Experiencing Snowmageddon in Hotlanta

Our favorite waitress at the General Muir once told Leo and I, “Atlanta is the only place where you can experience all four seasons in a week”.


Yep. That’s an accurate description. I wish someone had told us that, like, a year ago, because “Hotlanta” is a completely innacurate description of the weather in this city. (No one here actually calls it that so maybe that was the first hint).

It should be called: “Cold and Hotlanta”, or “Radlanta”, or “Really fucking indecisive Atlanta”, or “Hotlanta with a chance of ice”, or “I like to vary by 100F Atlanta”.

Experiencing Snowmageddon in Hotlanta

Does anyone remember Snowmageddon in Atlanta last year?

Snowmageddon was this terrible thing that happened when all of the streets and freeways in ATL froze over with millions of people stuck on freeways for hours. A few of the people I work with had to sleep in the office over night because they couldn’t get out. (Although I keep saying that the bright side is that they were the first to the office the next day.)

Now, the city is completely ill-prepared for any type of inclement weather: there aren’t enough snow machines to put ice down, there really isn’t enough snow that ever sticks, 132 square miles is too big to cover (not including metro ATL)… You get the idea. There’s a number of things against us here in ATL, and the biggest problem here on top of it all,  is ice.

Being from California, I have no idea what this means. In my narrow understanding of weather, I just through there were 4 categories: sunny, fog/cloudy, rain, and snow. There happens to be a variety of different categories within snow – sleet, freezing rain, ice, snow.

I know ya’ll are probably laughing at me, but there you go. I had no idea.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve started to experience some of this wonderful “inclement” weather, and to be honest, it’s pretty crazy. For example, I work 11 miles from the office – which in ATL traffic can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour – and when I left home it was raining, but by the time I got to work, it was snowing. Just 11 miles and a complete weather change.

Anyway, I FINALLY got my first snow day (WOOOOO!), which was the most anticlimactic snow day ever. We got released around 2pm so we could be on the road before the temperature dropped below freezing. There was freezing rain and huge snowflakes when I left, but then it stopped falling.

Thank goodness Verizon had our global emergency response team “actively monitoring the situation”. It was dramatic, yes. But compared to other businesses or schools, it was probably on the less dramatic side.

Emory, along with all the schools, completely shut down for 2 days. The governor declared a state of emergency, and there was No snow on the ground, no storming within the perimeter, but everything was shut.


Luckily I came home to a very prepared fiancé….

So there you have it. We survived our first ice storm, and we got to enjoy some great wine for our first snow day.

While I laughed at everyone freaking out about the weather, I do have to say I’m very grateful for the precautions because no one wants to spend 9 hours stuck on I400. Atlanta freeways are already a god-awful place.

I know we are not out of the clear quite yet, but here’s to hoping that we warm up quickly in March. Bring me that heat!!

In the meantime, best of luck to everyone in the Midwest and Northeast.


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What to Expect When Your Dog Gets Fixed

No one could have prepared me for Rexford losing his manhood – not even my own memory! If any of you have a puppy and are looking to get him/ her fixed, then here’s some tips that I wish I had known before I took our little man in! Also, feel free to add any tips about what you’ve done to help your pup in the comments below!

What to Expect When Your Dog Gets Fixed


On the Christmas of 1994 (AKA BEST CHRISTMAS EVER), my sister and I got our first puppy, Noel.  Noel was a minature black French poodle, who my mother insisted that we named her something “French”, because of our French heritage and because she was a French Poodle.

My mom’s first suggested the name “Chopin”, but I was 7 and my sister was 4, and that just seemed like a silly idea at the time.

noel the poodle

So, ‘Noel’ it was.

She was a sweet little terrorist, who loved to bark at anything that crossed the street, escape out of any backyard door she could squeeze her little body under (she got hit by a car twice and still survived), and perch herself atop the highest most fluffy couch pillow possible.

She also also got neutered. But somehow, my memory of her surgery was nothing close to what our poor little Rexford went through in just the past few weeks!

Then again, your memory at 7 is quite different than in your 20’s.

But then again, my 20’s were pretty blurry too…. Anywho!


