Wednesday, June 26, 2013

New Friends and Tacos...

You never know what excitement you will get on the road!  After two long days of sales calls out in Raleigh I started making my way back to Atlanta with some calls along the way.  You never know who you will meet in your life or who you will click with but there always seems to be a reason why it happens.  This past weekend when we were in Charlotte I met a group of amazing girls!  They were so welcoming and really made you feel like you have known them for years.  As I made my trip back to Atlanta, I was staying the night in Greensboro, and I remembered that one of my new friends, Amber, lived in the area.  Giving her very late notice, I asked if she wanted to grab dinner, and I am so glad that I did!

We went to dinner at a super amazing hole in the wall taco place in downtown Greensboro and we ordered one of the most amazing appetizers I have ever eaten in my life.  I mean the tacos were good but this appetizer was great!  It was a stuffed avocado with cheese, ground beef, and I am not even sure what else was in it but it was baked to perfection with the crunchiest chips I have ever eaten.  But you know, beyond that, the food wasn't the best part of the meal, the company was!


There are many times you meet people and you wonder if you would be friends with them outside of the situation that you met them.  Other times, you instantly mesh well with them.  I can honestly say that I wish and hope that someday Amber moves down to Atlanta (selfish I know) so that we can become great friends!  She is one of those people that I had an instant connection with and what started as a quick meal between girls that barely knew each other turned into a 6+ hour meal where we closed down the restaurant and talked for a couple hours in the parking lot of the hotel and became very fast friends.  It is a breath of fresh air when you find someone with your same morals, standards, and outlook on life.  I think the night could have lasted forever, but all good things come to an end at 1 AM  :)  No but seriously, it was amazing having girl time and talking about everything in life, some appropriate for the amount of time we have known each other and some not!  So with that, I can say CHEEZ to Greensboro and a great new friend :)  See you 4th of July weekend!


Cheez (no R) to Charlotte

This past weekend was quite a fun filled weekend, but the best part was meeting some amazing new people!  So here we go...

Friday afternoon, Joe and I headed up to Charlotte but made a pit stop in Greenville to eat dinner with my dad and brother!  My dad had never had oyster's before and had talked about them a lot so Joe and I decided we would take him to Bimini's, a restaurant that originated in Charleston.  We had a blast eating oysters and a large variety of other seafood!  It all turned out great, minus the steamed oysters that wouldn't open, but we had enough food as it was so it turned out to be just fine!

After dinner we drove the rest of the way to Charlotte and met up with a large group of Joe's friends and some new super awesome NC girls!  It's always exciting to meet up with new people, especially new girls with that group, because it tends to always be a big group of guys!  Once everyone got to Charlotte we went out to EpiCenter where we hung out and got to know everyone there!  I was super excited to have met some friends that had very similar personalities to me and we got along so well!  The bars in Charlotte have last call at 1:30 so I knew it wouldn't be too late of a night, so we walked back to our hotel.  Right across the street from the hotel was Pita Pit so everyone enjoyed a healthy late night snack before heading to bed.
The Whole Crew!
Roof Top View

Apples?

Cheez to new Friends!!!



Bull Riding!!!

Saturday morning got here before we knew it and it was time to hit the National White Water Center right outside Charlotte.  To say the least it was quite an effort to get the group moving, but since we were meeting up with some of my friends as well, Joe and I hit the road early.  Jennifer, a friend from high school actually works there so not only was I super excited to see her but we were also very grateful to have her as our tour guide!  Mr. and Mrs. Woodworth (AKA Katie and Will) also met up with us and life is always a blast with them around!  If anyone gets the chance to make it up to the White Water Center I would HIGHLY recommend it!  We had the time of our lives and hope to go back sometime very soon.  There, we started off with rock climbing and I have to admit my arms are very out of shape!  After that we hit the white water rafting, followed by paddle boarding.  After paddle boarding it was lunch time before heading to the zipline!  It made for a very long day so we decided to call it quits after the zipline and go grill out at Meredith's roof top apartment for dinner.

National White Water Center!




