Summer Bucket List & Atlanta Summer Bucket List

We are gearing up for SUMMER! Fall is my favorite season, but summer is close to my heart. It’s my time to spend with my kids — making memories, reinforcing values, focusing on Christ-like behavior and studying His word, and family bonding time.

We sat down the other night and made a list of the special things we wanted to do this summer. Then I put them all together to hang on on fridge.

Here’s our Summer Bucket List:

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  • Vacation
  • Sleepovers
  • Catch Fireflies
  • $1 Movies
  • Baseball Games
  • Homemade Ice Cream
  • Night Swimming
  • Play in the Rain
  • Watch Fireworks
  • Water Park
  • Ride Roller Coasters
  • Outdoor Concert
  • Read Good Books
  • Ice Cream for dinner
  • Hikes
  • Go to the Park
  • Play in the Sprinkler
  • Make Lemonade
  • Family Time
  • Build a Fort
  • Outdoor Movies
  • Make Popsicles
  • Bowling and Laser Tag
  • Family Game Night
  • Laser Show

    I also made an Atlanta Summer Bucket List.

    //assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.jsYou can print either of them by right clicking on the picture. Enjoy!
    Happy Summer!

    Dressing with Southern Class (& a little bit of sass!)

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    1. Pearls go with everything. A nice, quality set of pearls is basic piece in every southern wardrobe. Pearls can be worn everywhere from work or a wedding to a baby shower, church, or picnic. Pearls never go out of style and can be passed down through generations. Pair your necklace or earrings with a dress or jeans. You’ll look and feel fabulous with them on.
    Sterling Silver and White A-Quality Freshwater Cultured Pearl Necklace (7.5-8mm), 18″

    2. Monogram it.
    If you liked it, then you should’ve put a monogram on it! Southern ladies like to add a monogram to shirts, workout shorts, handbags, and sheets. You can even add a monogram to your wall! I love this timeless monogram necklace.
    Sterling Silver Fancy Monogram Necklace (18 Inches)

    3. Timeless pieces mixed with modern and trendy accessories. The basis of any great southern wardrobe are timeless pieces that you can mix and match. Find ways to bring colorful, modern, and trendy patterns into your wardrobe with accessories!

    4. Fun with classic lines. Think Lilly Pulitzer fabrics . Think Seersucker suit. We do like to have fun with a playful pattern! Southern gents have been known to wear shorts in all sorts of tongue-in-cheek patterns. The important thing to remember is that pieces should always have classic, modest lines. Have fun, but command respect!
    Lilly Pulitzer Women’s Janice Shift

    5. Modest and tasteful.
    Let’s face it. Modern jeans that make your figure look fantastic while standing up, don’t always step up to the job while you are sitting down or bending over. The same can be said for semi-sheer to sheer tops or tops with lower cut necklines. A southern lady leaves certain areas to the imagination. I personally own several of these tank tops and wear one almost every day. They help cover areas that jeans and tops can leave exposed. As an added bonus, these tanks make all of your curves feel fantastic. (i.e. Not jiggly!)
    Sugar Lips Seamless Rib Tank Top, Black, One-Size

    6. Dress for the occasion.
    Knowing exactly what to wear for each occasion can leave you feeling panicked and unsure of yourself. Black tie, white tie. Formal, business casual. Company picnic, baseball game. It’s important to know what is appropriate and how to make a good impression at all times. Check out this fantastic guide:
    A Guide to Elegance: For Every Woman Who Wants to Be Well and Properly Dressed on All Occasions

    7. Always support your team, your sorority, and your school.
    Southerners are known to support their colleges, sororities, and fraternities for life! A SEC football game is an opportunity for every southerner to bring out the preppiest of fashions in their school colors. I personally love this shirt. Because, well, it *is* home…til the day I die, y’all!
    Homeland Tees Women’s Georgia Home State T-Shirt

    Keep it classy, y’all!
    XOXO,
    Abby

    This post contains links to amazon affiliate ads.

    Thanksgiving Tradition: Ornament Exchange

    We like what we like. Fifteen years ago I was the type of person that had to have everything a certain way. Everything had to be just so. No deviation from tradition was allowed. Thank goodness, I’ve mellowed. (Depending on who you ask!)

