Disney on Ice Celebrating 100 Years

Disney on Ice is here in Atlanta now through April 28, 2019 and it’s definitely a show you don’t want to miss!

It doesn’t matter if you’re an adult without kids, parents or grandparents Disney has put together a show highlighting some of their most popular characters from the traditions of Mickey Mouse to a shortened version of Elsa & Anna’s story from Frozen on ice which had the crowd (including myself) singing along.

100 Years of Disney Magic on Ice /  Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

The talent among the cast doesn’t disappoint as I heard gasps from the oldest to youngest of children (myself included), and the vibrant costumes, which help tell the character’s stories were on point, as always in the World of Disney.

Songs from your favorite Disney movies are performed as the skaters dance, swirl, twirl and dazzle on the ice in a magical evening the entire family will love!

Dsney on Ice / Oh FIddle Dee Dee

Tami and I letting our inner children out as we head into the arena for Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic

Grab your Mickey (or Minnie Ears) and check out Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic at Duluth’s Infinite Energy Arena through the weekend!

A Haute Cookie in Historic Grant Park

There are two things I simply adore and seek out when it comes to places we have lived over the years: a community that is restoring and rebuilding, and a great local food scene.

The latter is my favorite.

The Grant Park area of Atlanta (named for the city’s oldest park) is a community that has worked hard to revitalize itself after years of neglect. I remember as a little girl this wasn’t a place we visited at all, but oh how times have changed!

The Beacon at Grant Park / Oh FIddle Dee Dee

Yesterday I had the opportunity to venture out to the Grant Park neighborhood to check out a delicious “new venture”, A Haute Cookie — A Luxury Cookie Boutique, as it celebrated its grand opening.

A Haute Cookie / oh Fiddle Dee Dee

Old neighborhood full of Victorian architecture

+ local food

= the perfect afternoon out!

A Haute Cookie Luxury Cookie Boutique / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

I say A Haute Cookie is “new”, but in reality it’s the continuation of a journey from owner Shiana White who has combined her love of fashion and homemade cookies to create a beautiful business! The idea for this grand venture began in her kitchen while having milk and cookies with her kids after a horrible breakup.

Sometimes kids inspire us with the best ideas!

From her kitchen to food truck where Shiana baked cookies and prepared ice cream sandwiches onboard, the opening of A Haute Cookie as a brick and mortar shop at the Beacon in Grant Park is the culmination of a dream come true.

Shiana White - A Haute Cookie / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

A Haute Cookie Preview / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

So what did I try?

More than I should have (thank goodness for a gym sesh with my trainer shortly after), but I had no regrets.

Red Velvet Oreo- Strawberry-Chocolate Chunk / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

The first bite of cookie I tasted was the strawberry cookie. It was moist, flavorful and gone so fast that I had to get a second opinion!

Y’all strawberries were harmed in the making of this cookie and it was so good.

Strawberry Cookie - a Haute Cookie / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

A Haute Cookie Display

So were the chocolate chunk, red velvet Oreo, simple sugar, toffee and peanut butter cookies.

Ice Cream Sandwich - A Haute Cookie / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

As if I wasn’t on a sugar high, I indulged in an ice cream sandwich with rich vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two of Shiana’s chocolate chunk cookies.

A Haute Cookie treats / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

I washed it down with a cookie milkshake.

Shiana utilizes the freshest quality and organic ingredients to make her creations in-house. Besides cookies you can taste frozen treats, brownie pie, and edible cookie dough in an assortment of flavors, including the delicious white chocolate, cranberry, with orange zest dough.

Edible Cookie Dough / Oh Fiddle Dee Dee

A Haute Cookie also offers vegan and gluten-free varieties as well.

You can also have A Haute Cookie host your birthday party, a girl’s night out and classes in their private kitchen. Each participant leaves class with a box of cookies and a spatula.

Shiana plans to continue running her food truck for festivals, parties and weddings, but head out to her new shop and show some love!

You can find A Haute Cookie at

The Beacon Atlanta; 1039 Grant Street, Suite B17.

Parking is free.

A Haute Cookie

Georgia Backroads: BJ Reece Orchard

After a long, hot summer, autumn is the perfect opportunity to venture outdoors and enjoy the cooler temperatures.  Of course here in the South it just means it’s 90 degrees instead of 98, but we still look forward to the seasons change.  Throughout our marriage Audley and I have found many things to do to enjoy the fall and relish a little us time.  From hayrides and pumpkin patches to NASCAR races, the fall is our favorite season to venture out for time outdoors.  We hit the road this last weekend with a road trip on some of Georgia’s backroads into the North Georgia mountians and an apple orchard for a little apple picking!

While we’ve visited apple orchards over the years, this was the first time either of us had ever actually picked apples!  We couldn’t have chosen a more beautiful day, and to top it off, Granny Smith apples are in season!

BJ Reece Apple House & Orchards are located off of Hwy 52 in Elijay, just a two hour drive from Atlanta.

Little did we know apple picking was such a popular activity as the orchard was very busy.  Since I’m planning several things to do with my apples, we paid our $5 admission and then paid for the large bags for apple picking where most everyone else seemed to be there for the novelty and the extra activities around the orchard for the family…. not that there is anything wrong with that!