Joe Climbing High!
Dinner was quite a production and there was so much food!  We had steak, burgers, brats, hot dogs, potatoes, fries, corn, and much more!  After eating way to much food it was time to bring out the ice cream cake to celebrate one of Joe's friends Clint's birthday!  Everyone loves ice cream cake, and of course after we finished up I got to do something that I have always wanted to do!  I got to smash the cake in Clint's face!!!!  We might have made a mess but it was totally worth it.
Happy Birthday Clint!

Dinner Time :)

After that it was time to get ready then head out for the evening.  Katie and Will met up with us so it was great seeing them again and catching up more.  After leaving Whiskey Wearhouse, we headed
across the street to a bar so that the boys could play some ping pong.  I was in for quite the surprise, and I ran into Patricia, a high school friend of mine who I have not seen in ages!  I was so happy to see her and talk weddings since she is about to start planning her own :)  Gotta love running into someone you haven't talked to in years and oh how we have grown up since then!  After the bars closed we headed to Pita Pit one more time before heading home.
Birthday Boy


The Woodworths!

Patty!!!!!

Sunday was a low key day with a late brunch and walk around down town Charlotte before I hit the road for Raleigh to do some sales calls early Monday morning.  Shout out to Meredith for being such an amazing host to such a large group of people! I got to Raleigh just before dinner time and after a quick workout I met up for dinner with my brother in law which was amazing!  I always love knowing people in the cities I travel because it makes the trip that much more enjoyable.  It was especially nice seeing Doug because it has been some time since we have gotten to sit down and have a long conversation.  What a great way to wrap up the week!  So with that, I have finally caught up on the week, but there is plenty more excitement to come as I slowly start making my way back to Atlanta.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Wedding planning...house hunting...cooking...growing up quick!

So before I get into a recap this weekend, I wanted to recap this past week because it was full of excitement!  The week started of with some wedding excitement on Monday!  The DJ was one thing that Joe and I really knew nothing about and didn't know how to go about finding one.  Luckily, a guy from Joe's high school was a fairly well known DJ so we did some research on him and he had great reviews!  With that, we set up a time to talk to him so we could ask him some questions about how he runs weddings, music choices, etc.  He did a great job answering our questions and concerns about our unique touches that we want during our wedding that pertain to him, so we decided he would be our guy.  With that, we booked our DJ and are one step closer to having everything booked!  The next step is bridesmaid dresses, and I really think they will be the worst thing to decide on!  I promise you it has been harder deciding on that than picking my own dress :)

This week I also cannot pass up some posts about our meals.  We switched up meals a bit this week.  Normally Joe doesn't have too much say in what I cook because I want to try new recipes so this past week I let him pick from my recipe book and I would make the ones he wanted!  We ended up having Chicken Picatta and Shrimp with Mango Salsa.  The Shrimp with Mango Salsa is a super quick, healthy, and easy meal that is full of flavor!  Enjoy :)  I also made "healthy" brownies for desert that Joe said tasted very good considering they were made with apple sauce for sugar, Greek yogurt, and whole wheat flour! They are also only about 145 calories/serving and a lot healthier calories than normal desert!  Since I am not a huge fan of brownies to start with I can't say I tried them but Joe liked them! Anyways, below are the recipes!



Ingredients:

Vegetable oil cooking spray

8 cups baby spinach

1 cup couscous

1 lb medium shrimp, shelled and deveined

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 teaspoon salt, divided

1 large mango, peeled and diced

1 medium avocado, diced

1 medium tomato, diced

1/4 cup chopped red onion

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Directions:

Heat grill. Fold four 18-inch-long pieces of foil in half; unfold and coat inside with cooking spray. Place 2 cups spinach in center of 1 half of each piece of foil. Combine couscous with 1/4 cup water; divide evenly among packets, placing on top of spinach. Combine shrimp, 1/4 cup cilantro, oil and 1/2 tsp salt in a bowl. Divide shrimp evenly among packets, placing next to couscous. Fold foil to close and crimp edges to seal; place on grill; close lid; cook until packets are fully puffed, 10 minutes. Combine remaining 1/4 cup cilantro with remaining 1/4 tsp salt, mango, avocado, tomato, onion, jalapeƱo and lime juice in a bowl. Carefully cut foil to open; stir contents; garnish with salsa before serving.
 
