Oktoberfest 2011, What a Blast!

Every year we go to Helen, GA for Oktoberfest, unfortunately last year we didn't make it out because we were busy planning our wedding, but this year we didn't let it slip and it was totally worth it! We had such a great time. We headed up to Helen with Kristin (Andrus), Curtis, and Natacha.

We were very excited because our VERY pregnant friend Kristin (Kneeland) was all about it and checked with her doctor far in advance as she wasn't letting her pregnancy stop her from doing anything! She's 9 months and a week pregnant and she was out having fun! She is quite the trooper, I can only hope that when I'm in her shoes, I would wear it as well! And if she had the motivation and energy to be there, there was no way we could miss out.

We had to work the Sugar Hill Fall Festival, but decided to dip out early to head up to Helen! I strategically mapped out route to avoid traffic, and we were absolutely successful. It was actually pretty nice because it was a gorgeous scenic ride and we were moving the whole time!

Once we go there, we walked a bit, mostly to get to the restrooms, and then we headed over to Margaritas' (we like to call it Paul's cause that's the place you see from the road), and they sell the big plastic cups that say Paul's on them. We actually had several other friends there to meet up with like Denise and Sean (who just had their little girl Catie)! She was adorable, and not allowed in the bars or course! They even asked, and the response they got was no one under 21! haha

Kristin's husband, Patrick,  and Robin also made it out and it was very nice to see them! And we also had a couple other friends, Natalie and Micheal who we hung out with and drank with for a while!

It was such a fun time! Kristin (Andrus) and I even took some time to walk around to a few shops! Had to stop in Hansel and Gretel Fudge Shop. Kristin bought some yummy Pumpkin Pie fudge for her friend Jamin, and we got a taste. It was delicious, and they only do that flavor in October (maybe into November) so if you're up there you should check it out!

And I couldn't leave without stopping by the shop we bought our awesome dog Chunk from. They of course were selling puppies again, and had an Rat Terriers this time. I couldn't resist, I had to hold him, although he was already sold! I wasn't about to buy another dog, he was NO CHUNK!

We headed back to meet up with our group, had a couple more drinks and then headed out. It was totally a blast! I can't wait until next year!

Our First Chili Cook-Off... Team #14 Chunk Master's Chili

This past weekend was our first Chili Cook-off EVER! And I don't think it will be the last. Paul and I, as much as we love to cook and try new things, we have (neither of us) made chili before. We started the week with a test run, in which we invited Desi and Tristan, and A.J. and Ann over to critique. Ironically it was a split vote! Desi and Tristan wanted a little less meat, and a little less spice, and A.J. and Ann said they liked the meat consistency and would like a little more spice!

So we were split down the middle, so Paul and I took the liberty of trying a new recipe for the cook-off! We started the day off with a trip to Whole Foods, and stocked up on some fresh organic veggies and meats!

We bought:

The process was really pretty easy, we sautéed up the onions and peppers with the meats while adding lots of fresh chopped garlic cloves. Once all the meat, onions and green peppers were in the big pot, we added the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, canned corn and beef broth. We used about two or three bottles of gluten-free beer, and stirred regularly as we added fresh jalapeno and an assortment of other spices from chili powder to cayenne to paprika, cumin and more!

After that you add the beans to simmer with the meat, juices and seasonings! And Paul also added a bit of molasses for some sweetness (more to cut the burn) - but not a lot at all!

This recipe made 5 GALLONS!

Check out some pics of our booth!

The huge pot for lots of chili!

Doesn't that look delicious!?

Our fun booth - We were Chunk Master's Chili (Chunk our dog inspires us so much!)

Chunk really did enjoy the Chili Cook-off, but his favorite thing was Kara's awesome cornbread! He's telling us here that he wants more!

So the results were in, and while we didn't win, nor did we rank, we made a valiant effort and had repeat customers! I have some thoughts about why things may not have gone our way... and about how it wasn't what I would consider a true test of people's choice on Chili... but c'est la vie! I did bring some into work though, cause we had a good bit left over, and it was a hit!

I think we'll definitely try our hand at another Chili Cook-off in the future, but who knows...

Day Two of Mini Vaca: Perusing Downtown D.C.

Day Two we started the day with my cousin Vinnie's Wedding Rehearsal, but that was a short time before we headed back to D.C. to meet up with friends for dinner, drinks and FUN!

Check out some of our evening festivities!

We went for Sushi, Hookah and Drinks at Gazuza Lounge in Dupont Circle, and it was amazing! I'm not a hookah person, so I did not partake in that, but I did absolutely enjoy the sushi! The Sabotage Roll was the best! It will set your mouth on fire!!!

Me and Ashley enjoying the atmosphere! Paul was able to get some fun shots!