Here are all of the surprises I had:

1. I did not expect to feel so emotional. I literally cried when I had to leave him. I knew they would put him under, and I wasn’t scared about it until I had to give my little 8 lb 5 oz puppy to the nurse. I’m sure they were probably laughing at me (and I’m sure you are probably laughing at me reading this), but Rex is furbaby!


2. I underestimated the recovery time. I thought he would be back to normal within 2-3 days. The recovery took a full 7-9 days. He had some pretty significant red sores that took a long time to heal. We ended up going back to the doctor to get topical solutions to help the healing.

3. I did not expect him to be restless at night. For 3-4 nights after his surgery, Rex was completely restless. He would lay down for a bit, and then quickly jump up and scurry to a different side of the bed. I’m sure the pain medication was wearing off during the night, but it meant for a week of terrible sleep for the three of us.

4. I also underestimated how upset his stomach would be. The poor pup got sick in our bed the first two nights after surgery, and then he accidentally wet the bed the third night. I’m sure everything in is body was all off for him. However, we fed him rice, which was a wonderful treat and he loved it. It’s gentle on their stomachs and warm. He ate it right up.

rice for upset puppy stomach
5. I did not anticipate him getting other illnesses like kennel cough. After multiple sleepless nights, an upset stomach, and an increasing cough, we took him to the vet. In hindsight, we should have taken him earlier, but I’m so glad we took him. The doctor gave us an antibiotic for the kennel cough, and he also gave us an ointment for his empty sack (lol). It was so red and scabbed over, I wasn’t sure if it was healing correctly!

6. I didn’t realize how many procedures they do at once. Often times, the vets will offer to remove any baby teeth, and microchip them all at the same time – otherwise, they would have to put the dog under again to remove any stubborn baby teeth. We decided to do it all, which means he had a tooth pulled, he got microchipped in his back, he got one testee removed from his sack, and they had to make a separate incision to remove the undescended testee. I can understand why he was in so much pain!



Luckily, I was prepared in one sense: get the donut rather than the tube. Being the overprotective furmom, I decided to get two donuts to find the right one for him. We got the Kong Cloud Collar and the Contech ProCollar. I preferred the Kong because it inflated a bit more and was softer, but I’m glad we got both for him because he could still reach his wounds with only one of the collars.

Check out the double donut:


He even ended up liking his donut towards the end!

So, after all of the medication, sleepless nights, and time in the double donut, Rex is finally back his normal self. He was also a very sexually active fellow prior to his surgery, and that has seemed to slow down over the past few weeks too, but his mischievous ways are still at the core of who he is!

After all, a home is not a home without a maltipoo!

rex feeling better

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Checking CNN, Highlands and Oysterfest Off the Bucket List

Sigh. I’ve been really slow at blogging the past few weeks, but it’s not for a lack of trying. Life has been a little crazy between work, wedding planning, going away for Valentine’s Day weekend, food poisoning, snow, Rexford’s surgery (don’t worry this post is coming soon too) and much more.

So I’m going to tell you about everything I’ve checked off the bucket list!

Checking CNN, Highlands and Oysterfest Off the Bucket List

CNN headquarters tour

CNN Headquarters VIP Tour

If you remember a few weeks ago, my mom came to visit me in ATL (and we survived the Hawks game) and one of the items I had on the bucket list was to visit the CNN headquarters. One thing that my mom LOVES is 24 hour news. We grew up watching Fox, CNN, MSNBC, etc. of hours on end.  Whether it was the OJ high speed chase or Jon Benet’s murder mystery, we watched it from the time we got up in the morning to eat our Eggo waffles with strawberries, to the time my mom was wrapping up dinner and cleaning the dishes.

There were no breaks in news for our family, and I can safely say that this has probably contributed to her lack of trust in the world.

That said, she loves studio tours of different TV and news sets. When my sister lived in NYC, my mom and I frequently went to visit her, and we would see live shows and tour studios when we could. We’ve been to Kelly & Regis, NBC, ABC, and a few more. It’s always so cool to see how big these studios are, and the different types of equipment they have.

And it’s even crazier to realize how small the studio audience seating actually is for live shows like Conan  O’Brien and the Tonight Show.

