Tag Archives: Atlanta

All-Around Good Time

21 Aug

Disclaimer:  Picture-laden post!

This past weekend as beyond amazing! I finished my very last day of everything Emory-related on Thursday, so my weekend started early…


… with a visit from Christy and Ava!  Christy played a big part into holding my hand during the BIG camera-purchasing process… my mind also jumped with glee when she offered to let me borrow her super-amazing, 50mm f/1.4 USM lens!!  Each lens, as I’m finding out, is vastly different and requires a lot of learning and practicing.  No matter what you purchase, you have to educate yourself on the realms of what the lens has to offer in order to get the quality photos you’re looking for.  So we basically played around with my Canon 60D and her lens (NOTE: absolutely NO photoshopping done to the photos below except one):

Kisses for Mommy

She’s obviously as excited as I am about their visit. Totes obvs.

Getting her to say “hydrangea” was just about the cutest thing I’ve ever heard…

Is it just me or do little fingers make your heart melt too?

Soon after, I met with Ninaroo.  Which meant (naturally) coffee + a rare mani/pedi!  And we apparently were in the same kind of mood, because we picked the same mint green for our fingers and hot pink for our toes.

Can you tell who’s who?

We were sad that HU’s bosses wouldn’t release her until later that evening.. but at least we all got together – with our guys – for dinner at Newk’s.  Classy, you say? You betcha. Especially when it’s 1/2 off wine and beers – TGIF.

After dinner, we headed back to our house for a party!  That’s right… Chris threw an event together!  He really is the best. He also managed to put these up all over the living room and kitchen with the help of my brothers:

And we probably fit 20-25 people in this place – which is no easy feat!  But it was so incredibly great to see everyone, especially knowing that they made the time to come over and hang out!  You can probably tell from the picture below that I may or may not recall every single detail of the evening:

Yes, I was collecting that night…

The Original NinaSquared

One thing is for sure… Chris and I had one of the best nights ever in a long time!  We don’t go out too often and it’s been a while since we had that many people over – plus we saw friends that we hadn’t seen in months *ahem, DavidK, DavidP, BeccaT, and aforementioned significant others*!  It was beyond great!


Saturday began with a somewhat lazy morning… and, for the record, I felt wonderful!  Chris, on the other hand.. well, we all know how he gets after having 2 glasses of practically anything.  😉  No matter what, they day held many promises of a good time because we were off to celebrate HenryH’s birthday at Piedmont Park!  Plus, a little bit of Wendy graduating from her Emory program as well!

Chris and Will

Henry, Dog-Lover Extraordinaire

Can’t say the view hurt the grilling experience….

At the same time, they had an art festival going on, showcasing artists from all around Georgia.  I didn’t get to capture much b/c I didn’t want to be that weirdo, but I did get a couple of random shots…

Cute little Meihong enjoying her temporary hammock…

And across this pond, you can see the little gazebo we had our own pictures done by Glen at Pixel-This (images 4 & 5): 

By the time we got home from being in the sun all day, Chris and I could barely move!  We did eventually, just to make it to the grocery store to pick up some items for a new dinner idea (seriously, our new favorite), which basically is  Taco Bell’s Crunchwrap Supreme.  For about $14, we had enough for 3 adults to have 2 each (which would have totaled about $25 at Taco Bell, I think).

Christy had also let us borrow The Lorax, so we popped that in and called it a night.  Well, I did, anyhow.  I couldn’t stay up and only managed to fit in the first half of the movie before I passed out.  I still haven’t finished it, but Chris really liked it!


I wish I had more pictures to share, but we did also get to see some old friends, Amit & Florence, who are getting married next month.  Since Chris is in the wedding, he’ll stay here while I’ll be in Chicago for my cousin’s wedding, which is on the same day.  We had planned to meet at J. Christopher’s, but poor planning = long wait. We ended up at Waffle House.  Florence did mention it might have been her first time, so I guess it was a good choice… just not healthy.  haha.