    Traditions are important. Our children need them. Our society needs them. Our country certainly needs them. In our family the Thanksgiving meal is very traditional. If there aren’t certain dishes on the table, the crowd will find ways to politely suggest we return to the tried and true ones that we love. (Side note: the Year of the Turducken didn’t go over very well.) For more on our favorite Thanksgiving meal, go to this post here.

    On the flip side, if we shut ourselves out to new traditions we may inadvertently miss out on some wonderful memories. Notice, we did *try* the Turducken. Traditions all had to begin somewhere. In fact, some of the things my own kids insist that we have to do every year during the holidays, I never intended to be a yearly tradition.

    My best friend has a wonderful tradition with her family. The ladies all exchange ornaments for their tree on Thanksgiving. They try to come up with something significant to the events of the year. What a lovely idea! Starting the holiday season (No, I am not including the weeks in between Halloween and Thanksgiving!!) with a small gesture is simple and thoughtful.

    A few years down the road, I’m still trying to get the new tradition to catch on with my own extended family. (Ahem, get on it, ladies!) I try to pick out an ornament that they might like. It’s just my way of saying, “In this hectic time of year, dear sister/mother/sister-in-law, I’m thinking of you.”

    XOXO,
    Abby

    Fall Antique Festivals in the South

     

    Hooray! Hooray! One of my favorite times of year is here — fall. Not only does it mean mulling spices and pumpkin everything, it also means fall antique festival season is here. And that, my friends, is almost as yummy as a pumpkin spice muffin with my pumpkin spice latte while my pumpkin spice candle is burning. Ahhhhhh, sweet heaven on earth…antique festivals.
     
     
    Below is a list of festivals that are on my radar. I am more than happy to add your favorite to my list and get it some publicity. Please email or leave a comment and I’ll add it to my list. The only requirements are that #1 It’s an antique festival #2 It’s in the fall. #3 It’s in the South. (Nothing against our neighbors to the north of the Mason Dixon Line, but that’s the theme of my blog, after all.)
     
     
    Crabapple Fest Antique & Art Festival (One of my faves! One day only.)
    Milton, GA
    October 5th10-6
     
    Clinch River Antiques Festival
    Clinton, TN
    October 11 & 12
     
    Georgia Apple Festival (This is an apple festival, but the town of Ellijay where it is held has some fantastic antique stores. Have a blast at the apple festival and stop at the stores before you leave.)
    October 12-13; 19-20
    Elligay, Ga
     
    The Chapel Market
    October 19, 2013
    Pike Road, Alabama
     
    Braselton Antique & Holiday Festival
    October 26 & 27 Besides the festival, there are 5 antique shops within one block of the festival.
     
    Country Living Fair
    October 25-27
     
    Scott Antique Markets
     
    Raleigh Flea Market
    Tuesdays, Saturdays, Sundays 9-6
     
     
    Lakewood 400 Antiques Market
     
    I hope you have a blast antiquing this fall. Be sure to stop by my Facebook page and post some pictures of the treasures you get.
    XOXO,
    Abby
     
     
    

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    Blueberry Investment: Blueberry Pie

    The birds left a few blueberries for us to eat. We only have two bushes, so when we manage to actually get some ripe berries before the birds, I really try to use them wisely. I froze several small baggies for smoothies or for using in muffins. We ate a quart or so for snacking, and the kids ate a bunch off of the bushes. After that, I’ve been hoarding them. I wanted to make something delicious and I knew that would require a great investment of blueberries.

    This is what 5 cups of blueberries looks like. For what? A pie. I don’t know why it had to be a pie. I’ve never baked one before. Which is ridiculous, considering the number of pie plates that I own. I looked on the web for the easiest, simplest recipe that I could find. I picked this one.

    Pour one tablespoon of lemon juice over 5 cups of blueberries and set aside.

    Mix one cup of sugar, half a cup of all-purpose flour, 1/8 teaspoon salt, & 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.

    Add the blueberries and gently stir together to coat the berries. Next use pre-maid pie crust to cover the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate. Fill the crust with the berry mixture and dot with 2 tablespoons of butter. Use the remaining crust to cover the pie. Trim the edges, crimp, and cut slits to vent.