We took the VIP tour (which is well worth the $35 ticket) and got to see the actual headquarters, the HLN studio, and how the cameras prepare the content and switch the views from one screen to another. If you’re at all interested in this sort of thing, it’s an awesome way to learn how the studios do what they do.

In the HLN studio, three or four of their cameras are actually robots, which are controlled (like Mario Kart) from behind a screen. Pretty awesome stuff!

Little fun fact: the world’s longest freestanding escalator is what you take up to the tour, so if you want to check that off your list, you can do it in one fell swoop :)


Highlands, North Carolina

highlands north carolina
Like many of our fun adventures in the South, we planned a “romo” (our short word for “romantic”) weekend away. Highlands had come recommended to us from some good Emory friends of ours who got married there last summer. We decided to come up to the Old Edwards Inn for Valentine’s Day weekend for a quick getaway from the city. The best part is that Highlands is only a 2.5 hour drive, which makes it a perfect weekend trip away from the A.

Oh my gosh, can I just tell you how fabulous Old Edwards Inn is? It is simply so luxurious. Upon arrival, one of the 5 hotel attendees provides you with a fresh glass of champagne. For those of you who know me, that’s basically like music to my soul. The rooms are luxurious AND adorable. It reminds me of old English style with classic floral pattern drapes, white blinds, classic wood details, and way too many pieces of furniture for a room. We had our own private balcony, and the bathroom was a dream. If you haven’t experienced heated floors, let me just tell you – they are uhhhhmazzing.

The property is huge and never understaffed. There are multiple lounges, sitting rooms, Madison’s the restaurant, a fitness center with all types of classes, and a world-class spa, which has to be the absolute highlight of the trip.


  • Madison’s has fabulous food (seared foie gras, scallops & mussels to die for, and an incredible wine selection)
  • The spa – spend a whole day here. Come early, enjoy your paper by the fire, get your treatment, have a glass of champagne in the quiet sitting room, enjoy lunch at the Spa Cafe, and then indulge in the 12-shower head shower, mineral spa, sauna and steam room. Everything about this spa is impressive.
  • Just stay at the Old Edwards. It will be good for your health.


Next on the list: Oysterfest in ATL. I do love me a good Oysterfest. What can be better than brews, oysters and music? Pretty much nothing. When I saw that there was an Oysterfest in ATL, I quickly got tickets for Leo and I. Despite the rain, we toughed the cold, wet weather to check it out for a few hours. I must say that the amount of oysters there was pretty disappointing…. There were about 2 stations where you could get oysters – likely another reason why SF has ruined me. But, we ran into a bunch of friends, and that was awesome!


The coolest thing is that I ran into a girl who is born and raised in ATL. She mentioned that she had read my bucket list and that she was so impressed with how extensive it was that she was adding some of the items to her own list! Neato speedo!

Overall, we had a great time, and the music was fun, but it’s no San Francisco Oysterfest. Also, one big recommendation: DON’T EAT THE OYSTERS!!!

Lucky me. I got food poisoning. I got the warning a bit too late and had already indulged in an oyster Po’ Boy. This kept me in bed for a solid 24 hours, and we sadly had to miss the Sweetwater 18th Anniversary Party the following day – another item on my bucket list!

So, Sweetwater is still on our bucket list, but I have a feeling that by the time spring rolls around, their outdoor patio will be a much more attractive spot than the current sleet and snow conditions :)

Until next time! xoxo

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Atlanta Bucketlist

As I’ve started documenting my time here in ATL, I realized what I really should do is make a huge list of all of the things I have wanted to do since I’ve been here – everything from historical sites, to bars and restaurants, to museums, to quirky Southern experiences. I wanted an easy way to tie in my life here with my blog, and I feel like this is a great way to help my readers go on my journey with me :)

That said, here is my bucket list of things to do in Atlanta, and the things that I still need to do!