As soon as brunch was done, we picked Allan up to meet my dad at Turner Field for Game 3 against the LA Dodgers.

Sadly, we did not win (the series left the Braves 1 for 3), but we did all get to enjoy (more) beer, peanuts, tachos, and good company.  Mostly, it was just good to hang out with our dad… my mom comes to Atlanta a good bit, but my dad’s visits are far and few between because of the odd hours for work.  I can’t wait for both of them to be able to retire and join us more often (perhaps move close to me one day?).

WHEW.  Like I said, the weekend was a whirlwind. Even just getting the pictures loaded took a painstakingly long time (thank you, U-Verse), but it was definitely a memorable experience.

Brookhaven Beer Fest

25 Jul

This post is from a while time ago (June 9th, to be exact), but I kept forgetting to write about it.  This one’s totally personal, but with our lives getting busier, we seem to enjoy times together with friends more and more.  So, back in June, we had tickets for the 2nd annual Brookhaven Beer Fest!  Gotta love big cities… always something to do!

Along with us, we had many of our college friends (and one of the newest and cutest couples I know):

Kate and Pabs

Another great friend of mine, and fellow colleague (with her awesome beau):

Olivia and Vinh

And the guy who introduced me to Chris:

Last, but not least, Kevin (link takes you to his inspired-by-me blog) – with a girl we’ve never met and most likely will never see again:

Kevin – a happy man in a happy moment

And, of course, this post would not be complete without adding a little bit of weirdness… purely because that’s just how we roll.

Kate making friends left and right

Alex, Will, and I –> yes, I like to raise my eyebrow be weird

Told you this was more for me… but since I’ve started this blog, I really want to put in memories to look back on and laugh at.  You know, before events like this become few and far between… which, hopefully never happens.  But I’m sure that every parent has said that one time or another.

Hosting Atlanta

13 Jul

About 3 weekend ago (I know, I’m so late on this!), my cousin visited from Chicago!  This is the same cousin that was in this video, but sadly his better half could not make it.  But that’s okay, because I’ll be seeing her in her gorgeous white dress later this year.  In addition, Brian’s little sister, Tina (yes, we have a Nina and a Tina in this family), also could not make it.  But hopefully she and Dave can come down another time… after Brian shares his RAVING reviews about Atlanta.  😉

Remember when I mentioned my love/hate relationship with Atlanta?  Well, let me tell you, it is MUCH easier to host in Atlanta than it is in Augusta.  We have one major road that holds everything the city has to offer that expands about 10 miles or so? (I’m terrible at guessing distances).  Meanwhile, Atlanta has a lot of great events and wonderful sights to see as long as you can ignore the heat.  Speaking of great events, this was the same weekend of the Haven conference, where my inspirations, Young House Love & Bower Power, were… and yes, it still excites me knowing they were in the same city as I am (though Katie Bower lives here, just not ITP).

I had a pretty open slate to fill with things to do when Brian came down from Chicago. So, what better way to do it than eating great food, having beers, and catching up? The only request Brian had made was visiting Heirloom Market BBQ, because it had gotten so many rave reviews:

And o.m.g. the food was AMAZEBALLS. They did such a great job combining Korean cuisine and barbeque – the sampler plate was perfect for 2 hungry boys while Chris and I both had the spicy pork sandwich.

Besides, who could resist a bottle at a barbecue restaurant that says “Hotlanta”?

It was a great thing we went to eat such a large meal and down some serious jasmine sweet tea… because next up, softball!  There’s a great group of people who put together a summer-long event that involves meeting every 2 weeks on Saturday to play a different sport – Chris played in Ultimate Frisbee a couple weeks ago.  Yes, it’s insanely hot.  But, it was a lot of fun to go with Allan, Brian, and Chris.  I got a hit on the first try against James!  Probably because he was busy with his randomly bleeding nose (was it dry that day? I don’t remember):

