Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Mom's Night Out at the Mall of Georgia

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Mall of Georgia invites area moms to celebrate Mother’s Day a little early this year with Mom’s Day Out: Fashion + Fun on May 11 from 6-8 p.m. in Von Maur Court.

Guests will enjoy a much-needed night of pampering and fun with live music from The Woody’s, beauty demos, tasty treats, and much more!  The first 200 guests who register to be a Mall Insider will even receive a complimentary swag bag filled with goodies.

WHAT: Mom’s Night Out: Fashion + Fun
Enjoy live music from The Woody’s, beauty demos, tasty treats, and much more!

May 11 from 6-8 p.m.
 WHERE: Mall of Georgia – Von Maur Court, 3333 Buford Drive, Buford, GA 30519                       
HOW: This event is FREE and open to the public!  The first 200 guests who register to be a Mall Insider will even receive a complimentary swag bag filled with goodies.  For more details, visit
Visit Mall of Georgia on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Sonny's Gives Discount to First Responders

Hooray for Sonny's!

They are giving all First Responders 50% off any Big Deal Combo May 1 and 2.

If you are a First Responder or know someone who is, this is a great deal and a wonderful way to celebrate those who serve us best!

Please share!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

New Skyline Garden Adds Breathtaking Vista at Atlanta Botanical Garden!

Hugging the southeastern corner of the Garden overlooking the park, the new Skyline Garden, opening May 6, will present the Garden’s horticultural expertise on a whole new level.

“This is going to be one of the most spectacular venues in the city, whether you’re into exploring a unique palette of plants that can flourish in the Southeast or want to hold a romantic wedding with a skyline view or simply need a quiet escape – all in the center of the city,” said Mary Pat Matheson, the Garden’s President & CEO.
 The Skyline Garden lends a modern contrast to many of the Midtown attraction’s other display gardens and features plants from opposite ends of the spectrum for an unparalleled experience.  The 15-acre garden extends from the southeastern side of the Great Lawn south to the rear of the Fuqua Orchid Center on a hillside overlooking the park.
As visitors enter the Skyline Garden, lively red, orange, coral, and gold summer annuals draw them toward the new Robinson Gazebo.  More than 4,000 square feet of seasonal color mark a grand entrance to this contemporary garden space.  A fun mix of spring- and summer-flowering shrubs provides the “bones” for this primarily rotational garden.  Nowhere else in the botanical garden will be as saturated in color as this space, known as the Anne Cox Chambers Flower Walk, immersed in the seasonal blossoms of camellias, hibiscus, dwarf crape myrtles, and re-blooming azaleas.
Take a seat in the new gazebo, relax, and be captivated by an iconic view of Midtown and downtown office and condo towers.  This impressive backdrop of the city rises over the Conservation Garden and Cactus and Succulent Terraces, showcasing more than 14 species of agave, yucca, and prickly pear.  Native bogs blanket the foreground, while water-wise terraces dominate the slope below.  In cool weather, relax and warm up to the outdoor fireplace.  In warm weather, linger under the shady shelter of the Garden’s new “back porch”.
Wander from the gazebo through the newly renovated Conservation Garden, showcasing native plants and the complex work done by the Conservation team.  Representative ecosystems are woven together with a tapestry of native plants.  
A circular pond remains the hub of the space.  An inviting lawn extends on the northern side, and the start of the Cactus and Succulent Terraces are to the southeast.  Raised planters of various heights and widths are home to an extensive collection of cacti and succulents, interplanted with flowers that love the heat.
The project, designed in partnership with the Garden by Spurlock-Land and 3 fromme DESIGN, is made possible by the Garden’s Nourish & Flourish Capital Campaign.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Tickets Now on Sale! Gardens for Connoisseurs Tour!

Mother's Day Weekend Tradition Features 10 Private Sites
For celebrating Mother’s Day, there’s no better place to explore than the ten breathtaking gardens featured on the annual Gardens for Connoisseurs Tour Saturday and Sunday, May 13 - 14.
Benefiting the Atlanta Botanical Garden, the tour spotlights private home gardens in metro Atlanta, including Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Brookhaven, and Midtown.  Featuring a range of styles and sizes -- from tranquil woodland settings to intimate urban oases, the professionally designed to “gardener’s gardens” – the event will delight both green thumbs and the “garden curious” alike.

