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!

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House Hunting

I was in Atlanta walking around near Candler Park when I stopped mid-step at what I saw before me..

House after house painted different shades of fabulous!

The colors were fun and added a charming feel to the neighborhood. I’ve seen houses here and there painted fun colors before, but never this many in one place. So I picked out a few of my favorites to show you!

Would you ever paint your house a color?

the highway’s simple treasures

As I drove to Birmingham, Alabama, to visit with family, I was reminded that the simple things in life make a HUGE difference. Driving on a highway can be so boring and painful. But I got lucky because I found color!

My family and I drove on a beautiful day with clear skies. So I was able to admire the blue sky touching the newly green leaves on the trees. They were filled with various shades of green leaves, and it was obvious their blooming was recent.

There is something so amazing when everyday, contrasting colors are so vibrant.

The next colorful and simple pleasure I saw was an abundance of blooming wildflowers in the median of the highway. Luckily I was not driving becuase I could not take my eyes off of the flowers, which was a refreshing burst of color compared to the gray highway.

Thank you mother nature for making my highway ride colorful!

Which simple pleasures do you enjoy?

el color in COSTA RICA

Over winter break, my family and I traveled to the beautiful country of Costa Rica.

Its national expression is “pura vida,” which means a pure life. The country’s citizens and visitors certainly abide by the saying—for everyone I met was happy and everywhere I went was colorful!

We started the trip in Arenol, the volcano region. Since Costa Rica is a rain forest, it is usually raining. These are the only sunny, clear pictures of the volcano and lake Arenol. There were breathtaking natural colors and images.

                 

Costa Rica is famous for ziplining through the canopy. My entire family (even my cool grandparents!!) flew through the trees, with wind blowing all over bodies and screaming for dear life. The views from thousands of feet in the air were incredible, and this experience was something I will never forget.

We also went white water rafting on class four rapids. The best part of the trip was stopping on a little beach half way through our ride to cut fresh fruit. The rafting guides turned one of the rafts into a table and cut the freshest most vibrant pineapple I have ever had.

For the second part of the week, we were in Tamarindo beach on the Pacific Ocean. Everyday was prettier than the last and colors were EVERYWHERE. The ocean, grass, beach chairs, wild animals (like iguanas and monkeys), food, the stores… Just sitting and taking in the scenery was my favorite beach activity.

       

Costa Rica was full of bright colors, spectacular sights and friendly people. The vacation was a perfect combination of both action and relaxation. So I ask you… Who’s ready for a beach trip?

BLUE for charity: water

Our social media class is working on a group campaign to raise $5000 for charity: water, a non-profit organization that deals with the water crisis in underdeveloped countries.

Our goal: to raise $5000 so we can build a well, which would give 250 people clean water.

Our first plan of action was to hold a bake sale to get a basic start on our fundraising. And to my excitement, we decided to have it themed blue—that’s right, all cookies, cupcakes and treats were blue to make a statement that we were baking for water.

Check out our baked goods:

There were three different kinds of blue inspired cupcakes! These have awesome blue water droplets.

I made the blue rice krispie treats. It was so easy—I just put food coloring in the recipe!

We had buckets filled with blue tissue paper for decoration.

And we even sold water.

Charity: water is a great cause, and to learn more about it view their website.

More importantly, we need YOUR help in reaching our goal of $5000! Please visit our class site here to contribute in our efforts to build a well. Thanks in advance!

Spring has Sprung

Spring is definitely here…

And the color opportunities are everywhere. Just open your eyes when you are outside and make sure to appreciate Mother Earth’s magnificent colors.

Here are some colorful Spring attributes I’ve noticed springing up around town…

Flowers blooming

Instead of just vines, flowers are climbing up the fences and houses

Amazing, colorful, eye-catching flower petals

Trees with color! (this is my favorite time of the year to be outside)

Enjoy the blooming spring colors!

Italian Amore

I was reminiscing through my pictures when I came across my album from when I traveled to Italy.

I studied abroad in Italy this past summer, and everyday I was overwhelmed with its beauty. The architecture, people, food and scenery constantly took my breath away. And looking back at those pictures I realized… COLOR was everywhere.

I studied in Verona, which is located in the Veneto region in the north. (It is said to be the city where Romeo and Juliet took place, thus it is called the city of love.) Each building was painted a pastel color and had contrasting colored shutters on its windows. Flowers hung in baskets out of windows. And no matter where I looked, color was present.

Below is a picture of Piazza Bra, which is one of two main piazzas in the city of Verona. The architecture here was defined and the color of the buildings, street signs and even the road played a significant role in the city’s beauty.

 

Here is a picture of Verona taken from the top of the clock tower in the center of city. This is the bird’s eye view of the city where you can see the colored roofs, rolling hills and unique buildings. Man the birds have it good…

Yes, the entire city looked like this. In fact every city I traveled to in Italy had its own breathtaking attributes and I regularly found myself standing in awe of what I was looking at.

 

As I traveled around the rest of Italy, I quickly learned that the country’s landscape—as well as the food and wine—was also full of color and beauty.

Here is one of five dashing towns in Cinque Terre, located on the Italian Riviera. A hiking trail connects the towns, and I hiked from town to town while mesmerized by the intense blue of the Mediterranean Sea, fierce green grass on the side of the mountains and the rainbow of buildings in each town.

The Amalfi Coast was, in my opinion, the most beautiful and elegant city I visited. Here I am with my travel partner and BFF on the balcony of our hotel in Positano. Cascading hills lined with colorful homes and hotels as well as dainty flowers were everywhere I looked.

My friends and I were lucky enough to get to experience hands-on Italian cooking by taking a cooking class in the countryside. Below are stuffed zucchini flowers with chives and goat cheese filling. We beer battered them and baked them in the oven—quite a decadent appetizer. Also, we handpicked spices from the garden to create a fabulous dinner where I was able to focus on the exceptional taste with each bite.

Now the only thing left to do is book my next trip!! Anyone up for a visit to Italy?