We got our stinky selves back home to rest for a while before I baked up some calzones (inspiration from here) – we’ve made these a LOT in the past, so it was kind of nice to bring it back.  Once we finished eating, we headed out to meet up with some more friends, including Nina and James, for a going-away party.  And what do we like to do for going aways?  Sing.  That’s right, we went to karaoke.  And. It. Was. Full. Of. Surprises.  I think Brian became surprised with Chris and Allan.  Chris because he can rap – like, Eminem and DMX stuff.  I don’t know where he pulls it out from — unless he practices from time to time.  And Allan was a huge surprise too because he’s normally so quiet and shy.  I loved this Allan.  I think he was more comfortable because Chris and Brian were on either side of him. Oh, and he had some beer.  Either way, Allan was an awesome singer as well!

Finally, what better way to end our night than a classic 2 a.m. visit to Waffle House?  Not this Waffle House.  Brian was so excited that we bought meals for 3 people for less than $20.  Seriously, he could not get over it.  I think that was the cherry on top for Atlanta in his opinion.

Sunday morning was slightly rough with Brian starting his convention, but at least he got to hear Condoleeza Rice do her thing at the Georgia World Congress Center.  Once we picked him up from the event, we quickly moved on to meet my mom at one of our favorite Korean restaurants: Jang Su Jang.  The food here is always good, but it is a tinier bit  on the pricier side.

Sadly, we had to get Brian to his hotel after dinner so we would all be rested up for our work weeks, but I was so glad he at least got to spend a couple of nights with us in our home.  Luckily, we got to meet up with him one last time to another Atlanta-based restaurant: Vortex.  If you haven’t been here yet, I don’t care if you’re just stopping by or live here, but it’s an absolute must!  Note: Everyone has to be 18+  years.

I’m so happy we got to have some great quality time with our cousin, since we rarely get to see each other.  It’s funny how some things never change as we grow, but I look forward to seeing him in Chicago, getting married to the love of his life this fall!!! Generally, I’m just excited to get back to Chicago….

Have a great weekend, everyone!

4th of July in Buckhead

5 Jul

I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July this year!  We sure did, despite it being in the middle of the week (doesn’t it just throw your entire schedule off???).

I have a love/hate relationship with Atlanta.  I’m from Augusta, which is technically the 2nd largest city in Georgia, but there is a HUMONGOUS difference. I mean… we just got a 2nd Target about 5-6 years ago and we now have FOUR Wal-Marts. I know — big whoop! My friends and I (including Ashley) used to play hide-and-seek in our neighborhood Wal-Mart… that’s how excited we kept things. Good, clean fun.  Mmk, you can stop your snickering now.

My love/hate relationship is no secret… Chris and I were even talking about in a small restaurant one afternoon many years ago (well before I made the move) and an older  gentlemen came up to reassure me that I would get used to Atlanta and how in love he was with the city.  How nice.  And it took me a full year to get used to the traffic… I wouldn’t even venture in a new area unless Chris-the-Norcross-native was with me (GPS was too slow on that 3G network).

Since moving to Atlanta, one thing that I am grateful for: the annual Peachtree Road Race.  It is a 10K that occurs every year (for the past 43 years) on the 4th of July.  And the coolest part about it is that the race starts in Buckhead (down the street from us) and ends next to Piedmont Park. (map from here)

Waiting for our 9 am call time.  We had a pretty late start time since we had never done it before (James was at 7:55, for comparison).

With HU… and her flawless makeup:

At the start… if this doesn’t make you feel patriotic, I don’t know what will:

Can’t always say that you stood on Peachtree Road in front of Lenox Mall!

I kept seeing this one runner around Mile 2-3, and her squirrel tattoo instantly made me think of one of my favorite bloggers, Raising Colorado (love her humor and honesty):

I won’t lie, we walked most of the infamous Heart Attack Hill… because the elevation goes from 817′ above sea level to 930’… and Piedmont Hospital graciously put up a sign saying “Runners, you’ve reached the top!”

