Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ingrid Michaelson

I was introduced to Ingrid a little over a year ago by my friend, Shellie.  She's definitely better suited for a girls' night and she's a tad bit weird - with lyrics like...

...but you make me think maybe I won't die alone

...I woke up this morning with a funny taste in my head
Spackled some butter over my whole grain bread

...I knitted you a hat all blue and gold 
to keep your ears warm from the Binghamton cold
It was my first one and it was too small
It didn't fit you at all, but you wore it just the same...
...So it's Christmas time, it's been three years
and someone else is knitting things for your ears

...I will live my life as a lobsterman's wife on an island in the blue bay
He will take care of me, he will smell like the sea, 
And close to my heart he'll always stay

And perhaps my favorite - 
...I'd buy you Rogaine when you start losing 
all your hair
Sew on patches to all you tear

I mean, she is an indie-pop artist.  And I kinda like her!  So I think you should check her out.  Her new album, Everybody, is just out.  I've sampled a few of the songs on her myspace page and it seems to have the same peppy, quirky sound as her last! 

Now I'll leave you with some lyrics from my top favorite song of hers (featured in Grey's Anatomy Season 3...when Meredith is helping cut Christina out of her wedding gown after Burke left her at the altar.  Quite possibly my favorite scene in Grey's history (see video below).  Ahhhh  - now that is good tv!)...


...I want to change the world
Instead I sleep
I want to believe in more than you and me

But all that I know is I'm breathing
All I can do is keep breathing
All we can do is keep breathing now

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

4 months

Today marks 4 months that Jamie and I have been married!  

It's hard to believe that a third of our first year of marriage has already flown by.  Although, I must admit that I'm ready for a change of season.  While I've never been a fan of cold weather, fall always has this appealing draw to it - college football, new colors, pumpkin spiced lattes, and the routine that effects us all as school starts again.

So here's to the next four months of marriage and the seasons ahead of the Hargather family.  :)  

Friday, August 21, 2009

Athens' Eateries

I know it seems like I'm on an Athens kick here, but I can honestly say that Athens is one of my top (potentially number 1) food cities!  And during my 2 years there, I managed to try it all - the good and the bad - and as I was writing this list to one of Athens' newest freshman residents, I decided I should share.  

Here's a list of the top eateries in the Classic City - 

Best all-around 
- Last Resort - One of my top 5 favorite restaurants ever! The perfect place for a casual lunch on the patio, a dress up dinner with the girls, or a full on Sunday brunch. They work with local vendors, providing the freshest food! For lunch and dinner, the crab cakes always seem to win my affection, as well as the "famous" Last Resort's Praline (chicken breast stuffed with a medley of cheeses, topped with walnut honey sauce). Mmmmm. And everything on the brunch menu is to die for, as long as they are served with the creamy, southern grits! And I can't conclude until I mention the dessert display. Yummiest layer cakes and cheesecakes in the state!

- Best Lunch Place - Five Star Day - This spot is a little more casual, but with a great soul food selection. The picnic chicken salad is my personal favorite. But the meat loaf, fried chicken, and any of the vegetables are yummay!  

Close second who have to be the Great American Cookie Company. Also in downtown Athens, you can get a super cheap sandwich, drink, and cookie combo that satisfies even my appetite. Cashew chicken salad sandwichwins my vote.  

And while Five Points Deli was never my favorite, it certainly is popular with many people and is worth a mention.

- Best "Mexican" (technically Cuban) - Cali n' Titos - Menu's different (for instance, their steak tacos come with french fries all mixed in), but I love this place. The cuban sandwich can't be beat, and it's got an outdoor space that makes you feel like you're at the beach. Toes in the sand eating at a picnic table. Plus, it's a BYOB, so you can stock up and bring over whatever beverage suits your fancy.

Agua Linda, on Prince, is another great spot for more traditional Mexican!

- Best Bakery - Big City Bread - Perfect nice weather patio, yummy breakfast and lunch. On a cool, fall day I could spend hours sipping coffee and reading under the Chinese Elms and adorably strung cafe lights. They've also got fresh baked bread, cookies, and treats - vegan options as well. Many a great conversation has happened there, and I'm sure there are many more to come.

- Best Coffee Shop - Jittery Joes! This little coffee chain is only 
in Athens, GA, and as they put it - "our community thrives on individuality and we provide the fuel." 
Few fun facts about JJ - 
- The vanilla chai is my favorite wintertime drink - a.k.a. "Christmas in a cup"!!  
- The location at Five Points is the coolest, with soft lighting provided by antique lamps, large wooden tables (often shared) that make it feel more like a living room than a coffee shop, and walls lined with books to thumb through while you're waiting (or during a study break!).  
- Jittery Joes has its own cycling team.

Another favorite study spot was Walker's, located downtown. It's a bar at night, but a coffee shop during the day.  I loved the big booths and the flavored coffee!

