the retailer we went through. When we got there his tux did not fit- enter panic mode. Fortunately it all worked out but that was added stress none of us needed. Well let me tell you about the solution to all these problems and an amazing concept- introducing Menguin.

Menguin is “the new way to rent a tux”. With the largest inventory in the US, 6 national distribution centers and 24-7 customer service, Menguin is the best online tuxedo solution.  So how exactly does Menguin work?

Step 1: Build Your Own Tux

You can customize just about everything on your tux style online. Menguin has the highest quality suits for rental — plus color matching on accessories. Their online customization and fitting tools save you time and hassle versus the old way of doing things.

With prices starting at $89 and no compromise in quality, Menguin offers incredible style for a deal.

Step 2: Tux Gets Shipped

Your Menguin box gets shipped (filled with jacket, pants, shoes and everything else you selected) 10-11 days before your event from one of their 6 national distribution centers.

This ensures that there is plenty of time to send a replacement if you need any fit adjustments. All replacements are 100% free.

Step 3: Try It On

Using their proprietary fit algorithm, they ask you a few basic questions, and they can fit your rental suit or tux as though it were tailored to you. As an additional step, their expert sizing specialists personally review each order and reach out in the event of fit questions to guarantee a perfect fit.

Once you receive your suit or tux, try it on. If anything doesn’t fit to your liking, they’re available 24/7 and will ship free replacements. Fast.

Step 4: Strut In Your Tux

And now the fun part- enjoy your tux!! After your night of glory, just slap the included prepaid return label on the box and drop it off at your hotel or a UPS. They even include the packing tape. That’s tuxedo rental made easy!!

Too good to be true? Well it’s not my friends. This is the future of renting a tux- easy and accurate. Make sure to give Menguin in mind for your next formal, wedding or high fashion event!

Xo,

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Today’s post sponsored by Menguin, but all opinions and photography are my own.

Acorn Disclosure


Welcome Nando’s Peri-Peri Hot Sauce

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Happy Tuesday pretty friends! Today I have some big news to share with all you hot sauce connoisseur’s- Peri-Peri has officially hit the USA! Not familiar with Peri-Peri hot sauce- no worries- you can actually get your own free bottle by clicking here. Pretty amazing, right? And to celebrate their big arrival, Nando’s is throwing a 10-day pop-up party on the BeltLine to introduce Atlanta to the most famous sauce you’ve never heard of.

From Thursday May 5 to Saturday May 14, Nando’s will transform the Atlanta Beltline Bicycle warehouse into a vibrant party space and will kick off festivities with a Braai, a traditional South African party involving friends, fire and delicious Nando’s food. In addition, Nando’s surprise-and-delight teams have been leaving artfully designed packages of PERi-PERi sauce—bearing postmarks from Nando’s home in southern Africa—on the doorknobs of 40,000 fortunate souls in Midtown, the Old Fourth Ward, Decatur and other Atlanta neighborhoods.

The Nando’s pop-up, at 151 Sampson Street on the Beltline, started with an Instagram meetup on Thursday May 5. On Friday, Justin Anthony, master chef behind Atlanta’s Cape Dutch, 10 Degrees South and Biltong Bar, manned the grills at a killer Braai and helped tell the story of Nando’s.  Anthony grew up within walking distance of one of the very first Nando’s restaurants in his hometown of Johannesburg, and will share his love of PERi-PERi. “You can say I’m mildly obsessed. I grew up eating Nando’s pretty much every day,” he said.

My husband and I had the pleasure of attending one of Nando’s festive brunches. We were welcomed by friendly faces and fun music. We sat around drinking mimosas and enjoying the company of fellow Atlanta foodies. When brunch was served we were escorted the the beautifully transformed Atlanta Beltline Bicyle shop. It was my first time trying Peri-Peri hot sauce and I was quickly hooked. I went with their Garlic Flavor which was a perfect mix of bold garlic flavors with vinegary hot sauce. Delicious!

Nando’s PERi-PERi sauce is packed with flavor because it is made with sun-ripened lemons, onion, a dash of garlic and blended with our special ingredient – the African Bird’s Eye Chilli pepper. PERi-PERi (Swahili for ‘pepper pepper’) is the heart and soul of Nando’s PERi-PERi and the secret ingredient behind our 1,200 restaurants worldwide. One bite, and you will be hooked.

