The Dekalb Farmers Market

If you have never been to the Dekalb Farmers Market, I would highly recommend a visit. It’s a hidden gem in the city of Atlanta, and ever since I fell in love with the Athens Farmers Market, I have been obsessed with exploring markets to find the freshest, most colorful food I can find. (Side note: I miss the colors and flavors of Athens so much! It’s such a great college town. Go dawgs!)

Ever since I made the big move back to Atlanta, I’ve been dying to visit the Dekalb Farmers Market. And let me tell you, it did not disappoint. As soon as I walked in, I was overwhelmed by the amount of color that I saw: fruits, vegetables, spices, cheeses, flowers, desserts, and even flags hanging from the ceiling. Whether I looked up, down, to the left, or to the right right, there was color to be seen. I was in heaven! Farmers Market FlagsLettuce HeadsPeppers

I purchased some delicious fruit (my favorite being a pineapple the store clerks peeled in front of me), fresh arugula, one of the yellow peppers, and an assortment of snacks I couldn’t resist. I left with five full grocery bags, and my total was $28.67. So not only do they have some of the freshest, most colorful food I’ve ever seen, but also some of the cheapest!

Did I mention my private tour guides? My cousin and her babies go to the Dekalb Farmers Market nearly once a week and are experts at maneuvering through the crowded yet colorful lanes. The two-year-old had an absolute blast — she was counting the vegetables we put in the cart, planning dinners for the week, and admiring the unique colors we saw around market. Her favorite things that day were a light green lemongrass and a bright purple eggplant. She loves color at an early age, too! Maybe it runs in the family. Cousin fun!

I hope my trip to the farmers market inspired you to shop and cook with a little more color! Does anyone else have a favorite market in Atlanta? Happy cooking!

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A Colorful Throwback: The Spice Girls

Everyone loves a good throwback… So why not talk about the music group that defined my pre-teen years —

The Spice Girls.

One look at this picture and I am reminded of the color that the Spice Girls brought to my life. Their wardrobes, their hair, their shoes! I collected Spice Girls bubble gum, lollipops, post cards, and posters that were colorful. And even their lyrics promoted friendship, positivity, and most importantly—girl power.

The group didn’t want to be average. And they did everything imaginable to stand out.

The outfits were not only unique and colorful, but they also matched their names as well, which reflected the individual attitudes and personalities. Sporty Spice was always in sporty attire, and Scary Spice always had some sort of animal print or bright color. Posh Spice was always the most fashionable, and Ginger Spice was always the sexiest. Baby Spice, my favorite, was always cute as a button.

These girls truly took on their roles and created a band with a personality that no one could compete with…

We all have a lot to learn from the Spice Girls. Because if you “wannabe” a color queen, all you need to do is “stop right now” and “spice up your life!” Girl power!

Pizza Dip

As far back as I can remember, my grandma made pizza dip at every family gathering.

While it would cook in the oven, all seven of the grandchildren would take in the distinct smell and wait impatiently for it to be done. As soon as my grandma would put the pizza dip on the table, it was a mad dash for who could eat the most. No one in my family would leave the table until the dish was empty. It was, and still is, my favorite appetizer.

Even though my grandma has passed away and no longer makes her special pizza dip, it has become one of my favorite recipes to make for any occasion. Whenever it is cooking in the oven, I marvel in the smell—a smell that conjures up both memories and my appetite. I proudly carry on her tradition and know that my grandma would be thrilled to know that I am sharing her recipe with my friends as well as keeping the dish a part of my life.

So now I share with you, my grandma’s infamous pizza dip recipe. Enjoy the memories, the smells, and most importantly the final product… I promise you won’t be disappointed.

What you need:

  • 8.5 by 11 Pyrex dish
  • 1 box of cream cheese (8 oz.)
  • 1 jar of Ragu’s Pizza Quick Snack Sauce
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese (not pictured)

How to make it:

  1. Lightly grease the Pyrex with cooking spray (I use Pam).
  2. Let the cream cheese get soft, so that you’ll be able to spread it. Cover the entire Pyrex with the cream cheese. (Sometimes, I heat the cream cheese in the microwave so it is easier to spread.)
  3. Next, chop the entire onion into small pieces. Cover the layer of cream cheese by sprinkling the onion into the Pyrex. (You don’t have to use the whole onion, as long as there is enough covering the layer of cream cheese.)
  4. Measure out one cup of mozzarella cheese, and sprinkle it evenly over the layer of onions.
  5. Pour the entire jar of Pizza Quick sauce over the layer of cheese. (Finally some bold color! The dish was looking so bland…)
  6. Lastly, sprinkle any kind of Parmesan cheese over the layer of sauce. You don’t need to cover the entire dish; it’s really just a sprinkle!
  7.  Cook for an hour at 350 degrees or until it is golden and bubbling! Serve with tortilla chips, wheat thins, or even veggies… and enjoy.

A colorful hobby

I don’t remember exactly when my passion for home decor, total renovations, and house hunting started… but in the recent months, I have become obsessed. It’s not like I’m in the market for buying a home, and I haven’t had a need to decorate a house, well ever. But I have a new hobby, and I can attribute it to two things.

  1. HGTV: I was at the gym one day in the fall when I turned on “Curb Appeal,” a show that transforms the exterior of a house into something beautiful, updated, and entirely different than what the home owners originally had. I don’t know why, but I was hooked. Then I found “House Hunters,” “Property Virgins,” and “Property Brothers”—and the rest is history. The shows have taught me about real estate and design as well as how to turn a fixer-upper into a dream home (like these image below from “Property Brothers”).

