2019 Home for the Holidays Designer Showhouse

Last week I was invited out to the 2019 Atlanta Designer Showhouse for media day. Each year Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles Magazine puts on this event as a fundraiser for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and this years home is just amazing!

Instead of a new build, the home was a remodel of a 1950’s era saltbox in Sandy Springs taken on by Harrison Design and decorated by some of Atlanta’s most talented designers! They proved you can do absolutely fantastic things with a remodel!

Besides showcasing the interiors of this home, the talented designers of each room also decorated for Christmas! Room after room of elegant interior and holiday inspiration awaits as you wander through each room.

Here’s a peak at the beauty this home boasts, beginning with an exterior before and after!

BEFORE:

Via Harrison Design

AFTER:

This 5,500 square foot, five bedroom home with limestone foundations now boasts an office tower, keeping room (butlers pantry), a dreamy and totally enviable kitchen, new master suite addition and open floor plan with plenty of space for entertaining year round. The exposed beams, marble counters, spiral staircase and amazing bathrooms make this a dream home for sure, but at the same time a home that is warm and welcoming.

Enjoy a glimpse of this fabulous home!

Entry into the house

FRONT/SIDE PORCH:

The original entry is now a beautiful covered side porch, perfect for dining or lounging.

Sigh…. THE DREAMY KITCHEN:

Sitting area off the kitchen… part of the open concept

DINING ROOM:

LAUNDRY ROOM:

DOWNSTAIRS BATH (just one of them; this one includes a built in foot bath in it own space!):

HOSPITALITY LOUNGE:

MASTER SUITE ADDITION:

Shower and tub together with the tub being drawn from the ceiling!

Those Views!!

 

UPSTAIRS SPACES:

There is so much more to this home than what I shared, but you must visit the Homes for the Holidays Showhouse for yourself to catch it!

 

The Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles 2019 Home for the Holidays Showhouse is presented by Harrison Design and The O’Donnell Group, produced by Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles and benefits Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The home is located at 4825 Woodvale Dr. NW, Atlanta, GA 30327, and runs now through December 8, 2019. Advance admission is $33. Tickets at the door are $35. Parking is available along Woodvale Drive Northwest with a shuttle running daily. Find more information at atlantaholidayhome.com.

17 Retro Happy Meal Toys Are Returning to McDonald’s This Week

40 years ago this month McDonalds introduced the Happy Meal to the delight of parents and kids around the world! Finally there was a bargaining chip on the table (literally) that could be used to coax every child to behave at the doctor, dentist, worship service, piano practice, Cub Scouts and to pay attention on the little league field!!

Laugh if you must, but I remember that ploy quite well. My mother used the tool on me, and I on my kids.

Admit it, we’ve all been there!

Seriously though, I do remember the feeling of being special when we got a Happy Meal as it was a real treat! Years down the road, when Audley and I were dating, and I was preparing to become Samantha’s momma, we made many a visit to McDonalds for play days and a Happy Meal as we searched for the ever elusive Pink Power Ranger!

The things we do for our kids, Right?!

Well, McDonald’s is unlocking that childhood joy across the globe in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the first-ever Happy Meal by introducing the limited-edition Surprise Happy Meal, featuring favorite throwback toys from the past four decades.
 

My baby sister totally remembered many of these!!


The Surprise Happy Meal will be available in more than 90 countries starting November 7 at participating restaurants. If you’re in Atlanta like me, you can get your hands on the Surprise Happy Meal until November 11, while supplies last.

Over the years Happy Meal toys have put a playful spin on the foods McDonalds is known for, showcased movies from Disney to Looney Tunes, and had fun with pop culture by including matchbox cars, beanie babies and the always adorable Hello Kitty! It was the original “unboxing”!

Are you ready for a trip down memory lane? Here are all the toys that will be returning for just a handful of days this week: 1988’s Cowboy McNugget, Fireman McNugget, and Mail Carrier McNugget, 1989’s Hamburger Changeable transforming toy, 1990’s Grimace, 1991’s Dino Happy Meal Box Changeable, 1993’s McDonald’s Hot Wheels Thunderbird, 1995’s Hamburglar, 1995’s Power Rangers, 1996’s Space Jam Bugs Bunny, 1997’s Patti the Platypus (yes, the Beanie Baby is back!), 1997’s 101 Dalmatians, 1998’s Tamagotchi digital pet, 1998’s My Little Pony, 1999’s Furby, 2002’s Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey, and 2013’s Hello Kitty.

