girl, put your records on

vinyl

last month was phillip’s birthday month and i insisted we celebrate in style and together.  we both took off that wednesday and started with a lovely breakfast at buttermilk kitchen, did a little afternoon napping, got soothing massages, and topped the evening off with an italian dinner at marcello’s with kyle and kari (we highly recommend the lasagna).  as we munched on cookies’n’cream cake from piece of cake down the road later at home, we broke in phillip’s birthday gift:  a record player!  i’ve used album art as wall art in my homes for years now, and it only seemed appropriate that we finally put those records to use!

phillip and i had been throwing around the idea of getting a record player ever since he moved in but just hadn’t gotten around to it.  his eyes lit up and his smile grew from ear to ear as he unwrapped the package – i couldn’t help but squeak in joy myself!  and as all men do, he insisted we set it up right then and there.

after some trial and error (and instruction manual referencing), the player was hooked up to the amp and we had legend frank sinatra singing “strangers in the night” to us from days past.  it’s funny how old things become new again, and i’d be lying if i said i wasn’t enamored with the vintage idea of playing records.  there’s just something about that vinyl spinning around that soothes you!  we always have it on when we eat dinner at the table together and i try to even put something on in the mornings as we’re getting ready.  fleetwood mac’s rumours record has been my favorite as of late.

if you’re on the fence about getting one yourself, i highly recommend you do so.  and while you’re at it, raid your parents’ vinyl collection and get some of those oldies but goodies going!  🙂

atlanta glam night!

last night a whole bunch of us from work, 24 to be exact, met up to do some more birthday celebrating at “atlanta glam night.”  okay, so my birthday was almost two weeks ago.  what i’m talking about now is celebrating a birthday month.  let’s all get on the bandwagon!

my coworker whitney also had her birthday earlier this month, and we decided that celebrating with everyone was a no-brainer.  we started out the evening with a fantastic dinner at einstein’s in midtown.  i’ve been there before for my friend kiley’s birthday, so i suppose it’s only appropriate that we continued the tradition.  our semi-private dining space was perfect for our group.  al and i arrived early to disperse the favors, and then the party got rolling.  i don’t even think we ate until almost nine!

the preset menu was the perfect idea for our large party, and from what i could tell, almost everyone was in the clean plate club.  there was steak and fried chicken and salmon all around!  the medium steak i had was cooked quite well, the asparagus was flavorful and grilled perfectly, and as for the mac’n’cheese?  to quote al, “let’s just order a trough of mac’n’cheese for dessert.”  i’m onboard with it!

i looked around the space, and everyone just seemed so happy.  i am glad that we all like each other so much that we want to be intentional about seeing each other outside of the office.  looks like we had a pretty great time, don’t you think?

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after thanking the wait staff and piling outside, some of us wound our way to front page news to continue the festivities.  front page news is a good go-to whenever you’re looking for some live music and patio drinking, and it delivered last night as well.

al & me.

al & me.

out next and last stop was just caddy-corner on 12th and crescent at ri ra.  although a bit of a mess, this bar is one of my favorites in town.  i have fond memories there with my siblings and friends, so i am always up for a drink or two or three there…did i say three?  maybe it was four?  regardless!  al, vinh, andrew, and i shut the place down!  hugs and handshakes were given among us all, and then al and i waved down a yellow chariot to whisk us home.  such a great night!

andrew & me.

andrew & me.

this morning i awoke with some hesitation.  i was ready to keep those blinds closed and climb right back into bed, but i didn’t want the entire day to be a waste.  i met up with kyle and kari for some post-night out brunch at buttermilk kitchen, just up the road from me.  buttermilk kitchen is a brunch spot i love to take folks to when they are in town, and it was just the ticket for me this morning, if you know what i mean.  i enjoyed some pimento cheese, toast, and sausage.  so delicious, and so perfect after a night of going hard, living young, and living free. yolo!

birthdays are better with friends

recently we put together plans to celebrate bank’s birthday.  i mean, turning 26 is a big deal!  i let bank and his wife liz hijack nrw so that we could get together in his honor.  somebody else is going to plan an event?  that’ll work for me in a jiffy!

after work wrapped up for the day, bank and liz invited us all to their apartment for some pre-dinner spirits.  the homemade salsa went well with the hand-crafted, and strong, margaritas.  good thing i had a ride for later!  it was quite relaxing to just hang out with everyone after a long day in the office.  i’m usually so excited being here, there, and everywhere that i forget taking time to slow down is sometimes just as enjoyable.

after everyone finished their drinks, we piled into a few cars and made a short drive to the restaurant.  kyle, vinh, and i were in the “fun car,” if you ask me.  i mean, who wouldn’t want to roll the windows down and serenade the streets of buford highway with off-pitch renditions of “let it go” and “part of your world”?  that’s what i thought.

ten minutes later we rolled into the don pedro’s parking lot.  bank had mentioned this place was quite casual, just one dollar sign, something that was right up jon’s alley.  don pedro’s is no-nonsense, so much so that you might not look twice when passing by.  bank and liz had raved about it, though, which was enough to invite us along.

the don pedro’s menu is very straightforward, as in it is a picture menu, with the dish title as the only indication as to what each may be.  we were all packed in close as the line, and our appetites, grew.  although the whole fish looked interesting, i made a simple choice with the burrito plate.  the staff helped out all fourteen of us and extra tables and chairs were scooted around so that we could all sit together.  our large group took up, i’d say, about a third of the dining space.  we are quite a sight when we are all out and about!

order numbers were soon called out over the intercom, and plates loaded with rice and salsa and tortillas quickly covered the tabletops.  just looking at the sheer amount of food in front of us made me full.  i dug into my meal and between bites, the margaritas from earlier in the evening kept conversation exciting.  i was on quite a roll that night, just ask alison and kari, for they were lucky enough to sit at my end of the table.  my steak burrito was fine, as were the refried beans and rice.  i would say the company of the folks around me, though, is what really made the evening special.

we finished our dinners, scraped our plates clean, and headed back to the apartment.  birthday cake for dessert was still in order!  kari and i were the last ones to return, and as we walked in the door, i saw everyone standing around bank.  i looked at him and asked with worry, “did they already sing ‘happy birthday?'” i was afraid i had missed it!

“no, but it’s okay.  i don’t want any singing.”  the last words were barely out of his mouth as i sang aloud to lead everyone in song with me.  bank simply turned to me with a look of embarrassment.  i returned with a wink and smirk, “you should know better than to tell me that after eight years of our friendship.”  although he said he hadn’t wanted us to sing, i think he was glad we did.

liz cut into the cake and passed slices around to us all.  she had baked a strawberry layer cake that was just divine, and the middle chocolate layer was delicious with the vanilla icing.  a sweet treat with sweet friends to end a great gathering.

kitty turns 26!

einsteins

i met kiley jo carole (aka kitty) in college at the university of georgia.  we were both in the redcoat marching band, she on the flagline and i on the mellophone.  we lived together on penny drive our senior year in athens and have been best friends ever since.  this past week she turned 26 and invited us to celebrate with her at einstein’s, an innovative local establishment in the heart of midtown.  read on to find out just how much fun we had!

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