I recently sat down with Mike from VoyageATL and discussed all things Sweetly Styled. If you'd like to know the history of how we got our start, and some other fun facts, you can read the interview here.
I love dining out. Probably a little too much. I remember putting myself on budgets at certain times in my life and one of the first thing's I'd try to cut back on was eating out. I thought, I won't eat out anymore and that will save me a ton of money. Wrong. I was never able to fully commit to it. I always caved. I'm pretty good about cooking during the week, but who wants to cook on the weekends?! Not me.
I figured since it happens so often, I might as well make a series out of it here on the blog. So, welcome to the first installment of our new series; Eating Around Atlanta. This week I'm featuring one of my neighborhood favorites, Hugo's Oyster Bar. Hugo's is close to my house, they have a great happy hour and the outside seating is perfect for a warm spring day.
Even in the middle of Georgia, you can always count on Hugo's to have the freshest seafood. I ordered their Bluepoint Oysters and they were AHHHHmazing! If you're ever in the Roswell area, be sure to check them out. You will not be disappointed.
The weather in Atlanta has been so nice lately. Bizarre, but nice. Coming from Florida 5 years ago, winters were the hardest adjustment for me. In Florida, the winter consists of 50 degrees and sunshine, to which we would wear a jacket with our jeans and flip-flops. In Atlanta, it means sunless days, filled with gloom and frigid temps (okay, so not as frigid as say Boston or NY, but WAY colder than Florida). For me, the cold is way more bearable when the sun is shining, but those gray days?! Total buzz kill. The winter blues are real, ya'll! *Side note: I laugh when I say ya'll because I am the least southern person you will ever meet, and ya'll just screams southern to me.*
Anyhow, enough about those winter blues because I'm dreaming of spring! These warmer temps we've currently had are making me so happy. I can't wait for open-toe sandals, sun dresses, and all the beautiful flowers that are about to make their annual debut. Spring is my favorite season and I think it's partly because of all the beautiful flowers. Whether you pass them on the street, or pick them up at your local farmer's market, a pretty bouquet is an instant mood brightener.
After hot yoga the other day, I ran into Trader Joes and picked up some various blooms. I love to keep fresh flowers in the house as often as possible. The bouquet that I arranged was so easy and came out much better than I expected. Drop a comment down below and let me know if you'd like to see a post on how to arrange a quick and easy bouquet.
This past weekend my husband and I were supposed to take a trip for my birthday, but in true Kesone fashion, he waited until the very last minute and hotel & flight prices skyrocketed. I'll cut him some slack though because it wasn't entirely his fault. We were unsure if we'd have a sitter and everything was up in the air until my mom decided to come watch the kids.
We've been in Atlanta for 5 years now, but since we don't have any family here, and we're kind of crazy about who we trust with our kids, we don't always get the opportunity to venture out sans kids. Having a new baby at home definitely doesn't make that any easier. If anything, it makes us a tad bit crazier about who we trust. So, once my mom got to town and we knew the kids would be well taken care of, we turned our vacation into a staycation.
All I really wanted to do was eat & drink our way through Atlanta, while exploring some new places on the way, so we booked room at the Whitley and did just that.
On Friday, before we checked into our hotel, we went to happy hour at Gypsy Kitchen. It's somewhere that we've been before, but I had been craving their brussel sprouts and shrimp, so we headed back to satisfy my craving. I must have been so excited when they arrived because I completely forgot to take a picture (SO out of character). Afterwards, we strolled around The Shops Buckhead Atlanta and admired the twinkling lights and graffiti laced walls. Then we went to the hotel and crashed by 11:00 because we're old married folks :)
On Saturday, we headed over to Joy Café for brunch. It was the first time we'd been to their new location and it was completely packed. We waited about 45 minutes for a table and it was worth every second. They have an array of mimosa options, but I went with the tried and true original - gotta love a place that takes the time to freshly squeeze their OJ. I'm a sucker for a good breakfast burrito and theirs did not disappoint. I'm also a sucker for Diners Drive-Ins and Dives and Guy Fieri can vouch for just how amazing this place really is.
We decided to head home after that and spend some time with my mom and the kids because, like most parents, we crave time away and then miss them when we're gone. After some quality time, we headed to O-Ku for some sushi and drinks. We arrived about 30 minutes before our reservation time and, since they couldn't seat us early, we snagged two seats at the bar, decided to eat there, and enjoyed some people watching. I ended up wanting something more filling than sushi, so I opted for the teriyaki chicken. It was SO good. The vibe in the restaurant was really nice and I heard they have a rooftop bar. It was raining when we were there, but with warmer temps approaching, we'll definitely be back to check out that rooftop.
On Sunday, we squeezed in a workout and then headed to Ponce City Market. I'm obsessed with this place. Anytime we have family or friends in town, we take them there. The food options are endless and most of the boutiques are filled with items from local artists. We started off at W.H. Stiles Fish Camp where I had the most delicious oysters and a lobster roll. After that, I stumbled upon Modern Mystic Shop - the most adorable little crystal shop. I snagged a cute crystal and the book, Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed, that I'd been wanting. I couldn't bare the thought of leaving without eating at at least one more place so, despite the fact that I was already pretty full, I dragged Kesone into Bellina Alimentari and ordered their meatballs and a glass of wine. I'm surprised I didn't need to be rolled out after that because I definitely felt like a stuffed meatball.
All in all, we had a great time. We got dressed up everyday, we explored, and we ate & drank our way through Atlanta. It was the perfect weekend and we didn't even have to leave town.
Some say Valentine's Day is a silly holiday, but I'm a sucker for love and, considering it's the day after my birthday, it's always been one of my favorite holidays. How could you not love a day that is completely devoted to love?!
In honor of my littlest love turning 6 months old, we recently met up with our photographer, Nicole, over at Fonzeno's Creative Expressions. She took the cutest Valentine's themed photos of the ones I love most. So happy with how they turned out & already thinking of ideas for our next shoot.