Last month I started a Summer Recap series to share my social activities for the month. There were so many events and highlights that I couldn’t let the month pass by without a mention on my blog. With that, I had lots of positive feedback from you guys in the June recap. Surprisingly, I think y’all actually like reading about my life off-line. So to continue this trend, here is my summer recap for July 2015.
Around Town Restaurants:
Cafe Bombay When I crave Indian food, there are only a few authentic Indian restaurants I have to go to hit the spot. One of those places is Cafe Bombay on North Druid Hills in Atlanta. This place has the best Chicken Tikka Masala and Butter Chicken I’ve ever had. Everything else on the menu is just as wonderful. As a bonus, the garlic and bullet (jalapeno) naan is a real treat. I took my good friends An, Gaby and Quyen here one evening. They really enjoyed it especially An who has never had Indian food before. (Um, that’s unacceptable, An!) Cafe Bombay not only has amazing food and service, they also have a fast lunch buffet daily and exotic belly dancing Friday nights.
Haru Itchiban This small Japanese restaurant is my favorite go-to fun spot. It’s located outside the Atlanta perimeter (locals call it OTP) on Pleasant Hill Road in Duluth. My buddy Vu and I always come here to catch up, have a drink and eat exotic and bazaar Japanese food. We do this every other month since life always hold us hostage. As partners in foodie frenzies, Haru Itchiban always introduce us to new and adventurous foods. We had our usual pork belly, assorted chef’s special sashimi and thinly sliced and grilled beef tongue. But on this particular visit, we discovered a grilled salted fish cheek, crispy squid (garu) karaage and buttery sea urchin sushi. AMAZING!
Pijiu Belly This new brunch hot spot is located in midtown, Atlanta by the Georgia Tech campus. What’s so special about it you ask? Pijiu Belly offers the unique mash-ups of traditional American brunch favorites with the most popular Asian food trends in the world! Pijiu means “beer” in Mandarin. Even the name hints an international fusion of East meets West. What’s better than the apetizing menu? The shockingly affordable price! Applause, applause, applause! Well done, Pijiu Belly. Well done!
1910 Public House The week of July 19 – 26 was Gwinnett Restaurant Week where a handful of participating Gwinnett County restaurants offer a fixed 3 course (maybe more) menu for an attractive price of $21.21 plus tax and tip. I came to 1910 Public House with my sister Tram, her husband, Chia, friends Vu, Kristen and Brian. It’s located in historic Lilburn. 1910 Public house is a farm-to-table gastropub offering Southern American cuisine and an extensive list of local craft beers. There were lots of options (3 appetizers, entrees and desserts). For an appetizer, I ordered the plate full of crispy shrimps served with a sweet chilli sauce. For my entree, I had the enormous short ribs stacked on a bed of seasoned mashed potatoes and local veggies. Finally for dessert, I enjoyed the warm berry cobbler with vanilla ice cream. This meal was incredible for under $22. On top of that, I checked-in on Yelp and got a class of Prosecco free. Win!
Antico Pizza, Alpharetta Nested in the heart of midtown, Atlanta near the home of the GA Tech Yellow Jackets lies a popular pizza spot, Antico Pizza. It’s a local favorite here but for OTP residents, it’s really far to commute for pizza. Luckily, way OTP is a town call Alpharetta which is the new home to the growing Antico restaurant. My friend Le and I came here to catch up on girl talk one evening. We usually do that every week when we played tennis. Now we just want to catch up over good pizza. We ordered the lasagna pizza. Forget the fact that pizza is my favorite food. This place served up really good stuff! Oh, the pizza is to die for! Antico fills up fast so come early and get a spot.
Sweet Hut Bakery and Cafe, Duluth I’m so thrilled that Sweet Hut ventured outside the perimeter to be close to us north suburbans. The first Sweet Hut in Atlanta started on Buford Highway, the International Foodie Corridor. There’s one in midtown, Atlanta shortly after that. Now, hallelujah to the one in Duluth. It’s 5 minutes from my house and so convenient when I crave bubble milk tea or the endless showcase of sweet buns! These pastry/cafe shops are huge in metropolis Asia. I’m so proud to see this trend spread like wildfire in the states.
Red, White and Blue I spent July 4th at my friends Mike and Kimi’s house. They always host a great July 4th party. This year, we gathered at their house for some BBQ goodies, a lot of yummy potluck favorites and a huge firework show in front of their house! I didn’t stay to watch them burn through $500 worth of fireworks but I did help myself to the yummy food. I baked an Angel Food Cake with whipped low-fat cream cheese topped with fresh berries to resemble the USA flag. Gotta watch the calories sometimes you know, especially when you are making room for hot dogs, BBQ pulled-pork and grilled chicken wings. God bless America!
Blueberry and Pistachio Ice Cream Each month, I do 2 posts on Craft Box Girls. This month was National Blueberry Month with a tribute to National Ice Cream Day July 19th. Naturally I combined the monumental holidays and shared a homemade blueberry and pistachio ice cream recipe. It was so good!!! The picture does not do it justice. Trust me. You can get this easy recipe on Craft Box Girls.
DIY Dessert Stand Like I said, I do 2 posts a month on CBG. The latest is a DIY Dessert Stand. Anyone who loves to entertain especially with small bites will love this project. I made this adorable set of blue and white dessert stand with only $10. Beat that TJMaxx! You can get the tutorial here.
New Orleans BBQ Shrimp Of all the homemade goodies I ate this month, the winner would be my sister Tram’s New Orleans BBQ Shrimp. This was so good, I made it again the following weekend but it wasn’t as phenomenal as Tram’s version. You can check out this post right here on my blog.