    I know, I know. It’s not pretty. But I did it! My first pie. And I didn’t burn it!

    You simply have to have it with some vanilla ice cream. So good.
    XOXO,
    Abby
    P.S. I hope one day my pies will be this beautiful. And isn’t this pie plate to die for? Love it. 

    Antiquing Vacation (Mom’s "vacation")

    What’s the difference between a trip and a vacation?

    A trip is with the kids, a vacation is without. 😉

    There’s a down-side to vacationing on a non-commercialized beach. Ask any mom stuck in her beach rental on rainy day, and you will have your answer simply by looking at the blank stare she gives you. So close, and yet so far away. See kids? Look at the beach! Look, but don’t touch!

    Historic Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida  

      We just got back from our family vacation to the lovely and oh so quiet Amelia Island, where there is only so much one can do on a rainy day full of thunderstorms. (Gee, thanks, Tropical Storm Andrea!) The nearby theater has 3 movies. Hangover 3 is not an option for 8 and 11 year olds, thank you very much. And a family of four can only stroll around Target for so long before it gets a little awkward with the employees. Nope, I really don’t need help finding anything. Just staring at the “ground beef” you’re selling because the thought of going back to the condo and being hen-pecked to death made me break out into a sweat. (Target sells “meat”?!?!)

    A little piece of paradise on Amelia Island, Florida

    The thought crossed my mind to dole out heavy doses of Benadryl and load everyone back up into the car in the middle of the night. Surprise! We’re home! Mommy’s not on “vacation” (i.e work outside of the home) anymore.

    Sensing the desperation in my eyes, my handsome and hunky husband suggested that we do a little “work.” Yeah for me, treasure hunting! Boo for the kids, they know this routine. ;P After a little “researching,” off we went.

    The kids really are pros and troopers. We made about a dozen stops. I love the thrill of the hunt, but there is a reason why it’s called “work.” Because it is.

    Don’t judge. It was storming. I was tired. And the hat was definitely necessary.
    My favorite find of the day is this jadeite Santa cookie jar. Isn’t he lovely?! Much to Ken’s surprise, I’m going to part with him. I do love my jadeite, but I know there’s a jadeite lover out there that will appreciate him just as much.

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    The moral of the story? Even a rainy day at the beach is better than a day away from the beach!
    XOXO,
    Abby

    This is currently for sale in my Etsy shop. Click “Etsy” for a link.

    Southern Easter Traditions

    Does your family ever play “remember when?” “Remember when Momma and Dad would take us to see Santa Claus every year at the mall?” “Remember when we would drive around looking at Christmas lights?” Traditions are important. Most families, regions, and countries have traditions that feed the culture of its people. The South is no different.

    Easter is a special time in the South. For generations every good and respectable family in the Bible Belt belonged to one of the town’s many church congregations. UMC, FBC, A&E, or Presbyterian – it wasn’t just a church. It was and is a community centered social gathering place. Easter being the most holy time in the church, Easter is also a time for Southerners to entertain, socialize, and carry on with traditions.

    • New church clothes are a given. Girls get new dresses. Always. And sometimes a sweet hat, too. Boys get new suits. In the South we love seersucker and bow ties. That’s as southern as it comes. 
    • Egg dying is done every year. Now there are kits to glitter and glitz your eggs or wrap them in camouflage shrink wrap. But egg dying used to be an art form that took hours, even days to complete.
    • Easter baskets that the Easter Bunny hides are essential for the kids. A chocolate bunny, jelly beans, and a sweet stuffed rabbit are most likely to be found in one of these.
    • Egg hunts are an opportunity to socialize, show off your Easter finest, and take priceless pictures. If you’ve seen the movie Steel Magnolias, you have seen what a true southern egg hunt is like.
    • Easter dinner. In the south we feed you. We’ll feed you at every opportunity. We love you with food. Easter dinner is a tradition all in its own. For more details on that check out my post here.
    • The highlight of Easter is our time spent at church. Families bring flowers from their gardens to add to the cross at church. Sunrise services are popular all around the South.

     I hope that you will feed your family with tradition. Feed their memories and “remember whens.” But also important, I hope that you will feed them with the meaning behind the traditions and why it is important to keep our traditions and culture alive.