Finding the best apples was a challenge and like an egg hunt as we are a month into apple season, so many of the trees have been picked over!  Using the map of the orchard, we found a group of Granny Smith trees that had not been hit as hard, and loaded our first bag.  Besides snacking, I love to cook with these tart apples.  We also gathered Golden Delcious apples and Rome Beauties.  Using a variety of apple flavors (tart, sweet, etc,,,) makes cooking with them so delicious.

Strolling through the maze of apple trees, guessing varieties while we walked along was really enjoyable as we were able to talk and take pleasure in each other’s company without the interruptions of work and home. Cell service is spotty, so there were no interruptions from our grown kids either!  It’s outage season in the power plant construction industry, so any time we have to ourselves is treasured and very valuable.  Audley was able to leave work behind as we laughed and even acted silly as we picked apples. These are the moments we value and have helped keep our marriage of 23 years strong.

There were several family related activities around the farm from a zipline over the apple orchard to pig racing, but since we were on a date, we chose to skip those things.

Before you plan a trip to an orchard in the fall, remember a coupe of things:

{There were quite a few things I observed}

**Prepare for it to be busy and be patient,  Apple picking is a novelity and many parents bring their kids out to participate which can make for a little chaos.  There will be a line to get into the orchard as well as to check out in the Apple House.  Be kind and patient; it’ll make the day go so much more smoothly.

**Pick only the apples that are in season.  You can always call ahead to make sure your favorite apples are ready so that you don;t arrive and find yourself disappointed at the selection.

**Don’t take a bite off of an apple and then throw it down; this goes for your children as well.  I was truly disappointed in the amount of waste we saw. Juicy apples on the ground are a welcome mat for yellow jackets.  They will rot quickly and stink badly.

**Also remember to throw your trash away in the waste receptacles.  No one wants to walk through your mess.  Leave the orchards well kept for people to enjoy for years to come.

**I’ve never been a perfect parent, but there is a certain level of respect you should have for others around you when you are out with your children.  Please keep your kiddos under control as you spend the day at the orchard.  It’s not your personal backyard, a playground in a park, or even a zoo.  Children running wide open can cause calamity as older people also visit the orchard; it would be horrible for someone to fall because your kids are fighting or running willy nilly!

**Oh yeah, one last thing…. if there is a sign that says don’t use any ladders you might find in the orchard, it might be a good idea to keep that in mind, especially if you are wearing white jeans.

{Not that I would ever break a rule!}

While Audley and I really had fun together, if you are wanting a date without squealing, screaming and even crying children, a weekend date at the orchard may not be for you.  But, if you are pretty good at savoring any and all any activities as a couple, you’ll enjoy the orchard as much as we did!

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Take A Backroad

Audley had a Saturday off work this past weekend, so we tossed some water bottles (and the camera) in our vehicle and hit the backroads through North Georgia for a little autumn adventure. Driving up through Dawsonville and into Ellijay we discovered fall in Georgia, even if it is still 90° outside!!

Take A Backroad /

Y’all, driving the backroads takes an open mind and clear eyes or you will miss so much!

Fausett Farms Sunflower Field / Fiddle Dee Dee

Just outside of Dawsonville, on the Elliott Family Parkway, was nestled a little sunflower farm. If you are cruising along with only one destination on your mind you’ll miss this sweet little stop, but if you’re savoring the beautiful drive towards the mountains you can’t miss it!

Audley pulled off into the small parking lot (paid $10 for our car) and off we strolled through the Fausett Farms Sunflower field.

Fausett Farms Sunflowers / Fiddle Dee Dee

Saturday was just gorgeous, with all the sunflowers opened and turned to worship the sun. We strolled through the readymade trails of the field holding hands and just taking time to enjoy this simple moment. It really was nice to be away from the city and slow down!

Fausett Farms Autumn Sunflowers / Fiddle Dee DeeSunflower Farm /Fiddle Dee Dee

We were not alone, but it seemed that all who were strolling through the field except for the one family with screaming kids who had zero desire to pose for pictures were enjoying the laid back country atmosphere.

Autumn Scenes / Fiddle Dee Deedate day fausett farms / fiddle dee dee

Next to the huge sunflower field was a pole barn where we discovered delicious BBQ sandwiches, homemade ice cream, yummy boiled peanuts and fresh local honey.

Georgia Local Honey / Fiddle Dee Dee

{I’m totally a sucker for local honey}

Now THAT’S a pot of boiled peanuts!!

Fausett Farms isn’t a carnival or a huge tourist attraction, it’s a simple little homegrown sunflower field on a Georgia backroad that begs you to slow down and stop to smell the sunflowers.

Dawsonville Georgia Fausett Farms Sunflowers / Fiddle Dee Dee

Just think, if we drove the backroads like we drive 285 around Atlanta we would have missed all of this beauty and peacefulness.

So often in life we tend to stay on the main roads because it’s easier. We miss so much when we take the easy route. Hitting the backroads reminds us to slow down and take in the heart of our country, and in the process slow down and savor the little moments in our own personal relationships.

Happy Fall Y’all! Slow down and take the time to savor every moment.

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