Tickets for the self-guided tour, held rain or shine each day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., are on sale at and at select area retailers.  They are $28 in advance (garden members $22) and $35 on days of the tour and are valid both days.  For information, visit

Friday, April 21, 2017

Mall of Georgia Adds Four New Stores!

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Area’s largest shopping and dining destination welcomes Amazon Pop-Up, Avia Nails, Billy Beez, and Brooklynn’s; Artful Living, Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, and Sunglass Hut reopen while Journey’s, Journey’s Kids, and Swarovski Crystal undergo remodels

Mall of Georgia management is pleased to announce the additions of an Amazon Pop-Up, Avia Nails, Billy Beez, and Brooklynn’s to its extensive retail and dining roster.  These new offerings will join recently reopened Artful Living, Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, and Sunglass Hut in the Southeast’s largest shopping destination.  Journey’s, Journey’s Kids, and Swarovski Crystal are also scheduled to undergo remodels this spring.  
Shoppers will have the chance to experience the full range of Amazon devices such as the Echo, Amazon Fire TV, Fire tablets, Dash Button, and Kindle at the Amazon Pop-Up – anticipated to open in April.  In the kiosk located on the Lower Level in Center Court, shoppers will have access to Amazon experts on site to help navigate, recommend, and set up Amazon devices.  The shop will also carry Amazon compatible accessories.
Slated to open in late June in a 4,229-square foot storefront near Forever 21, Brooklynn’s will offer women shoppers a versatile selection of bohemian, classy clothing, and accessories.  The retailer will carry everything from special-occasion dresses, casual active wear, high-end denim, game day attire, and more.
Billy Beez, the leading choice for kid’s entertainment, indoor play, and birthday parties, is scheduled to open later this year.  Families will find an array of activities ranging from slides to sport courts, tunnels to towers, ball blasters to bouncy trampolines, and plenty more fun in the 20,949-square foot space located on the Lower Level near Haverty’s Furniture.
Specializing in nail extensions, manicures, pedicures, and waxing services, Avia Nails is scheduled to open its doors in April.  Measuring at approximately 1,063 square feet, the shop will be located on the Lower Level next to Von Maur.
Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics recently completed an expansion project in its storefront located on the Upper Level near Belk.  The renovation increased the space from 620 square feet to 2,282 square feet and will allow the retailer to significantly increase its product offering.  Providing shoppers an eclectic assortment of gift, jewelry, and home accessory options, Artful Living recently relocated to a 1,135-square foot storefront on the Lower Level near Von Maur.  High-quality eyewear retailer Sunglass Hut underwent a remodel and is now open on the Upper Level near Abercrombie for shoppers to stock up on their summer shades.  
To better serve the needs of shoppers, Journey’s, Journey’s Kids, and Swarovski Crystal will undergo remodeling this spring.  Shoppers can keep an eye out on Mall of Georgia’s website and social channels for reopening details.  For a full retailer roster and more, visit

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Matilda the Musical Brings Laughter to Midtown

Last night, my companion and I had the sheer delicious pleasure of attending, "Matilda the Musical," at Atlanta's Fox Theatre.

Being quite familiar with the mid-1990s movie, we were filled with anticipation to see the musical adaptation and what kind of young talent it would produce for us.  I am happy to report that we were not let down.  Not only did this play meet our expectations, I believe it raised the bar even higher.

Matilda is the story of a young girl born to an unruly and horribly rude and obnoxious family.  When we meet Matilda, she is school age and her Parents enroll her in school where a horrible head mistress, Miss Trunchbull (an aging and former Olympic disc-throwing star) runs the show.

As in the movie adaptation of Ron Dahl's book, we watch precious and brilliant Matilda outwit the horrible adults around her while also befriending and falling in love with her school teacher, Miss Honey.  It the classic story of a young girl with no one to love her winding up with her own loving family in the end.