Atlanta Bucketlist

  1. Explore Emory University
  2. Run in Lullwater Preserve
  3. Atlanta Hawks game
  4. Atlanta Braves game
  5. Atlanta Falcons game
  6. College football game
  7. World of Coke
  8. Georgia Aquarium
  9. Helen, GA for Oktoberfest
  10. Sweetwater Brewing Company Tour – we sadly missed the 18th anniversary party due to food poisoning…
  11. Clairemont Lounge to see Blondie
  12. The High Museum
  13. Hike Stone Mountain
  14. Orpheus Brewing Company
  15. DeKalb farmers market
  16. Krog Street Market
  17. Dancing Goats Coffee
  18. CNN Headquarter VIP Tour
  19. Twin Peaks
  20. Hooters
  21. The Beltline
  22. Publix Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon – we’ve signed up for the half marathon in March!
  23. A show at the Fox theatre
  24. A show at the Tabernacle – we’re seeing Above & Beyond in March!
  25. Floating the Chattahoochee River
  26. Renting bikes and riding on the Silver Comet Trail
  27. Beer tasting at Brick Store
  28. Eating on Buford Highway
  29. Jimmy Carter Library & Museum
  30. 420 Fest – we have tickets for this! Yeah Snoop Dogg! Snoop-a-loop!
  31. A night out in Little Five Points
  32. Gladys Knight Chicken and Waffles
  33. Tour the Georgia State Capitol
  34. World of Coke
  35. Atlanta Botanical Gardens
  36. Oysterfestwe’re doing this at the end of the month!
  37. Picnic in Piedmont Park
  38. Finding the best pizza – Varuni Napoli
  39. Diner en Blanc
  40. MLK Historic Site
  41. Shop at Star Provisions, and enjoy the sister restaurants 
  42. Exploring Emory
  43. Woodruff Park
  44. Hike Kennesaw Mountain
  45. Varsity
  46. Atlanta Pride Parade
  47. Buy a bonsai from the monks in Lithonia
  48. Sweet tea errrythang
  49. NASCAR at Atlanta Motor Speedway
  50. Live music at Eddie’s Attic
  51. Dahlonegha wine tasting
  52. W Rooftop Pool
  53. Spa day at the Four Seasons
  54. Spa day at the St. Regis
  55. Lunch at Mary Mac’s Tea Room
  56. Bocce ball at Ormsby’s
  57. Lennox Mall
  58. Brunch at Murphy’s
  59. Oysters at the Optimist
  60. Fall foliage in Georgia mountains
  61. Trail race in Roswell
  62. Fernbank Museum
  63. Find the best BBQ in ATL – either Fat Mats or Fox Bros BBQ
  64. Find the best grits in ATL
  65. Oakland cemetary
  66. Find Nene
  67. Ebenezer Baptist Church
  68. Civil War Museum
  69. Dinner in Decatur
  70. People watching in Buckhead
  71. Steeplechase
  72. The Masters

I am sure that I am missing things from this list, so if I am…. PLEASE tell me and I’ll add it!


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A Guide to Surviving an Atlanta Hawks Game

Since we’ve been in ATL, there are a ton of things that we have wanted to see, do and explore. Every weekend we see a new place, or eat at a new restaurant, or wander out of the city to see some more of the South. This past weekend we were lucky to have my mom in town to knock another few things off of our bucket list including going to see one of ATL’s sports teams play.

It happened to be perfect timing to watch the Hawks play, especially since they were playing our home team, the Warriors, who are number 1 in the West. The Hawks are number 1 in the East, so we knew the game wouldn’t disappoint!

I’m going to try to do this post justice, because going to a Hawks game is very…. colorful.

A Guide to Surviving an Atlanta Hawks Game


Even though we’ve been in Atlanta since June, I haven’t actually been to downtown Atlanta. There hasn’t been a reason, and from what I’ve heard, it can be pretty sketchy. Needless to say, my mom (with her diamond crusted hands and fur coat in tote), Leo and I headed down to the game.

On our walk into Philips Arena, you’ve got a couple guys bucket drumming, and then you’ve got another guy who’s reading the Bible (the Baptists never fail to amaze me), and then you’ve got some more Bible thumpers with their homemade, inspirational Jesus-loving psalms.

I cannot even make this stuff up.


Then after you’ve passed the Jesus freaks, then there’s an Atlanta Police prisoner transportation van sitting next to the curb, and the side of the van reads, “Stay back 50 feet”.

We are standing an arms-length away.

So then there’s that.


Inside the Arena

Once you get in, you have to tickets in the lower box levels, because you need to see who’s sitting courtside and the food is better. We grabbed a couple of beers, a couple of chicken sandwiches and headed down to our seats.

