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.

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!!

A Little Romance on Valentine’s Day

I have been a cheesy, hopeless romantic for as long as I can remember. This began when I was young and was fostered by the books I read, classic movies I watched, and creative writing in journals long gone. I adored the writings of the Bronte sisters, and the often tragic love stories of Shakespeare. I soaked up Lucy Maude Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables wishing for my own Gilbert Blythe, and dreamed of being Christy traveling to the Appalachian Mountains to teach school. Twenty-fours years with Audley and I’m still that same romantic.

Tulips from Mr. Jones … just because

It’s easy to keep romance in our relationship as I am married to a man who, while not as hopeless as I, romances me in his own sweet ways. During the years we’ve been together he has planned special dinners, brought home little gifts or flowers when I least expected it, and refused to take gift ideas from me or the kids because he wants to pick out that perfect birthday or Christmas present himself. Whatever it is, it’s always special because Audley thought of me. To be truthful though, it’s the little things that mean so much. He loves the cheesy dates I pull together, including the ones where we just stay in.

These are some of my favorite moments. There is nothing more cozy that being in your own space without the world and its crazy distractions closing in around you.

With Valentine’s Day just a couple of days away (and on a week day), we took the time over the weekend while Audley was off from work, for a little relaxation, quiet time, and “cheesy” romance. With a fire in the fireplace and a nontraditional snack, it was the perfect time for conversation and reconnecting. Being romantic is a way to savor each and every moment you and your spouse have together; enjoying the unique journey you are taking together. Romance is such a simple way to show affection, and is not as difficult as people would like for you to think it is.

For our romantic evening in, Audley built a cozy fire in the fireplace, we found a fabulous country station on Spotify playing a little George Strait, Alan Jackson, Shenandoah, Reba, and Randy Travis, and I put together a wine and fruit board that we could snack on while talking.

While simple, this is such a wonderful way to spend time together. In a time where we are always on the move, disconnecting from the world is very needed for every marriage. You never realize how much the world infringes on your time, space and mind until you unplug!

Baker’s Dark chocolate and white chocolate melts; I just used sprinkles, pecans & mini chocolate chips on hand for decorating.  

Evenings in like this are also wonderful when finding a babysitter is difficult. Find something to occupy your kiddos or send them to bed, then enjoy each other’s company. Schedule simple couple time regularly, just as if you were scheduling a meeting at work. Be mindful in keeping romance in your relationships, and unplug from the world!

Aldi’s special cheese collection for Valentine’s Day.  BTW, Aldi has a great assortment of flavorful cheeses on a regular basis.  Its worth checking out!

My favorite part about this simple night in is that it didn’t cost much at all! Since it is close to Valentine’s Day, Aldi had these fantastic heart shaped cheeses along with some unique flavors (Wensleydale cheese with raspberries and white chocolate, aged cheddar, & cranberries with Wensleydale) in the store. I just paired them with crackers and made my own chocolate dipped strawberries for 1/8 of the cost of Godiva. Paired with non-alcoholic sparkling grape juice (Aldi had a Rosé grape juice cocktail) and crackers, this was the perfect platter to relax with and enjoy.

By the way, the cost of our evening in was around $23. That’s it.

When you look back over your years together, these are the simple moments you will remember and treasure. Take some time and plan your own “cheesy,” romantic evening in. You won’t regret it!