Kalbi Turkey Lettuce Wrap Anyone looking to cook a low-carb but international meal should try my Kalbi turkey lettuce wrap. I made this for a last minute dinner when I had my youngest sister, Galang over for dinner. She doesn’t eat red meat so I turned this Korean inspired wrap into a quick meal.
DIY Little White Dress I don’t know what came over me one evening. I felt like making a white sundress using this beautiful lace fabric I found at Joann’s. I posted this on Snapchat and Facebook as I was sewing it. To my surprise, people were interested in seeing what I made. The dress turned out beautiful, well too beautiful. It looked like a wedding dress. I think I’ll keep this in case I meet Mr. Right and want to elope. Just kidding, mom!
Cricut Project of the Month Everyone knows I love crafting with my Cricut Expression 2. It’s a electric paper cutting machine. Cricut cuts everything in variety of shapes and sizes. My friend Abby came over to get help on making a custom tumbler and tote bag for her sister’s bachelorette party in Charleston next month. She opened my eyes to a new world of paper cutting methods. I knew I could plug my laptop into my Cricut for an out-of-this-world crafting experience but I chose not to in the past. Too many wires and hook-ups drive me insane. Abby downloaded the software and boom! We made these amazing tumblers and totes. Now, I think can live with the wires and downloads if it means an easy and professional result. Hail to the Cricut Project of the Month!
(Man, this post is long. Almost to the end, guys.)
Craft Box Girls Team Meeting/Wine Pairing Dinner I am so proud to be a CBG original blogger. The founders, Lynn Lilly and Courtney Covault are truly positive and inspiring ladies. They treat their bloggers like family. Each quarter, we have a CBG team meeting at Lynn’s house. This month, Lynn hosted a wine pairing dinner and went over exciting news for CBG. It was wonderful. This was my first time experiencing a wine and food pairing. I loved it! It was so great to sit down and enjoy a variety of local wines and yummy bites with these powerhouses of beautiful, talented and influential ladies. This is a great team and I am so proud of CBG and being a part of their community.
Tori Allen PR Monthly Mixer Tori Allen is a young, fun and full of life publicist. She is the founder of Tori Allen PR Firm. Each month, Tori hosts a TAPR Mixer at various Atlanta restaurants to connect with Atlanta bloggers, local business and restaurateurs. This was my first month attending the mixer at Saltyard which is one of my favorite restaurants. I had so much fun. I met incredible people and talented bloggers. We all have connections to Tori in some way. I don’t have a publicist right now but when I decide to go full throttle on this blog, I’m coming to her.
Craft Box Girls About Us Photo Shoot This was the highlight of my month. This summer, Craft Box Girls is updating their About Us video and blogger head shots. I missed it last year as I came on board the day after their Meet the Bloggers photo shoot. This year, I’m in like Flynn! The photo shoot took place in Milton, GA at this beautiful decked out party barn. I even got my hair done by Katie Cammisa from Vis A Vis Salon. She is the best! The photos were shot by the talented commercial photographer, Enrique Samson. You can check out the photos when it’s ready on the Craft Box Girls website. Below are the behind the scene shots taken by local photographer, Lisa Dolny. The whole day was a wonderful experience. I had a blast with all of the bloggers, including Allie from Peachfully Chic and Laura from Jersey Peach Designs.
Yelp Elite Meet and Greet Since I was promoted to Yelp’s Elite status in May, I have been wanting to go to those Yelp Elite events. As you can see, my full schedule this month and last month has not allowed that to happen. Surprisingly, I got a shout out by Yelp Atlanta Community Manager, Jonathan T on Instagram. That same day, my review of Canton Cooks Chinese Restaurant was the review of the day! I couldn’t ignore this. I felt like Yelp wanted to be my friend. That is why I RSVP to meet the CM for Yelp Atlanta. Jonathan was too cool and so were the Yelpers I met that evening at Taproom Coffee and Beer in the Kirkwood neighborhood of East Atlanta. I’m in love with their caramel latte.
Post of the Month
Basic Photography 101: Part 1 All month, I have been working on my Basic Photography 101 3-part tutorial. I was very excited about these three posts because I wanted to share my experience when I started taking pictures on this blog. In the beginning, I sucked! Really, go back and look at my oldest posts. Luckily, someone spent time coaching me. The blogger in me is dying to pay it forward and share the photography wealth. You can check out Part 1 here. Part 2 and 3 will be posted in August.
Day Trip to Madison, Ga I read that 5 of the best small towns in Georgia is within a day’s trip away. With so many events this month, I felt like I haven’t spent much time with my parents. I invited them to Madison, Georgia with me for the day. They were thrilled. We took my nephew, Grayson with us. Madison is located about 1 hour East of Atlanta. We arrived just in time for lunch at Town 220. After lunch, we browsed Madison Market Antique & Interior right next to Town 220. My mom and I bought some handmade jewelry that we were obsessed over as well as the furniture and decor. After walking around town center Madison, I stopped inside Perk Avenue Cafe for a local latte favorite, the Almond Joy latte. It was OK. It doesn’t pack a lot of punch as I thought.
Stay tuned for next month’s social excitement. I’m attending a workshop with CBG’s Lynn Lilly and company for support as well as being a part of a huge premium tequila campaign. Also, I’ll be hosting a pop-up photography workshop with local bloggers. I haven’t forgotten that my friend Shilpi is visiting from CA. My sister Tram will be due with her first child and I finally get to meet baby Atticus. I’m looking forward to sharing so much more next month!