Then we headed around the other side of Dupont Circle to Eighteenth Street Lounge. A hip bar with good music and lot of interesting people (great for people watching)!

Jeff and his friends, Aliya and Cat... having a good time!

One of the only pics of Paul and I together on the trip! Thank you Ashley! :)

Me and Ash getting our buzz on!

Paul, doing the Jeff pose! haha

We had parted ways with Jeff and his friends at the Eighteenth Street Lounge and decided to meet back up with them. After leaving Dupont, we headed over to U Street for some more bar hopping. We stopped in one of  Jeff's favorite stops, Queen Makeda, it was pretty cool, but a little empty for our taste and Jeff and his friends weren't there, so onto the next stop!

From there we reunited with Jeff and his gang at Black Bird's or Black Cats... I'm really not sure! But it was a really cool spot and a nice place to end our D.C. bar tour!

And last, but certainly not least we stopped into the place that Jeff calls JUMBO SLICE, and had like a quarter of this huge pizza per person! It was definitely a good stop after a night of drinking, of course definitely off our diet. Oh well, it definitely hit the spot!

We made it home safe and sound, and actually woke up in plenty of time to head out to MD for the wedding (it started at 2PM and Paul was photographing so we had to be there early)! This was truly a busy weekend, but it's totally awesome to experience D.C. in new ways every time we go!

Click here for the full gallery of pics!

Sushi and Laughs for Biscuit's Birthday

For my Biscuit's (Monica's) birthday, we did it up with a fun-filled day and evening of good eats and laughs.

We started out the day with a trip to the Home Show with my Mother, Trey (my nephew) and Desi! It was a pretty good time once we got over to Cobb Galleria. We stopped into Buckhead Pizza Co. and Monica and I tried their Gluten Free Pizza - It was AWESOME!

Then we headed into the Home Show, and Desi got to meet her  HGTV Curb Appeal Idol, John Gidding, as you can tell she was very happy and excited!

Then onto the evening at Zest Sushi and Tapas Bar in Roswell, GA. Monica LOVES sushi and made a point to me that she will have sushi for her birthday. It was actually a great place to start the evening as it had a great atmosphere, Tapas for those whom aren't fans of sushi, and awesome sushi! Everything was cooked, and seasoned to perfection, the presentation was top-notch! The atmosphere was warm and contemporary trendy. The entire package was amazing! Our meal started with calamari, pan seared scallops, lamb lollipops, spicy shrimp over mashed potatoes, dinner consisted of several delectable rolls of sushi, and we ended it with a chocolate soufflé and cheesecake! Don't worry we shared it with 8 super cool people!  Everything was absolutely phenomenal! We were all very satisfied with this great restaurant.

From the restaurant we moved to Andretti,  unfortunately not for racing, but for a comedy show! Funny Farm Comedy Club has moved their shows to Andretti, and the new location was not quite what I expected, but the comedians and show more than made up for that! We saw Pat Dixon, someone we haven't seen before, but definitely would check out again. He was hilarious, with his dry humor and wit! You should definitely check him out!

Overall I think the Biscuit Birthday was a success, doesn't she look happy? Awww I love my Biscuit! Happy Birthday baby

I LOVE Ray LaMontagne! & Kristin for Inviting Me to his Concert!

Some time back our friend Kristin Kneeland emailed me cause she decided to buy tickets to the Ray LaMontagne with Brandi Carlile show at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park, Alpharetta, GA. Patrick, her husband, isn't big on Ray LaMontagne I guess, so I lucked out and I couldn't be happier!

Paul and I have LOVED his music for a long time, we even had our first dance at our wedding to "The Best Thing." Our first song together (when we started dating) was actually "Hold You In My Arms," but it was a little too slow for us to dance to at the wedding. We switched it up but still stuck with our common musical love of Ray!

Many people know him for his very popular "Trouble", but I think Paul's all-time favorite of his is "Jolene." Oh and another good one, I absolutely love is "Be Here Now," oh it's so amazing!

I love anything and everything Ray LaMontagne, and couldn't be happier that Kristin invited me out for a fun girls evening to see him live. I definitely missed having Paul there as I think I would have enjoyed it that much more with him there too, but it was also fun bonding with Kristin for this awesome experience!

Check out some highlights from the show... it was pretty amazing!! Kristin is right, Ray Lamontagne is PIMP!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-RClTHm-vE&w=480&h=360]

Yeah Ben F. is the New Bachelor!

Yeah!!! Ben F. (the winemaker) is the NEW Bachelor! That will definitely be worth watching! I liked him so much and I honestly thought Ashley would have chosen him... New Season Premieres January 2nd! Can't wait! hehe

A Beautiful September Day on Lake Lanier

We were out on Lake Lanier yesterday, and it was absolutely gorgeous! This month is going to be an awesome one for some relaxing days on the lake. There was barely anyone out, I don't know if it was the time of the year of the fact that UGA was playing, but it was nice with minimal crowds, it was kind of like we had the lake to ourselves!