- Best Expensive Treat - This category has a few favorites.  
Harry Bissets, downtown on Broad. Yummy, new orleans style food - which means oysters! It'll create a hole in your wallet, so you can save this for special occassions! Other great ones, also downtown, are East West and Depalmas Italian. Then in Five Points is Five and Ten. All bring their own flare and are perfect spots for special dinners, or even a drink.,,,  

- Best Sushi - Utage - I have to admit that Utage made the list because it was the only sushi restaurant to grace Athens while I was there. (Apparently there's a new one.) However, it deserves some credit because it certainly satisfied my sushi cravings and is located downtown.  


- Best Vegetarian (ever) - The Grit - I'll be honest, I love meat. So the idea of an all vegetarian restaurant doesn't make my heart skip a beat. However, this place is absolutely legit. I mean, so legit that I know plenty of men meat-eaters who love this place. Personally, the Grilled Cheese Smelt w/ spinach and tomato is my top pick. However the Veggie Plate never ceases to amaze (we're talking falafels, dal, tabouli!), and you can't forget the Mid-E (short for Middle Eastern platter) or the Dal Baby (cup of split pea dal, veggie samosa, brown rice, and a side of Indian curry dressing). Hello international :)

- Best southern meal - Mayflower - It's a meat and three veggies kind of deal with the most mom and pop servers you could ask for. Seriously, I'm pretty sure they at least have one waitress who goes by the name of "Flo." Decor is old school, and it's the perfect Sunday afternoon meal kind of place. The downtown location is hard to beat. 

- Best dessert gifts - Either a Cecilia Villaveces cake, which is what Last Resort 
serves by the slice. For whole cakes you can visit her shop on Milledge. Red Velvet is the best! But other favorites are the Caramel, Lemon, and Bailey's. My other favorite edible gift is a cookie bouquet from the Creative Cookie and Creamery off Epps Bridge Road. These iced shortbread cookies are the perfect dessert, and they can deliver these adorable bouquets on any occasion!,

- Best Church (ok, not an eatery, but it's hard to talk about Athens without mentioning it) - Athens Church - - They meet in the Classic Center, and it's a strategic partner of Northpoint. Worked for them for a year, and just an amazing group of people who want to "lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ." If you're there on a Sunday morning...check it out!

Now I've just got to find a chance to book a weekend in Athens. While I'm not a bulldawg at any level, that city has a piece of my heart.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Meet Harper Morgan Mayne!

Only one of the many babies that are being had by my friends lately. Of course, I referred to Harper below, as her mama commissioned me to make a canvas for Harper's room.

Harper is absolutely adorable - held her the entire time we were visiting, imagine that - and it was so good to catch up with Gina. She and her husband, Bill, are opening a school supply store in Athens. Excuse me, the school supply store in Athens. (Currently Athens has not a one!) I'm so proud of them, as they are really striving to be a family-owned business that can make a difference in the lives of their clients. And in the life of the community, a community that just happens to have a very special place in my heart.

Their website's not up yet, but as soon as it is, I'll be sure to post it (and send an email blast to all of my teacher friends!).

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Harper Morgan Mayne

Baby Harper entered this world about two weeks ago!  Her mom is Gina, and the one that I did the canvas for.  Gina sent pictures of baby Harper's nursery and the canvas hung just above her crib.  

Check it out - 
I get to meet Harper in a week and a half and can't wait to see them!

Monday, August 3, 2009

the great date experiment!

We love our church.  And we love our church for more reasons than Sunday mornings.  We love our church because it sparks ideas, challenges us, and nurtures each stage of life you are in.  

Obviously Jamie and I just jumped into a brand new stage of life.  We no longer check the "single" box when we're filling out paperwork.  We wear a certain ring on our left hand.  And we finally get to take part in Married Life at Northpoint/Buckhead.  

At the last gathering [which we didn't attend because we weren't married yet], Married Life challenged couples to take part in The Great Date Experiment.  Here's an excerpt from the site - 
Most of us want to spend time with our spouse, but most of us don't spend time with our spouse.  When we do get time together, a lot of us experience the classic, "What do  you want to do?  I don't know, what do you want to do? 

MarriedLife presents the Great Date Experiment.  For the next 6 months, once a month, MarriedLife is rolling out a different Great Date.  Each date is complete, yet you get to choose the options.  Each Great Date revolves around one of our Big 6 essentials:  Nurture Romance, Cultivate Communication, Hurry Home, Celebrate Differences, Finish Together, and Trust God.  
Even though we missed out on the Live event, we decided we'd take part in the experiment as well!  And it was a blast!!  Here's a photo from our first Great Date.  
If you're married, check it out now.  If you're not, I'd totally recommend downloading them now [no reading ahead!] and save them for the day you are!  You can find them here.