Yummy Shrimp on the Grill

Ingredients:

½ cup flour

Salt and pepper

1 tbs. parmesan cheese

1 lbs. chicken

2 tbs. butter

3 tbs. olive oil

1/3 cup lemon juice

½ cup chicken stock

¼ cup capers

2 tbs. butter

Directions:

Prepare pasta as directed on box.  Mix flour, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese on plate then bread chicken.  Mix lemon juice, chicken stock and caper, and bring to simmer.  Fry chicken in 2 tbs. butter and tbs. olive oil for 3 min on each side.  Place chicken in simmering sauce for 5 min.  Remove chicken from pan.  Place chicken on pasta and pour sauce over plate.
Chicken Picatta


 
Skinny Whole Wheat Brownies

Ingredients:1/4 C. Honey
2 Oz. Semi Sweet Chocolate, Chopped (I used Baker's)
2 Tbsp. Cocoa Powder
2 Tbsp. Dark Cocoa Powder
1/2 C. Whole Wheat White Flour
1/4 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp. Salt
1/2 C. Brown Sugar
1/2 C. Unsweetened Apple Sauce
1 Egg
3/4 Tsp. Vanilla
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/4 C. Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

 Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper. In a microwave safe bowl, combine the honey and chopped chocolate. Melt in 15-30 second intervals, being careful not to burn! Allow to cool. In the mean time, in a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powders, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, beat together the brown sugar, apple sauce, egg, vanilla, and olive oil.


Add the melted chocolate and honey to the egg mixture and blend. Carefully add in the flour mixture and beat until all is well combined. Spread the batter into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before cutting into 12 equal squares.

Healthy Brownies!

So besides meals, the last thing I wanted to touch on was house hunting!   House hunting is full of ups and downs.  Joe spends a lot of time looking at places, and I am very grateful that he actually loves looking at houses above, below, and at our price range!  He is such an expert in this market that I 100% trust his judgement which is nice because it makes the experience a lot easier on me!  That being said, it's still not easy!  Thursday night was date night for Joe and I and we had an amazing date at Prici, an Italian restaurant in Buckhead.  It was super amazing and I ate way too much, but since we were already downtown we went ahead and looked at two houses.  The first was a house we though would love, and ended up not being too impressed by it.  The second house was one we didn't like the images of and thought about not even looking at it, but after a last minute decision to go ahead and look at it, we fell in love with it!  It is the perfect house, so Joe contacted the realtor and we were informed we had to have our final and best offer in by noon the following day!  Lucky for us, Joe was able to do that, and because we loved it so much, we went above list since we knew there were 4 other offers on the table.  Later Friday we received news that we had not won the bid and we were incredibly sad about it :(  That being said, we are still keeping our hopes up and kept our offer on the table as a back up offer in case this one falls through.  So, with that being said, everyone keep your fingers crossed that the other one falls through (not to wish bad things upon someone I have never met but I love this place!). So, with that, the week was over and it was time for our weekend mini-trip to Charlotte!  More to come on that later :)  Workout time for me now!!!





Monday, June 17, 2013

Amanda's in town :)

This weekend was another great weekend...mostly because Amanda came to town :) :) :)  Amanda is one of my best friends that I grew up with and went to the same high school.  It wasn't a crazy weekend by any stretch of the imagination but we had a great time catching up.  I am always in need of some quality girl time!  Friday night Amanda came to the ATL and we cooked dinner (See Below Post) and caught up on life since we hadn't seen each other in a really long time!

Saturday was quite an exciting day :)  We went shopping and I bought my second designer purse :)  I got my first Michael Kors bag, because of course I needed a summer purse!  After shopping we came home then hung out by the pool for a bit before heading down town for dinner and game night.  So that we didn't ruin our streak of hanging out with Kellie Ann and Reza we of course had to meet up with them!

We got downtown and looked at a potential house for Joe and I to buy but it ended up not being the one!  Everything was perfect, except that the master bedroom didn't have a closet!  For anyone that knows me, I have way to many clothes...and so does Joe, so that would most definitely not work for us!