    Before

    After

  2. Pinterest: Everyone has a Pinterest account these days, as the site continues to grow daily. I love all of the categories and am constantly inspired. But my favorite category by far is home decor. The pins overwhelm me with beautiful rooms, fabulous color combinations, and unique furniture. I have created different boards to help me organize what I love: bedrooms, for the home, and accessories. You can check out my boards here, and see the designs, color palettes, and styles that I love. Isn’t this bedroom gorgeous? I love the wall color, the mirror above the bed, and contrasting colors with the pillows and bed spread.

 

 

I think what I love about my new hobby is seeing the impact that color has on design. I am always blown away by transformations, where a house may start out a mess and ends up looking like a million bucks. I love the process of picking a house, noticing what is unique about it, and planning the design process.

I watch HGTV daily, and I am excited for my new found passion! I’m one step ahead of the game, and I’ll be ready (and EXCITED) when the time comes to buy and decorate my own house.

The Athens Farmers Market

As a student, I take my sleep very seriously. And the only reason I will gladly set my alarm before 9 a.m. on the weekends is to attend the Athens Farmers Market, which has quickly become one of my favorite Athens activities. My friends and I choose to get there early because that is when the vegetables are abundant and color is everywhere.

Stands are set up with local Athens vendors that sell an assortment of products—potatoes, arugula, tomatoes, bread, even freshly made pasta. I once asked a vendors if the basil he was selling was fresh, and he told me that he picked it that morning. You can’t get much fresher than that.

As I go from one stand to the next, I am overwhelmed with color…the red of a tomato, the purple of an eggplant, the intensity of a sunflower. And when I get home and start cooking, I am always delighted by the taste. What I buy from the farmers market has vibrant color and an amazing taste. I have certainly become spoiled by the quality of what I buy from the local vendors.

If you have never been to the Athens Farmers Market, I urge you to go and experience the excitement. I guarantee that you will leave with great food, a smile, and items that will make your kitchen and food colorful!

Top 5 Colorful Things This Summer…

As it turns to fall, I have to say that I’m embarrassed for my blogging absence in one of the most colorful seasons, summer. But just because I wasn’t blogging does not mean that I didn’t enjoy colorful things! So I’ve chosen the top 5 colorful things I enjoyed this summer to share with yall.

1. Dylan’s Candy Bar in NYC

I got to go to New York City to help with Grady College’s Peabody Awards. (It was so fun!) And I cannot be in the city without taking a trip to Dylan’s Candy Bar. Colorful candy is literally everywhere. I could buy prepackaged candy, make my own candy packages, or chose from one of hundreds of gumballs in a bathtub (my personal favorite). Color and candy are everywhere at Dylan’s!

2. Newell Rubbermaid Products

I was lucky enough to be Newell Rubbermaid’s e-marketing intern this summer. And for those of you who do not know what amazing brands Newell Rubbermaid has, let me tell you just a few – Sharpie, PaperMate, Uni-ball, Expo, Goody, Calphalon, Graco, Rubbermaid, Levolor – the list could go on forever. But what you need to know is that it is an amazing company with amazing brands and products that fill my life with color! Check out these colorful pens that sat on my desk everyday and inspired me to be creative at work this summer… Yup, I’m pretty lucky.

3. Jackson Hole, Wyoming

This summer, my family and I took a trip to the breathtaking Jackson Hole. We visited national parks, white water rafted and saw countless animals in their natural habitat. We got a real feel for the Western cowboy culture. Here is my favorite picture from the trip… my sister and me in the mountains with a moose in the background! We were on a hike, and a moose walked in front of our path just carrying out its day-to-day life. (Be on the lookout for a more detailed Jackson Hole post in the future. There was just so much color!)

4. Italian Food

There wasn’t a day that passed when I didn’t reminisce about my Italian summer in 2010. So every chance I got, I ate Italian Food. This is a picture of a tomato, basil, and mozzarella pasta – one of my favorite food combinations. I also had countless servings of caprese salad and margarita pizza. For anyone who lives in Atlanta… you have to try Antico Pizza. It has the most authentic Italian flavor and a great restaurant ambiance.

5. Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville is a great town — one that is close to the mountains and resembled the best college town, Athens. Asheville was a short drive away from the Blue Ridge Mountains, and it takes pride in all things local (which is what reminded me of Athens). And of course, it was colorful! Mountains were always in sight, storefronts were decorated and the houses were all painted colors. This is a picture of the bed and breakfast that I stayed at, A Bed of Roses, where flowers were blooming and the home-cooked breakfast was one-of-a-kind.

A Colorful Future

With the semester coming to an end, I have been reflecting on my blog’s progress and thinking about its future. So what perfect timing for my sister to send me this poster image from Etsy‘s Parada Creations:

And I realized that this sums up how I feel about it’s a colorful life. Excuse me for loving the colorful things I find in my everyday life, but I truly love what this blog has allowed me to express over the past few months.

I have found a new appreciate for color, crafts and decor—and now that I’ve started I never want to stop. I find myself thinking of new blog opportunities everywhere I go. I receive inspiration from other blogs such as design*sponge, Oh Joy! and P.S. I made this. This colorful outlet has allowed me to be more colorful in my day to day life.

It doesn’t matter if I’m a big deal anywhere else, but on my blog I think I’m allowed to feel like a big freaking deal.