The 10-day Nando’s PERi-PERi pop-up will feature:

– The first time that Nando’s succulent PERi-PERi chicken—marinated for 24 hours and flame-grilled to perfection—will be served in Atlanta

– Local delicacies including PERi-PERi infused Old 4th Distillery Vodka and popsicles from King of Pops

–  Atlanta artists including DJ Santiago and muralist and illustrator Barry Lee

– Special Braais for local musicians, artists, foodies, fitness gurus and South African ex-pats

– Chicken and waffles brunches featuring PERi-PERi Bloody Marys

Why Atlanta?
Nando’s is heating up Atlanta to celebrate the wide availability of PERi-PERi in Atlanta supermarkets. Atlanta also has a thriving community of South African ex-pats and a long tradition of loving chicken. Put it all together and we just know Atlantans will become Nando’s fans!
Flavor and Fire in a Bottle
All of Nando’s PERi-PERi comes from southern Africa. No place on earth has more perfect soil and sunshine to grow the African Bird’s Eye Chilli. At the PERi-farm, we wait till these chillies are at their reddest, fiery best. Then we handpick them, dry them and crush them. We’ve just turned chillies into PERi-PERi.

Today, Nando’s PERi-PERi is the biggest ‘hot sauce’ from Britain to Australia to South Africa. Not that we’re a ‘hot sauce’. A hot sauce burns and nothing else. Nando’s range of PERi-PERi sauces combine flavor with varying degrees of heat that will satisfy everyone from the most timid PERi-PERi beginner to fiery heat seekers. With a range of flavors, you can choose your heat before you eat!

Nando’s PERi-PERi Sauce Now Available in 10,000 US Locations
You’ll find Nando’s PERi-PERi in the condiment aisle in over 10,000 of the nation’s biggest retailers, including Safeway, Kroger, Fresh Market, Walmart, Publix and more.

#PeriPeriYourChicken
You might call us biased (we are), but we think PERi-PERi sauce is the best thing that could happen to chicken. First-timers can be timid at first. They splash a bit on a plate and dab their finger in. Soon they are cooking chicken every night just to eat Nando’s PERi-PERi sauce.

Made from fresh ingredients, our PERi-PERi sauces contain no artificial preservatives, no artificial colors, no artificial flavors and no added MSG. They’re also gluten-free, kosher and suitable for vegetarians. For more information, please visit www.nandosperiperi.com/sauces, or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/NandosUSA. #PERiPERiYourChicken. To buy online, please visit http://shop.nandosperiperi.com/

Enjoy!

 

Xo,

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Sudio Earphone Collection

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Happy Thursday pretty friends! I am heading to the beach next week and already packing my bags for it. A few things you will always find in my beach bag include- a good book, sunscreen, sunnies and earphones. And I found the most beautiful earphones straight from Sweden- introducing Sudio.

Sudio is a Swedish lifestyle brand which makes elegant earphones and offers studio quality sound. Their aim is to introduce earphones that are considered not only an electronic product, but a stylish and preppy accessory. The timeless elegant design is suitable for every day of the week, regardless if you are listening to music on your way to a black tie event or enjoying a sunny day in shorts and a polo. The Sudio sound piece will be your elegant companion.

A product should be intuit and ready to use at all time. You can see an example of their philosophy being employed in their stay-in-ear feature which let the user wear the earphones like an accessory around the neck – ready to use at all time. Stayin-ear prolongs lifetime as the earphones wears out every time they are squeezed down in one’s pocket.

Sudio earphones come in a range of colors from white to pretty pink- there is a style for anyone. Being the girly girl that I am, I of course had to go with the pink earphones. These earphones provide quality sound, 8 hours of freedom, that is what Vasa Blå is all about. Pair up with your phone and take calls with the built in microphone and control your phone with the remote. The Vasa Blå is compatible with all Bluetooth devices. Pretty neat right?

With so many colors to pick from, which one will you go with? Use promo code ptp15 to save 15% off your total today! Happy listening pretty friends!

Xo,

 

 

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I was kindly gifted these beautiful earphones but all opinions in this post are my own

Ponce City Market

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If you were to ask anyone in Atlanta “where is the best place to visit right now?”- they’d immediately say Ponce City Market. Resembling Chelsea Market in NYC, Ponce is a mixed-used development located in a historic 2,100,000-square-foot building. The classic structure, which is the area’s largest adaptive reuse project, has been reinvented as a vibrant community hub housing the Central Food Hall, various shops, flats and offices, all while pointing back to the roots of its inception. The market infuses vigor and excitement into this historically-significant structure, located in one of Atlanta’s most cherished neighborhoods.