If you haven’t seen the beginning of a Hawks game, then you have to be there to see it. It’s like they have a 3D video that is projected onto the floor. The floor changes colors, it moves around, and it’s one of the coolest opening acts I’ve seen at any professional sporting game.


The people watching is just pretty unbelievable. You’ve got a guy sitting courtside, who is in his diamond-crusted Louis Vuitton jacket, and then you’ve got these HUGE girls who have magically squeezed themselves into dresses that are at LEAST two sizes too small, and then you’ve got the random toothless redneck, who is talking smack to you since you’re the opposing team. In all fairness, he wasn’t missing all of his teeth, but he was definitely missing a few.

In terms of celebrity sitings, we were really hoping for four people: Nene, Usher, Luda, and Kim Zolciak.  I have literally been looking for Nene since March #whereisnene. Unfortunately none of them were there.

There was, however, a few celebrities: 2Chainz, Jeezy, and a few older Hawks players, who I had never heard of.


We truly enjoyed watching the game. Both teams played exceptionally well, and the score remained close the entire time. Although the Warriors didn’t win, the three of us had so much fun, and I can definitely recommend this as a fun activity if you’re coming to Atlanta.

While I miss SF, there are definitely a lot of things that I’m learning to love about ATL, and this night will always be one to remember – bible thumpers, rednecks, and all!

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The Annual Snowball in Kansas City


I know I’ve been radio silent for the past two weeks, but life has been busy and I’m finally catching up! Two weekends ago, we were in Kansas City for the Catholic Charities annual Snowball event. Since my family has been donating to Catholic Charities for years, we are lucky to attend this amazing gala!

Per usual, this classy event did not disappoint! The floor-length gowns were in full effect, and all 1,700 of these Catholics were ready to get down.

The Annual Snowball in Kansas City

Here are the highlights!











Dress: A.B.S. BY ALLEN SCHWARTZ Long Sleeve Sequin Gown

Shoes: Brian Atwood Naina Pointed-Toe Pump 

Clutch: BCBG

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The Best, Worst and Most Perplexing Things About Atlanta

From time to time, I try take a look at the blog and imagine what it’s like reading this thing as an outsider. It’s hard sometimes because the blog has changed so much over the past year and a half, and sometimes I can’t see what it currently is from what it used to be.

What’s crazier, is that it’s pretty weird to think that I’ve been in Atlanta for 8 months now, and I have no blog posts about my actual life here!

Leo and I have finally settled into Emory, the Verizon job, and our apartment with the new pup, and so today I’m going to tell you all about it.


The Best, Worst and Most Perplexing Things About Atlanta

Overall, Atlanta is a really cool city, but it’s not like I imagined at all. There’s not fried chicken and waffles on every street corner, with Ludacris and Usher driving down the streets – although I would absolutely love it if it was like that. (Actually there is a Waffle House on almost every corner, but we’re still missing Luda and Usher.)

Anyway, you get my point.

In no particular order, here are the things that I love about ATL.

Local Breweries

So.Many.Breweries. Terrapin, Sweet Water, Orpheus, Southbound (they are actually from Savannah, but equally as awesome).  Not being so close to wine country has actually been an awesome way to discover local breweries.

You know when you discover a new drink? And, for a period of time, that drink becomes a solid memory of that time? Yeah. That’s what’s going on with IPA’s for me right now. It might sound crazy, but IPA’s and Atlanta will be a memory of mine for a long time.


Splitting a Check

This might sound like a really stupid point, and maybe it is. BUT, do you know how awesome this is?!? If you’re in ATL and you’ve got 10 people in your party – no problem. Restaurants in Atlanta will break your check down, even by the proportion of an appetizer. I literally paid $1.75 the other day to split an app 4 ways.

Why can’t they figure this out in SF? I’m so confused. Conclusion: SF, you lazy son of a gun, you.

Warm Summers & Epic Sunsets

Everyone gave ATL a bad rep for the heat, but actually, I kind of loved it! To be honest, you end up spending most of your day in air conditioning anyway, so it’s really nice to have a BBQ at 7pm with no fear of whether Karl the Fog will ruin your outdoor meal. Warm summer nights have quite possibly thinned my blood….