The scenery got even better after Mile 4 because of Downtown Atlanta’s skyline:

I even pulled hopped over to the sidewalk to get this picture as we went over I-85:

By Mile 5, I kept hoping for the end to come soon, but Chris and I were still feeling pretty good… and we had lost HU back around Mile 3.  But as Ninaroo kept telling me, the energy is indescribable.  It really kept me going for the first 3 miles – I think Chris and I averaged 9-minute miles (just for the first 3 miles though!).  By the end, I was incredibly happy to see this after crossing the finish line.

Yep, the majority of 58,000 people from all over the country (and some from other countries) all centralized around Piedmont Park.  Oh, and this guy (isn’t he TALL???):

If you don’t remember (why would you?), we had our engagement shots with Glen done at Piedmont Park.

And of course, if you follow me on Instagram (ninasquared), you saw this image:

6.2 miles later, Chris and I finished at 1:22:42 and 1:22:41 (respectively).  That’s right, I won. 😉  And I only needed 6 puffs of my inhaler. (Thanks, Atlanta, for giving me bouts of wheezing that never existed in my childhood – love/hate, remember?)


Later that evening, we met up at HU’s apartment, across from Lenox Mall, and participated in some eating and applying tattoos.  I’d always wanted a tattoo across my wrist (no worries, Moms, not happening anytime soon), Ninaroo suggested that this might curb that need for a while.

And, guess what?  I started a trend:

It’s hard to see, but you can see we all have a wrist tattoo, along with our glow stick bracelets

Yes, we are all 26 and without children.  But this is completely acceptable by my book.

I just love what the moon did in this picture:

Surprisingly enough, he kept that headband on for most of the night:

The Lenox Mall fireworks were phenomenal this year… the finale just made the whole day worth it.  I have to say that I hadn’t seen a finale so well executed before!

Overall, July 4, 2012 was a truly wonderful day because Chris and I challenged ourselves in a new way and succeeded our goal of finishing the race (seriously, we though it’d take us over an hour and half to finish the race), but most importantly, spent the day with our best friends.

Hope you all had a happy 4th of July as well!!!

Chi Town Love Story

3 Jun

Happy Sunday, ya’ll!  This weekend was amazing and full of activities for Jaime’s wedding – I can’t wait to show off pictures.  I am so honored to have been able to help in all the ways I could in order to keep things running smoothly!  Despite how much I hated my own wedding planning and am relieved to never have to go through it again, I find myself feeling so happy and fulfilled helping others with theirs!  One of the vendors was even shocked when he learned that I wasn’t an actual coordinator!  (I’m sure he was just being nice) PLUS, I got to see my own photographer and his own beautiful wife/assistant, Glen from Pixel-This.  (I have more images here, if you’re interested)

Anyhow, while we’re talking about weddings, Chris and I have to split up for one this September.  He’ll stay here to be in a close friend’s wedding while I’ll be Chicago with my original half of the family for our cousin’s wedding.  Brian is the only “Oppa” I have (which translates to “older brother” in Korean), but he’s a truly hard working graduate of the University of Michiganand still remains a die hard fan, by the way.  Anyhow, I cannot wait for their wedding (1) because I know it’s going to be incredibly elegant and beautiful, and (2) because I cannot wait until I get myself back to Chicago.  It’s an amazing city full of history, museums, and constant flashbacks to the newer Batman movies.

Anyhow, just wanted to share the wonderful story of Brian and Jenny, who were recently filmed and featured on WCIU, The U, a local Chicago channel.  Spoiler: He proposed.

I’m sorry that I couldn’t figure out to embed the video… the people at WCIU were also unhelpful, but what can you do?


He’s so handsome, isn’t he?  And Jenny is the prettiest cousin-in-law I could ask for… that, and I’d love to raid her closet!  Congratulations you guys!

This also reminds me, Brian will be Atlanta soon for a conference, but he’s coming during the weekend to spend time with all of us… I’d appreciate any suggestions for places to take him, places to eat, and places to drink.  I have a general idea, but I’m always open to new thoughts and suggestions! Thanks!

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