    Hoppy Easter to you!
    XOXO,
    Abby

    P.S. Here is one of my favorite things to bring as a hostess gift! If you’re celebrating Easter at someone else’s home, don’t forget to bring them a little something.

    Photo Credits:  

    The Southern Easter Menu

    I love Springtime. If I could only find a sunny spot to sit in and let the warmth sink into my bones, I would. But this season of gray simply will not go away. Groundhog stew, anyone?

    Here it is time for Easter, and all of the Easter dresses are sleeveless, the sandals are open-toed, and the suits are made of thin cotton seersucker. Oh, where are you warm rays of sunshine?

    I wanted to share the traditional Southern Easter menu with you. Homes across the Deep South, as well as homes that long to be in the Deep South will spread these tried and true dishes on their family dining table to celebrate the Resurrection.

    Ham – The star of the show, try this wonderful Brown Sugar – Bourbon Glazed Ham from Southern Living.

    Southern Potato Salad – You simply must have this recipe in your back pocket for everything from Easter dinner to family barbeques. What makes it “southern?” Check out the recipe from Add A Pinch.

    Deviled Eggs – The perfect solution for what to do with all those dyed Easter eggs! The folks at Mr. Food have an egg-cellent recipe. There are so many ways to prepare deviled eggs. In addition to this traditional recipe, this year I’ll also be making some with hummus and some with guacamole.

    Ambrosia – Ambrosia literally means “food of the gods.” But if you ask me, it means “South in Your Mouth.” This traditionally southern food can be found at Easter dinner, picnics, barbeques, and bridal showers. Like so many of our southern recipes, this one varies from table to table. Here is a great version at The Country Cook that is simply lovely.

    Pineapple Upside-Down Cake – Don’t be fooled. The ambrosia was not considered your dessert. But a pineapple upside-down cake is! One of our family favorites and requested almost as much as banana pudding, here is a recipe from Southern Living that you can pass down to generations.

    Sweet Tea and Lemonade – Don’t forget to quench your thirst with these two southern staples. Return to Sundays Supper has a sweet (pun intended) recipe for lemonade that can’t be beat.

    Most of these dishes can be prepared in advance. If you are attending a church service, plan ahead so that you can come home and enjoy a beautiful stress-free luncheon.

    Hey Y’all, if you like this post and found it to be even the teensiest bit handy, would you please “pin” it? Please and thanks y’all.

    XOXO,
    Abby

    P.S. If you are taking deviled eggs to a dinner at someone else’s house, you really must have a deviled egg plate. Those suckers are slippery and won’t be pretty when you arrive. I like this one:

    Spring 2013 Antique Shopping in Georgia

    I’m over winter. Bring on SPRING! Bring on the sunshine! Bring on the warmer temps, estate sales, & antique fairs! 🙂

    Here are some Georgia shows that you may be interested in checking out:

    March

    8-9, 2013 Peaches to the BeachesGeorgia’s Longest Yard Sale. Thousands of visitors travel the parkway the second Friday and Saturday of March for the annual “Peaches to the Beaches” Yard Sale in search of antiques, collectibles, and hidden treasures.”

    10 – Greater Atlanta Coin Show at the Hilton Atlanta/Marietta Hotel and Conference Center

    15-17 Southeastern Horticultural Society – 2013 Flower Show & Antiques March at the Cobb Galleria Centre


    April

    13-14, 2013 The Revival of Vintage 100+ vintage vendors, expert-taught seminars, live music, and vintage-inspired food that will make you say ‘Hallelujah!.'”
    20-21, 2013 – Hogansville Spring Festival  Antiques, uniques, art, collectibles, arts & crafts, musicians and food vendors.   
    27-28, 2013 Braselton Antique & Garden Festival “Antiques, Collectibles, Local Artists, Primitives, Vintage Tools, Jewelry, Pottery, Iron Works, Gardening”



    May

    4-5, 2013 The Cotton Pickin’ FairReturn to 1910 where the Farmhouse, the Cotton Gin, and the Cotton Warehouse form a unique backdrop for a great day of 21st century fun.  Amidst skilled artisans and antique specialists, the Fair shares remnants of farm life in days gone by.  New talent keeps the  festival fresh and interesting while returning artists welcome loyal customers seeking to add to individual collections.”