The stage set is amazing.  There is a huge library set that is used throughout the musical, as well as the school room setting, and Matilda's home.  I loved the way the musical used the alphabet throughout the show.  If you go, remember to take note and watch all the many ways, the alphabet is presented and used.  I believe it's a true witness to children and that first schooling experience of being introduced to the alphabet and learning to read.

Now - the characters.  Who hasn't seen this film a million times and had a love/hate relationship with Miss Trunchbull?  The incredible Dan Chameroy plays the mean and abusive headmistress.  Listen.  He could not have duplicated her any more perfectly.  His voice, his mannerisms, his facial expressions.  Everything.  You must see him to believe it.  He had our audience rolling with laughter.  Such a timeless and iconic film character.  (Ron Dahl is always great at creating iconic literary figures.  Think Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.)

Other fantastic characters in this musical are of course Matilda's parents - a Father who sells (dishonestly) used cars and a flamboyant, want-to-be ballroom dancer Mother, neither of which have the time or desire to know anything about or love their little daughter Matilda.  Matt Harrington and Darcy Stewart are both wonderful in these roles.  And, as a delicious little side note - you must see Matlida's Mother's Italian ballroom dancer teacher, Rudolpho.  He is so funny and charismatic.  Truly had us in stitches.  Loved him!  Thank you, Stephen Diaz, for bringing this character to life.

The character of Matilda is played by three different young actresses for this tour.  On the night we visited, Matilda was played by ten-year old Jenna Weir.  Previous experience includes the Toronto production of Matilda as well as a variety of tv credits.  

I think the thing that is so amazing to me with each of these productions that have children in them is the level of talent they possess.  These kids are 9, 10, 11 years old, and they are dancing to tightly-choreographed numbers, singing, and memorizing what must be books of dialogue.  How in the world do they do it?  Astonishing!

And speaking of musical numbers, the soundtrack for this musical was great.  Even though we didn't know any of the numbers beforehand, each one was relevant and wonderful.  Tim Minchin has done a great job with the music and lyrics.

One other thing I always like to mention is about the play in relation to taking children.  Our showing had a lot of kids in it.  This musical is perfectly fine for your littles.  No profanity or nudity.  Just a lot of good belly laughs.  In fact, at the end of intermission, Matt Harrington (Mr. Wormwood) came out and gave a disclaimer to all the children in the audience not to replicate anything they saw in the play.  Perfect!

Matilda plays The Fox Theatre through April 23.  Tickets are $33.50 - $128.50 and may be purchased though or by calling 1.855.285.8499.  Need a sneak peek?  Take a look at a production number from the 2013 Tony Awards:

NatureBox Spring Sale!

Guys.  I am seriously in love with NatureBox.

No, wait.

I am SERIOUSLY in love with NatureBox.

Two months ago, I ordered a starter box, based off some wonderful internet reviews.  The box came, and everything in it looked delicious.  I think my starter box was around $20 (?) or so.  I can't remember now...

Some people may think that's too much for "snacks," but I wanted healthy snacks, and I didn't want to waste time doing research.  This seemed perfect for me, and unlike Graze, where they automatically ship you a box for $15 (ouch) each month, NatureBox only ships when you order.

NatureBox is a subscription service.  You pay $5 a month, and that $5 is credited back to your account.  So far, I've only eaten 2 out of the 10 snacks that were in my starter box.  (I use the snacks at work for those long afternoons when you start to get the munchies.)  ...and quite frankly, I can't wait to get to the others.

Right now, NatureBox is having a Spring Sale.  A selection of yummy-looking and sounding snacks are on sale for 25% off with the code SPRING25, and as always, shipping is **FREE** when you reach $25.

I am excited.  Check out some of the yummy treats on sale.  If you'd like to order some of these yummy, healthy treats while they are sale, visit the NatureBox website.  If you order through the clicks in this blog post, you will receive $20 worth of product for **FREE!**

Why turn down free food?  Go ahead.  Click.  Savor.  Enjoy.

Maple Sea Salt Almonds

Blueberry Greek Yogurt Pretzels

Cinnamon Yogurt Mini Grahams