Pool time :)
Isn't it pretty :)
After the house visit, we headed to dinner at a cute local bar right down the street then went to Reza's for game night!  After avoiding paying Monopoly for quite some time, I was convinced to play.  This complaining is only because I told Reza I would, but I am pretty sure that I am the most unlucky player known to man kind when it comes to Monopoly.  Every card I draw I have to pay money to the bank and I go to jail about a million times.  That is the reason I hate Monopoly.  That and because it lasts forever!  Either way, it was still a great night with amazing sangria and great friends :)
Love her :)
Sunday was another shopping trip for Amanda and I and then it was time for her to head home and for me to go celebrate Father's Day with Joe's family.  We had grilled pizza which was super yummy!!!

As unexciting as the weekend might seem, it was exactly what I needed!  After working on wedding stuff, traveling, work, etc. its always nice to have a low key weekend.  Best of all, Amanda was in town.  It's easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of life, but taking a step back and enjoying the people around you because it's not every day I have one of my best friends in town visiting!  Now, with that, I am ready to take on the week :)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Gotta LOVE Home Cookin...

This week has been my first full week working from home in quite some time so I was VERY excited to be able to cook some home cooked meals.  I had been saving up a lot of these recipes because they all looked so amazing!!!  All of these are quite healthy and for the tzatziki sauce often times put less sour cream or no sour cream, pending if we actually have non-expired sour cream in the fridge (more often than not it is expired!)  That being said, even sour cream is an all natural product so clearly isn't terrible for you :) 

Quick summary, Monday's meal is Salmon which I love.  I have been on a recent seafood kick so it was a nice twist to the normal fish tacos that we make where we cook up tilapia and then add some veggies.  This was super fast to make and the sauce and slaw are amazing!  This made plenty for Joe and I and he had left overs for lunch the following day!

Tuesday was another seafood meal for part of it.  The tostadas take some time because it's a lot of attention to making the corn tortillas toasty!  Besides that they are simple to make.  The lettuce wraps still didn't take a lot of time but the chicken took a bit to cook and making the tzatziki sauce doesn't take too long.  The combination of the tostadas and lettuce wraps was really what took the longest both turned out great and Joe and I both had left overs for the next day!

Wednesday is a quick and easy meal but I had never worked with ground lamb so I was super excited!  I love lamb, but beware, it can't be found at all grocery stores!  I found mine at whole foods and it was a very reasonable price as well!  It made the nacho's amazing and I think the extra 5 or so dollars we spent on getting lamb vs. beef was WELL worth it and I don't think we would make them without lamb! 

Anyways, since we are halfway through the week, please enjoy the first three meals I made! 

MONDAY
Seared Salmon Tacos with Honey-Lime Slaw + Sriracha Ranch
Ingredients
Fresh wild Alaskan salmon [enough to yield several tacos]
1-2 large ripe avocado, sliced
4-5 wheat tortillas
1/4 cup crumbled feta
 olive oil
1 lime, wedged

Spices for Salmon
paprika
ground cayenne pepper
garlic +/or onion powder
dried parsley
salt and pepper
+/or your favorite spice blend

Sauce
3 TBSP homemade or store-bought ranch dressing
1 TBSP Sririacha chili sauce

Slaw
1 heaping cup cabbage, finely chopped/shredded
1/4 small red onion, sliced thin
1-2 TBSP apple cider vinegar [optional]
1 TBSP honey
1/2 tsp dried or fresh cilantro, to taste
1/2 tsp lime juice
1/4 tsp garlic powder
a pinch of salt


Directions
First make your slaw!  Toss together cabbage [plain, mixed, or purple!] and onion with the above ingredients and adjust to taste. If needed you can always add more cabbage or more onion/vinegar/honey/spices at the end so it's uber easy to customize to perfection.

For the sauce, whisk together ranch and Sriracha, using more Sriracha for a spicy sauce and less for a more mild drizzle.