Check out some fun on Lake Lanier... we have video this time! Fun stuff ;-)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-dZ8cvwAS4]

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WF2Gg_xG0-g]

We really need to plan a camping trip now that the temperatures are cooling down (especially at night)!

Can't Wait for the Fall Line-Up ;o)

While I do love the reality shows, particularly, the Bachelorette, Love in the Wild and Master Chef, I am sincerely ready for the fall prime-time line-up to start back up! I am a die-hard Grey's Anatomy fan and can't wait for that to come back. But there are lot of new shows coming this fall that I am super excited to see!

Grey's Anatomy: Last season ended as usual with unanswered questions! With Meredith's tapering of the Alzheimer's trial and Derek questioning her as a doctor, wife and mother - the future of Meredith's career, marriage and how they will handle having gotten that adorable little girl, is all uncertain. Callie and Arizona were married just after Callie had the baby (not before the awful car accident). I imagine the drama will them will calm. But now the question of having a child looms with Yang and Owen. Lexie is now with Avery, but I really do think she is still in love with Sloan, and belongs with him! And then there is Teddy and her "Husband" who I really want her to have a happily ever after with.

Now previews I've seen, show Meredith fired, Derek no-where to be found relative to their newly adopted daughter, Yang still questioning being a mother, and other drama with Karev. In any case, I'm so ready for it to be back on! Premiere is September 22nd for two whole hours!

HOUSE: House is the other show I don't like to miss! I won't go into a full recap, because the story line fluctuates so much, but I do remember that he ran a car into Cuddy's dining room on the season finale, and I can't imagine how things will change! But rumor has it, she is not coming back, and neither are some others! Season Premiere is October 3rd.

New Girl! I LOVE Zoey Deschanel. She always seems to be a supporting actress, but I think this will be a very fun light-hearted show, that will be worth the watchin! Jess (Zoey's character), is a socially awkward gal who moves in with three bachelors after getting dumped by her boyfriend. Apparently the guys only take in her mess because her BFF is a model. But they soon come to appreciate Jess' quirkiness (you mean Zooey's - she was awesome in Failure to Launch) and try to help her re-enter the dating scene. I think this will be a super fun light-hearted show that Paul may even enjoy watching with me! Season Premiere September 20th!

Once Upon a Time:  This just looks like a really cool drama that intertwines fantasy with real life, and I'm definitely more and more excited, the more I see! "The fantastical drama, which will tell dual stories set in present-day Storybrooke and in fairy tale land, comes from Lost writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for lots of references to time travel and polar bears." - As noted on TVGuide.com. Season Premiere is October 25th!

Pan Am: This looks like another good one from ABC! Set in the '60s, the drama centers on the loves and lives of stewardesses of the iconic titular airline. Although lauded as symbols of sleek, Jet Age glamour, their personal lives are full of turbulence. And it's got Christina Ricci in it! She's been hibernating for what seems to be a while, so it will be cool to see her back in  this awesome new drama! And Paul will probably watch this one too, cause he likes Christina Ricci! Premiere is September 25th!

There are so many new shows coming out, this is only the tip of the iceberg of what we'll be watching! Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings... DO NOT DISTURB... Wednesdays will be a free for-all (whatever can keep my attention - Probably X-Factor and Happy Endings) In any case, I am so ready for some real dramas to start... enough of the reality TV.

Can't wait!

A Chorus Line @ The Aurora Theatre

Paul's and my parents have season tickets for the Aurora Theatre and on several occasions they've invited Paul and I out to the shows. There have been mostly good, some not so good, but nothing that I would consider spectacular. But Friday night we went to see A Chorus Line, and I've been excited about this show because I really do love the story, and my Mom has said that this is the biggest cast they've ever had at Aurora Theater.

So, what did we think?? It was.........

Well, kind of long. I must say I really did enjoy Marissa Druzbanski who played Diana Morales. She had a great voice and really called our attention for both her solo segments. I especially loved her montage "Nothing."

Generally the cast provided a well-rounded show, but of all the shows I've seen at the Aurora, this was just another "Good" show. I may just be more of a Fox and Broadway lover and even more so a lover of movies...

Kudos to Paul and His Team for a Great Job at Flashback Festival!!

Paul Perdue (my husband) of PerdueVision and his colleagues did an awesome job on the photography and video for Kiss 104fm Atlanta's R&B Station 2011 Flashback Festival! Next year will be even bigger!

Check out the gallery and video on their site... http://www.kiss1041fm.com/