What I love most about Ponce is that I can spend all day there and never get bored. With so much to offer, each time you visit is an adventure! Here is my little guide to getting the most out of Ponce City Market on your next visit-

Atlanta, GA Ponce City Market Guide

9:00 AM: Good morning! So much to explore but first…coffee from Spiller Park Coffee. I highly recommend the iced vanilla latte {taste like ice cream}.

9:45 AM: Grab a breakfast chicken biscuit from Hops Chicken.

10:30AM: Time to walk that breakfast off- head over to Mountain High Outfitters and rent a bike to ride around the beltline! Take advantage of the Beltline Bike Valet to park your bike while you’re inside! If you don’t bike you can always just walk around the beltline!

12:30 PM: You’ve worked up an appetite after biking- head over to Brezza to grab some well deserved lunch. I highly recommend the strawberry salad. Such a great, healthy option!

1:30PM: Save room for dessert! Grab a delicious, house made Honeysuckle Gelato! I recommend trying their milkshakes {to die for}.

2:00 PM: Time to shop! Spend the rest of the afternoon shopping at stores like my favorite, Archer Paper Goods.

Full of energy, Ponce showcases some of the best retailers and restaurants Atlanta has to offer. From big retailers like J.Crew, Anthropolgie, West Elm- to local shops like Citizen Supply and Sugarboo- Ponce has something for everyone.

Xo,

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#AerieReal

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Aerie Blue Off-the-shoulder Swim Top // Aerie Floppy Hat // Aerie Cat Eye Sunnies // Aerie Swim Cover Up // Swoozies Donut Float // Swoozie Corkcicle Peach Canteen 

Happy Thursday pretty friends! Today I want to share my favorite shoot featuring some amazing vendors! This shoot is extremely special to me because it was also for a great cause. I teamed up with Aerie to support there “love the swim you’re in” campaign. When you post your unretouched swim photos with #AerieREAL, Aerie will donate $1 (up to $30K) to NEDA, a non-profit that supports those affected by eating disorders.

The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is the leading 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization in the United States advocating on behalf of and supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders. Reaching millions every year, they campaign for prevention, improved access to quality treatment, and increased research funding to better understand and treat eating disorders. They work with partners and volunteers to develop programs and tools to help everyone who seeks assistance.

Pretty awesome that Aerie would partner with NEDA, right? But it goes much further than this campaign, Aerie is promoting body positivity. As women we are our toughest critics and sometimes can be too hard on ourselves. I personally struggled with this because I was always so much smaller than everyone else. When I was younger I actually had to drink supplements because I was underweight. I was always picked on for being too small and was even told I wasn’t a real woman because I was too tiny. Fortunately I surrounded myself with positive friends and married a man who thinks I am beautiful. The older I have gotten the more confident I have become with my body and encourage other women to learn to love themselves!

For this shoot I worked with some of the Atlanta’s finest- Shelby Rae Photographs took the photos at the St. Regis Hotel in Buckhead. As you can see by the photos this hotel is stunning! We had so much fun playing in their pool and fountain. The hotel brings a classic, but reinterpreted, residential feel to this unique area known for its shopping and restaurant scene. The hotel’s Remède Spa and 40,000 square-foot Pool Piazza is a center of relaxation as well as activity, offering a billiards room, glowing fireplace, Jacuzzi and poolside bar. Guests enjoy superb cuisine and the option of 24-hour private dining, and whenever requested, bespoke services of a St. Regis Butler. Make your reservation online now, call (866) 716-8116 or click here to book online.

And what pool or beach trip isn’t complete without a donut floatie and tropical drinks?! Good thing Swoozies is a one-stop shop for all your summer party needs! Even though they have tons of floats for the pool {swans, burgers, pineapples} my favorite is the donut. I can’t wait to use this float all summer!! What float are you getting this year?

A special thanks to my darling friend Linda Margarita for doing my hair and makeup. This lady is one of the most talented makeup + hair artist I know. Make sure you check her out for all your beauty needs!

And a huge thanks to the very talented Shelby from Shelby Rae Photographs for taking these pictures.  She is currently booking weddings, fashion shoots, portraits and headshots so hurry and shoot her an email (shelbyraephotographs@gmail.com) for a quote. Trust me friends, you won’t find a better photographer out there.

P.S- this WHOLE look can be yours for under $100 {steal!!}. Click on the links under the photos to see how affordable each piece is!

Xo,

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