Prep the tortillas by wrapping in a slightly moistened paper towel and microwaving for 25-30 seconds to steam.  I like to rub mine with a teeny bit of oil afterwards and toss them onto a heated pan  for a minute or so on each side.  This gives them a teeny bit of crunch/texture while still allowing them to bend soft-taco style.
Next move on to the salmon.  Heat a cast iron pan or skillet with a drizzle of oil + season both sides of your salmon with paprika, cayenne pepper, parsley, salt and freshly ground black pepper, along with any additional seasonings.  The salmon I buy always has the skin left on one side - simply remove it with a knife or sear that side [unseasoned] first, it will peel right off after a minute or two!  Follow up the skin removal by seasoning that side as well.  I adore cooking my salmon with a sear/bake combo, but feel free to simply sear yours if you prefer to skip the extra step.  Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 450F.  Once your pan is  hot, add the salmon and sear on both sides for approx 2 minutes each.  Look for a reddish/golden crust with a rare center.  With a spatula, move the salmon to a foil lined baking sheet and bake for approximately 5-10 minutes depending on thickness.  The result is a crisp, flavorful crust on the outside with a tender flaky inside.
Now all that's left is to assemble your tacos, pile on the toppings, and dig in!  Crushing a fresh lime wedge atop each taco before they hit your face is optional, but oh-so delicious! Don't forget the slaw, fish, avocado, feta, and sauce!
Seared Salmon Tacos

TUESDAY:

Shrimp and Guacamole Tostadas
Ingredients
6 corn tortillas
 cooking spray
 cups grated cheddar cheese
 2 avocados
 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
 juice from 1 lime
 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
 1 Tbs ground cumin
 2 Tbs chili powder
 1 tsp crushed red or green pepper
 1 tsp garlic salt
 1 red bell pepper, cut into small slices
Directions
Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly coat both sides of the corn tortillas with cooking spray. Bake for 4 minutes on each side. Switch oven to broil. Evenly divide the cheese over the tortillas and broil until cheese is melted and bubbly, 2-ish minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the avocados, cilantro, lime juice and a pinch of kosher salt. Mash up with a fork until you get guacamole. Go ahead and eat a few bites for your well being.

Toss the shrimp with the cumin, chili powder, crushed pepper flakes and garlic salt.  Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium high. Sear the shrimp on one side for 2 minutes; flip and sear 30 more seconds. Remove from pan.

To the pan, add the sliced red bell pepper. Saute for 2 minutes, scraping the browned bits from the pan, seasoning the peppers. Sprinkle in a leetle salt.

Spoon the guacamole over each cheesy tostada, followed by shrimp and red bell pepper. Garnish each tostado with cilantro and give another good squeeze of lime juice over each one.

Mediterranean Chicken Lettuce Wrap
Ingredients

12 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 4-inch-long, 1-inch-thick strips
2 teaspoons Mediterranean Spice 
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinaigrette
4 romaine lettuce leaves, shredded
1 tablespoon thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup Red-Wine Vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
 1/4 cup Tzatziki
  • 1/2 finely chopped, peeled, and seeded cucumber
  • Coarse salt
  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 5 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • Pinch sugar
  • Pinch garlic powder
  • 5 cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 scallion, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
12 butter lettuce leaves
4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
12 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Directions:

Preheat a grill pan over high heat. Season chicken with 1 teaspoon Mediterranean spice and place on grill. Cook, basting with balsamic vinaigrette and turning once, until cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Season chicken with remaining teaspoon Mediterranean spice and remove from grill; set aside.

Place shredded romaine lettuce and red onions in a medium bowl; drizzle with red-wine vinaigrette and toss to combine. Divide mixture evenly among butter lettuce leaves and drizzle each with 1 teaspoon tzatziki.

Top each taco with 1 piece of chicken and garnish with chopped tomatoes, feta cheese, and olives. Season with parsley, basil, and oregano; serve.
Lettuce Wraps and Tostadas!

WEDNESDAY
Greek Nachos
Ingredients
1 lbs ground lamb
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
 1 cup Tzatziki
  • 1/2 finely chopped, peeled, and seeded cucumber
  • Coarse salt
  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 5 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • Pinch sugar
  • Pinch garlic powder
  • 5 cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 scallion, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup feta cheese
2 Roma Tomato, diced
6 Pitas
Directions
Season ground lamb with basil, oregano, salt, and pepper.  Oil pan with olive oil then brown the lamb until cooked to taste.  Drain the ground lamb then set aside.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Cut each pita into 8ths and sprinkle with olive oil.  Place on baking sheet then toast in oven until crispy to perfection (about 10 minutes).

To assemble the nachos, place the pitas on the plate.  Then spread ground lamb over top.  Sprinkle diced tomatoes then spread Tzatziki sauce on top.  Sprinkle feta cheese to finish up the nacos and enjoy!