While this is a global release, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey and 101 Dalmatians are exclusive to the US.

To help you celebrate this fun event I am giving away a gift card from McDonalds to one of my readers. All you have to do is share your favorite, first or most entertaining McDonalds Happy Meal memory!! This is not a place to discuss your opinions of McDonalds, or anything negative, but to look back and have a little fun!! I will draw a winner on November 7 so hopefully you will have your gift card before the promotion ends!

Happy Monday Y’all!!

Apple Cider Cupcakes

My sweet Momma is a Halloween baby and turns 70 today!

We celebrated big over the weekend with lots of family, food and of course yummy cupcakes!

I was looking for some inspiration for cupcakes when I happened on a recipe where you replace milk used in most cake recipes with apple cider. That sounded like the perfect seasonal recipe so I adjusted the recipe to fit what I needed, gathered together eggs, flour, vanilla, apple pie spice, etc…. ad got to baking!

I loved how the cupcakes turned out and they were so moist! Honestly using Apple cider was a fantastic call! The fact the cider was fresh from Crow Mtn Orchard nearby made it even better!

I used a basic decorators buttercream icing tinted with Wilton gel colors for decorating.

Momma loves seasonal flavors and this was a great way to utilize her favorite!

Let’s not talk about the candles… seriously y’all , sometimes you have to improvise.

Here is the full recipe you can print for Apple Cider Cupcakes

BTW…. If you aren’t a fan of icing, serve these babies up hot with butter. Yep, they make fantastic muffins, too!!

Happy Halloween Y’all!

My Hallmark Movie Baking Moment Gone Wrong

Ah… the joys of fall!

I try to savor every one of them; a little at a time as not to burn out on pumpkin spice and of course the traditional autumn bucket list.

It doesn’t always work out the way I wanted and mistakes are generally made.

I suppose I could stress and fret over things, but as parenting four kids taught me, what is the point!?!

Sometime’s you just have to go with the flow.

Last week, Tammie (Talking With Tami) and I headed up to Elijay, Georgia in the north Georgia mountains to pick apples at the beautiful BJ Reece Orchards.

Aren’t we so cute?

It was the perfect 65° Autumn day in Georgia with lots of Rome Beauties to pick from and a gorgeous drive as well!

Girlfriend days are always valued and treasured, as well as much needed, and picking apples is so much fun and most relaxing!

Tammie and I decided we would use the fresh apples we picked to make a yummy apple crisp to enjoy over the weekend.

Gathering together all the ingredients like apples, oatmeal, butter, cream, flour and brown sugar we prepared two pans in the kitchen for our apple crisp.

Everything went so smoothly and seemingly perfect as we sliced and melted and mixed and crumbled the ingredients.

It was truly picture perfect.

As I said, not everything always goes as planned, despite how well you prepare.

If you recall, I mentioned having everything I needed, plus two pans. Tammie and I were just going to split the recipe, so I added more apples. About six more apples to be exact, so our pans were full.

The crisp baked up nicely, and was so pretty when done.

Tammie and I sat down to taste it all served up in autumn bowls, the fresh baked crisp topped with whipped cream…

And y’all…. it was so very, awfully dry!

Oh you could taste the tart crisp apples, but My picture perfect, Hallmark, apple picking and making dessert moment was ruined.

My Apple crisp was dry!

Then I remembered the extra Apple I added so we had enough in each of our dishes…. I didn’t compensate by adding extra of the other ingredients.

So what do you do when you have a dish you want to serve, and no time to make a new one?!

{There was an actual purpose in choosing this dessert}

You Improvise of course.

Heavy cream is what makes this dish so juicy and yummy, so I drizzled heavy cream over the top, sliced a few pieces of butter and popped it back in the oven until heated through again.

Definitely not as good as making it correctly the first time, but still good enough to share, and with no leftovers.

So here is your Lesson of the day: As holiday baking commences pay attention when you are baking, embrace your failures, improvise and pretend you did everything absolutely correct the first time as you set it on the table (after traveling with it to Tennessee) for your Momma to eat as part of her birthday weekend celebration.

Here is my Deep Dish Apple Crisp recipe in full so you can print it off! Keep some extra cream & even butter on hand for emergencies.

Happy Monday y’all!!