    Monthly:

    Scott Antiques

    Woodstock Market and Antiques Fair 

    Happy junking to you!
    XOXO,
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    Top Romantic Restaurants in Atlanta

    If you’re planning a romantic evening for your special someone, here is a compilation of some restaurants that you may want to consider in and around the Atlanta area. Your evening will be much more memorable at one of these unique establishments than at a big-chain, outside-the-mall restaurant.

    Imperial Fez

    2285 Peachtree Road, NE, Atlanta, 30309
    404-351-0870

    Their website details your experience as, “traditional food from North Africa in an exotic dining environment. Guests dine on comfortable pillows and enjoy savory food eaten by hand. Shoes are left at the door and guests are magically transported to Morocco. It is a truly unique dining experience with nightly belly dancing performances starting at 7:30 p.m.”

    Fogo de Chao

    3101 Piedmont Road, Atlanta, 30305
    404-266-9988
    http://www.fogodechao.com/home/

    Fogo de Chao invites you to, “an authentic Brazilian steakhouse. In 1979, Fogo® began sharing the gaucho way of preparing meat in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Today, [their] gaucho chefs still expertly grill each of [their] 15 cuts of meat and offer you continuous tableside service. [They] invite you to enjoy the delicious preparations of our gaucho chefs along with our gourmet salad bar, authentic Brazilian side dishes, and award-winning wine list.”

    Ray’s on the River

    6700 Powers Ferry Road, Sandy Springs, GA 30339
    770-955-1187
    http://www.raysrestaurants.com/raysontheriver/

    “Ray’s on the River has been a beloved Atlanta fine dining tradition since 1984. Situated  along the Chattahoochee River, take in serene views and enjoy a menu filled with classic  Ray’s dishes, including fresh seafood flown in daily, prime cut steaks and regionally grown vegetables. [Their] award winning Sunday Brunch includes an array of more than 80 fresh  and seasonal items.”

    Sun Dial Restaurant

    210 Peachtree Street, Atlanta, 30303
    404-589-7506
    http://sundialrestaurant.com/

    “The Sun Dial Restaurant, Bar & View is Atlanta’s only tri-level dining complex featuring a revolving upscale restaurant, a rotating cocktail lounge and an observatory View Level offering a breathtaking 360-degree panorama of the magnificent Atlanta skyline. An Atlanta tradition, thousands of locals and tourists board the scenic glass elevators each year to climb the hotel’s 73 stories to The Sun Dial for its unbeatable views, classic cuisine, live jazz and relaxing ambiance.”

    Canoe

    4199 Paces Ferry Road, SE, Atlanta, 30339
    770-432-2663
    http://www.canoeatl.com/

    “Tucked away along the peaceful banks of the Chattahoochee River, yet conveniently located in the Atlanta community of Vinings lies one of the country’s most acclaimed restaurants. Balanced by both culinary expertise and natural aesthetics, Canoe offers a rich, flavorful experience for all your senses. One that has garnered numerous accolades, like being inducted into Nation’s Restaurant News 2005 Fine Dining Hall of Fame.”

    Veni Vidi Vici

    41 Fourteenth Street, Atlanta, 30309
    404-875-8424
    http://buckheadrestaurants.com/veni-vidi-vici/

    Hearty portions of handmade pasta, rotisserie meats and delectable desserts are signatures of this chic Italian trattoria. Located in the heart of midtown, Veni Vidi Vici is perfect for pre-theater dining or as a place to unwind and enjoy a relaxing meal. With its warm ambiance and attentive service, Veni Vidi Vici is a classic Italian experience at its best.”

    Swan Coach House

    3130 Slaton Drive, NW, Atlanta, 30305
    404-261-0636
    http://www.swancoachhouse.com/

    Traditionally a destination for lunch, the Valentine dinner with Southern flair is one of the exceptions. Enjoy a romantic and decadent feast in the carriage house of the Swan House estate.

    Calling ahead for reservations is recommended for all of these establishments. 

    “A true man does not need to romance a different girl every night. A true man romances the same girl for the rest of his life.” ~Ana Alas