Yummmmmy Nachos!
THURSDAY:
Honey Apple Pork Loin
Ingredients

2.5-3 lbs. Pork Loin
3 sliced Red Delicious Apples
4 T Honey
2 T Cinnamon

Directions
Lay the apple slices (from two of the apples) in the bottom of the crockpot.  Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Then, cut slits in the pork loin (approx 1/2″-3/4″). Drizzle some honey into the slits.  Then place apple slices into the slits. Place the pork loin into the crockpot. Drizzle the top with the remainder of the honey. Place the rest of the apples on top.

Sprinkle whole pot with cinnamon.   Cook on low for 7 hours. For more flavor, you may poke holes in the pork. Then place the pork loin in a bag with honey and cinnamon and marinate it overnight.


The finished product out of the crock-pot!
 

Served with roasted potatoes and apples
FRIDAY
Greek Chicken Pita Folds
Ingredients
1 medium onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
1½ teaspoons lemon pepper
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
4 pita pocket breads
½ cup plain yogurt
1 tomato, sliced
½ cup chopped cucumber
1 medium red bell pepper, sliced in thin strips

Directions
1. In slow-cooker, combine onion, garlic, chicken, lemon pepper, oregano, and allspice; mix to coat chicken with seasoning.
2. Cover and cook on LOW for 4–6 hours.
3. Heat pita bread as directed on package. Meanwhile, remove chicken from slow-cooker; place on cutting board. Using two forks, shred chicken.
4. To serve, stir yogurt into onion mixture in slow-cooker. Spoon chicken onto warm pita bread. With slotted spoon, transfer onion mixture onto chicken; top with tomato, cucumber, and red pepper strips.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Drinking for Charity!

This week was a long week at work full of learning that will help me become more proficient at my job :)  We had our National Sales Meeting in Atlanta this week which was nice because I didn't have to travel, but it was also a VERY important meeting because our owner from Germany was coming in town.  WIKA is a privately held company headquartered in Klingenberg so it's not often he pays us a visit!  I got the pleasure to speak to him a bit one night at dinner and I must say not too many people my age and in my position get that opportunity!  I even got the opportunity to do a presentation for him (at the time I'm not sure I was quite as excited to do it but I was MUCH more nervous) which I am very proud to say went very well!  Wednesday night at the sales training we went to the Gwinnett Braves Game with our whole sales team and customer service to mix and mingle!  We had a blast and it's always a pleasure to relax with the coworkers!

Braves!
:)
 The meeting ended Thursday evening so Friday was used to catch up with emails (somewhat) before enjoying another relaxing weekend in Atlanta! Friday evening was another game night and dinner cooking night!  Kellie Ann and I made lasagna from scratch (using her mom's recipe which I unfortunately don't have!)  and it turned out amazing!  This time we had a few more people over so there were 8 of us to play games following dinner!  It was a quite a low key night because we knew Saturday would be a long day!
Fish Bowl!
:)
 Saturday we had signed up to do a charity bar crawl for Camp Twin Lake during the day at the Virginia Highlands since one of Joe's good friends work there, Kristina.  After getting up in the morning and walking 7.5 miles we headed downtown to start the day!  Sunday was Tareq's birthday so it was going to be a full day of celebrating his birthday!  As you can see in the pictures below, there were different color teams and we were team orange!  Results are still to be determined but whatever team tweeted/instagramed the most with their appropriate hashtag won!  Below are some pictures of the fun filled event!
Team Orange!!!
First of 5 Bars :)
Love this picture :)
 After the bar crawl we headed to the Red Pepper for some dinner then went back to Reza's new place in the highlands to get ready for the evening!  We had a fun night out on the town and even got to see an ex-coworker on the job!  There was a damper put on the night when Reza's key's were lost and we had no way to get back into his apartment but it all worked out OK since Joe had his keys on him and we were able to simply drive home to his place and sleep in our own bed :)

True Love :)
Although it is blurry we were excited to see  Brandie so I had to post it!
 Sunday has been quite a relaxing day!  I went to church in the morning and the pool later on in the day.  We are about to head to my apartment to start packing to move me for the 5th home in just about 1 year so that we can say we did something productive!  Next week is a week from home for work so I am very much looking forward to catching up on emails and getting some good phone calls in to move some of my bigger opportunities to the next steps! Happy Week :)