Atlanta Dogwood Festival

Posted on: Friday, April 18, 2014

Atlanta, Atlanta Bloggers, 78th Annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival, Piedmont Park, how to get over homesickness, Lake Clara Meer, blogger events in Atlanta, Atlanta Dogwood Festival, what events for bloggers are there in Atlanta, bloggers in Atlanta, new Atlanta bloggers

Last weekend I attended the 78th Annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival at Piedmont Park. I’ve been in Atlanta for almost 3 weeks now and it’s one of the first times that I’ve actually gone exploring. There were tents with different artists exhibiting their work, tons of food vendors, a few carnival rides and games, and even a dog show. There were also live performances from some local country bands which definitely added to the very southern vibe of the festival.

It was nice to see all of the families out and about enjoying themselves, dogs included (who technically shouldn’t have been there but that’s another story), but it did make me a little homesick. Now, I’ve attended events alone when I was in Miami, but it feels just a tad bit different when you go out all by yourself and your friends and family are miles away.

However, I think that that the best way to get over this wave of homesickness is to attend some more events! It might seem a little counterproductive, but I’m sure that with enough time, I’ll get used to it. So help a sistah out: if there are any upcoming blogger events  happening in Atlanta, let me know!

<3 Maika

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Five Simple Easter Brunch Recipes!

Posted on: Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Five Simple Easter Brunch Recipes, Easter, Brunch, Affordable meals, potato hash with greens, buttermilk pancakes, how to cook brunch, brunch recipes, what to cook for brunch, how to cook brunch, Easter brunch, cinnamon rolls, stuffed tomatoes, citrus salad

My favorite meal of the day is brunch. But honestly, I just love any time of the day where I won’t be judged for eating eggs, bacon, toast, and donuts or burgers and fries. And with Sunday being Easter and all, I’m certainly looking forward to all the yummy foods I’ll be consuming. Oh yeah, and church too!

In case buying brunch is out of your budget or too time consuming (I mean, does anyone really have time to bake anything that’s not instant?), here are five really easy recipes that Disney Family online has given a thumbs up to. Yes, I said Disney Family – I can’t be the only person who visits this site on the regular?

Citrus Fruit Salad

Citrus salad

Sprinkling a little salt on top with definitely give this meal a kick.

This delightfully bright treat can be made with oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, and any other fruit with similar consistencies!

Cinnamon Rolls, Bacon and Egg Stuffed Tomatoes

2

Luckily Pillsbury has made this sweet delicacy both quick and easy to eat and affordable, at less than $5 for half a dozen.

And a few hardboiled eggs and shredded bacon bits inside of a hollow tomato = a great way to enjoy two important food groups!

Buttermilk Pancakes

Buttermilk pancakes
Mmmmmmm, pancakes.

Pancakes are amazing in that they can be enjoyed with almost anything on top of them. My personal favorites are whipped cream, chocolate chips, and maple syrup.

Potato Hash with Greens and Cheese

Potato hash with greens

Collard greens and chopped up potatoes made a great side with scrambled eggs

What are some of your favorite brunch-time meals? Do you plan on cooking a huge meal for Easter? Write your thoughts in the comments section below!

XOXO,
Jessica

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You can find me in a book

Posted on: Monday, April 14, 2014

One of our favorite go-to stories to tell of childhood isn’t really a story but more of a lifestyle description. When we were growing up, The Parents wouldn’t allow us to watch television on school days. That might sound like torture to an eight-year-old, but believe me, it wasn’t. Just like in a diet, it’s easier to deal with the lack of one thing by replacing it with something else.

We “replaced” TV with books. My sisters and I spent as much time at the library and the Barnes & Noble in the same plaza as our dance lessons than we did at home. We traded often, ravenously eating up every sentence. I’ve always been shy but books allowed me to become friends with the characters I read about and have adventures with them in their fully imagined worlds.

book, the dirty girl social clubI don’t think any of my friends were actually surprised I brought a book to a football game.
I’ve brought books to parties. I’m so fun.

The moments I spent reading as a child are some of my most precious.

There were “the classics” – anything by Roald Dahl, Lewis Carroll, The Secret Garden, A Wrinkle in Time, Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters, The Secret Garden, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Phantom Tollbooth

The siblings that reminded me of my own sisters – The Boxcar Children, the little women Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor’s Boy/Girl Battle series, Jane Austen’s Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty, Lydia…

My original “strong female protagonists” – found in the pages of Judy Blume, Anastasia Krupnik, Pippi Longstocking, Alice McKinley, Anne Shirley…

Stories that broke my heart but have stayed with me, even today – Island of the Blue Dolphins, Hatchet, The Giver, The Outsiders, The Catcher in the Rye, Jane Eyre, Prep, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

The one book that had a young Haitian-American main character battling not poverty or violence but the typical issues of any suburban child – Ola Shakes it Up

Harry Potter, of course, deserves its own separate mention.

I’m happiest when I’m reading. I enjoy the journey of discovery and love the feeling of rapidly turning pages to see what happens next just as much as I love savoring each word to make a novel last longer. There’s no feeling of satisfaction (tinged with a bit of sadness) like when finishing a good book.

I have books for different occasions. Sure, if a particularly engaging story catches my attention, I plow through it but I usually have a few things simmering on the back-burner:

a game of thrones, the queen of the tearling, cinder, george rr martin, erika johansen, marissa marr

I currently have three novels on rotation. I’ve just started (I know, I know) George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones as my new commuting book. I downloaded it on the Kindle app on my phone for convenience.  My go-to dinner book is an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) and hasn’t even been released yet (ooh exclusive): The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. When my day is finally done and I’m cozy and ready for bed, I’ve recently curled up with Marissa Meyer’s Cinder.

Are you a book worm like me? Even if you’re not, is there something you enjoy that you haven’t really had time to do lately like playing an instrument? Or sketching? Baking? Squeeze it in!

Your soul will thank you for it.

Rawr,
Maritza

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