Although I’m hoping that this winter isn’t as brutal as last year, we’ve had some days in the 20’s and those are NOT pleasant. Needless to say, the summers are awesome, and the sunsets are epic.

Friendly People Everywhere

At first I was sure that someone was trying to mug me, but it just happens that people are really nice in the South – and even wave to you on the street, or say ‘Hi’ to you in the hall or elevator of the apartment complex. After years of practice, I had gotten eye avoidance down to an art, and this was really a bizarre experience for me – to simply be friendly in return.

Also, men will let you get on and off the elevator first, they will hold your door open, and I’m called “ma’am” on a regular basis.  It makes me wonder why we’ve completely lost that respect on the West Coast….

Legit Food

Truth. Not everything in the South is fried chicken and grits. But, we have had so much fun restaurant hopping around this city!


Does anyone know that ATL is quite possibly the most green city ever? These these rolling hills are filled with tall trees everywhere, and everyone’s yard is beautifully groomed. It’s almost like you’re not even in a city at all!

This is what’s in our backyard:


The Beltline

Quite possibly one of the coolest things to do on a weekend. It’s a 10 mile paved walking/ biking path through the city that is lined with local art and can lead you to different areas of the city!


Last weekend we did the Beltline and stopped at the Little Tart Bakery at Krog Street Market for some coffee and pastries. Oh so good. Be sure to get the egg sandwich on brioche – to die for!

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 10.38.36 PM

The Botanical Gardens

The botanical gardens are amazing – spring or winter. If you go in the spring, you have to see the cobra’s. They do these huge cobra sculptures that are so delicately designed with flowers. In winter, they have the night time winter wonderland where you walk around to see the lights. Both are equally as spectacular!

Things I HATE

But as you can expect, not everything is rainbows and butterflies….


Sigh.  Oh, traffic. You are so difficult here. I thought it was bad in the bay area, but then you come to ATL, you have to travel 10 miles, it takes you an hour, and then you REALLY know what it’s like to want to pull your hair out.

Also, no one knows how to drive in this state. Literally, there is ZERO comprehension of a fast lane and a slow lane. If there is only two lane, then good luck buddy.

Blue Law

I had never heard of, or experienced Blue Law before moving to Georgia. This one time I went into Publix to get some vodka. I never buy vodka, it’s mostly just beer and wine, but we were making cocktails for this one event. I searched up and down the aisles 2 – 3 times to no avail!

By the time I got to the cashier to purchase my other groceries, I asked where it was, and the woman said, “Oh you must not be from here.” Clearly not lady! She told me that I needed to go to a package store….. a WHAT?

I’m still confused why we’re living from rules in the Prohibition era, but they say the South is backwards, so there you go.

Things I’m Completely Perplexed By

Stone Mountain

This little gem is not only the most popular attraction in Georgia, but it also happens to be where the KKK was founded. A fellow colleague calls it, ‘bizarr-o Mount Rushmore’, which is a 100% accurate description.

Let me paint a quick picture – there are Confederate flags, and sculpted into the mountain are famous Confederate generals. Then, they’ve made it this weird theme-park-type of place, where they have laser shows, and snow at Christmas.

It is literally the most bizarre place I’ve ever been.

Unprotected Left Turns
Did the entire state of Georgia miss this point in driving school? No one can get it right.

Here’s the rule: when you’re at a green light and you’re trying to make a left turn, pull all the way into the intersection so you can take a left at your earliest convenience. Waiting at the line only prevents you from making that turn quickly, thus preventing me from making the light.

9 times out of 10 a Georgia driver will be waiting behind the line, and I hate them for it.

Helen, GA

Helen is a made-up fake version of Germany. This sounds exactly as weird as it is. It’s kitchy (spelling?) and it’s as weird as a you can imagine a fake German town in Georgia being.

At any rate, it’s pretty and we came here for beer.


Drive-thru Liquor Store

The worst idea you can give a drunk person is a drive through liquor store. Here’s the Pitch & Putt, our local drive-thru package store. You just drive in, hand over your credit card, and off you go!



There you have it. That’s about all I can think of at the moment, but I am sure there will be more. Stay tuned for more life updates from the South!



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