How To: Be a Basic B*tch During Fall

22404064_10154771390636470_1126966821_oSOOO if it will ever cool down in Georgia and we actually get to experience FALL… life would be perfect right now for all of you basic b*tches pulling out your booties and flannels. It’s still 80 degrees in ATL people, but I’m right there with all of you! Fall, sweet fall. My first true love and all time favorite season. I LOVED YOU FIRST.

Growing up in north Georgia, we always had the coolest weather and BEST leaf change. I had to deal with traffic in my home town when all the “leaf lookers” came in! Now I understand from living in the city for so long and can emotionally accept that I’m now a leaf looker and I’M PROUD. I love going to visit with my boyfriend and friends!

Here are a few of my favorite spots for dates, friend outings or weekend getaways with whoever you want to spend time with for fall!

First, find a boyfriend, girlfriend or some friends, then grab a PSL from Starbucks, put on a great Spotify playlist and GO.

Here’s a fun day for fall that’s a close”ish” spot for a pumpkin patch in ATL…. Berry Patch Farms located in Woodstock, GA–there’s a ton of parking and it’s a cute little place no too far the city. You have to walk or take a hay ride to the pumpkin patch that’s in a separate field from the little “town” they have set up with snacks and drinks.

After you take all the pictures in the world and get your pumpkins–head over to Canton Street for some dinner+drinks at 1920 Tavern in Roswell!

If you’re already making the trek to Woodstock and are really feeling fall, and you love wine and fireplaces, then make a pit stop over to Cartecay Vineyards in Ellijay, GA.

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Very quaint spot with a large outdoor space in front of this gorgeous fireplace. They have cute wine glasses with this fireplace on it for purchase, are dog friendly and have live music. Definitely a must!

Next stop! Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge, Georgia. Parking is chaos because it’s literally off the side of the road, but it’s worth it. You 100% have to eat the apple cider doughnuts along with some apple cider. Trust me, you will thank me later. You can do the hay ride situation or walk through the fields to see the apples!

I mean look at how much fun we’re having–go pick em’!

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Another great pumpkin patch that would call for maybe a weekend or long day trip is at Burt’s Pumpkin Patch in Dawsonville, Georgia. This place is a little up there–but it’s a well-known and fun time. There are kids so BEWARE. They have awesome picturesque moments, a ton of pumpkins and great apple cider. Best photos of the day BELOW!

If you make the trip up there for either the day or to spend a whole weekend in a cabin, you have to go see Amicalola State Park. Beautiful waterfalls, hiking trails, etc. Pack your walking shoes, those stairs are intense–all 600 and something of them!

If you’ve seen all of these basic b*tches wearing cute fall attire and feel left out, then make a trip to the North Georgia Outlets and hit up Chik-fil-A on your way home.

Hope ya’ll have a great fall 🙂

-E

 

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13 Hours Later: Adventure to the Largest Continent on EARTH

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After reading over my notes from our trip that I made while adventuring through Asia multiple times, I have decided to break down the countries we went to into individual posts. A lot happened– and it’s hard for me to even organize so I will release posts at different times over this month.  Here’s a quick overview of our Asia adventure! READY?!

First, my feelings about our trip: WOW. Just wow. What an adventure–vacation is not the appropriate word. Bouncing between four Asian countries is insane, but we did it. While you’re over there–why not?

SO where did we go?

Singapore
Krabi/ Raliay beach in Thailand
Bali/ Sanur beach in Indonesia
Seoul, Korea

FullSizeRender (04F)Singapore: ^ AMAZING View of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel & Casino.

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Krabi/ Raliay beach in Thailand: Gorgeous stop on our private boat cruise through the Phi Phi Islands.

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Bali/ Sanur beach in Indonesia: Oh, hello there little volcano peeking through at the Ulun Danu Batur Temple.

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Seoul, Korea: ^ Transformed highway into plant village walkway through city called Seoullo.

4 countries, 3 boat rides, 8 plane rides and multiple taxi and Uber rides made up our unforgettable trip!

These are some teaser photos for you–so many MORE to come.

The best way that I can explain what it feels like to be back from our ten day tour of Asia into my normal routine in a visual representation is with one of the latest Atlanta Beltline art additions called CityDreamers. This is because Atlanta will always be there and will always be home to me. The skyline clearly represents Atlanta and the colored and angled boards represent all of the places in the world I travel to and will travel to. This is MY interpretation of this amazing piece and how I’m relating it to my feelings of being home. The trip seems like it happened so quickly and now I’m back to ATL in reality.

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If that symbolic intuition doesn’t speak to you, then maybe this will. Coming home from a life changing trip is what it feels like to walk or drive past your high school or college town. It’s like being in a place that you know you know, but you say to yourself, “wow was this really what I did for X number of years?” or “how fast did time go by?”

The people that I knew at the time no longer live in those houses or dorms anymore for the most part. They’re no longer walking those halls and the teachers are no longer behind their desks. It’s a weird feeling. Not really a feeling of loneliness, but a familiar feeling that’s kind of lost.

When I go back and visit these places these feelings start to come back and I don’t really like them. I loved high school and college and all of the people involved, but I felt trapped. I can’t imagine staying in one place your whole entire life and never venturing out and experiencing anything. After meeting all the people I did on this trip and past trips overseas and seeing all these different places, it just made me realize that the world is so big and we are so small.

PLEASE GO OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE AND TRAVEL. Your home and life will be there waiting for you when you get back!

I realize that life including: family, work and money are obstacles to cross in order to travel, but read my blog and others and figure out ways to make it happen. I promise you won’t regret it. Stay tuned for more detailed posts on each destination 🙂

-E

Prepping for Asia

PSA: We’re going to ASIA!

Singapore | Thailand | Bali | Seoul

IMG_7134.JPGQuick shot of my last minute, late night packing. ALL the clothes. This isn’t even close to how much I packed. Please follow my instagram @boozechewsviews + insta story + my blog on here.

When I return I will definitely post more details on what I packed, what I forgot and what I should have packed.

I’m super excited to share our trip with you along the way. Everything we see, eat and where we sleep! You’ll get to see it all. I’ll try and post more on here, but quick social media may be my outlet. Plus, I want to relax 🙂

In preparation for this trip, we got a few shots to be save for our travels. I only received Hepatits A and am prescribed an antibiotic if my stomach starts to act up. I’m notorious for getting sick while on vacay…so fingers crossed that doesn’t happen again!

As far as clothes go, I packed a ton of bathing suits, cover ups, straps sports bras, bralettes , and light dresses. For shoes, I packed 2 pairs of flips flops, 2 pairs of sandals, 1 pair of chacos and 1 pair of heels. I was selective. Oh and I’m wearing my comfy athleisure wear through the airport.

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Today we leave at 10:20am ATL time and head straight to Tokyo, Japan with an hour layover. Not sure if I’m ready for this 13 hour flight! Hopefully I can catch up on some sleep from this busy work week.

Who’s traveling? Me (Erin), my boyfriend Tony and our newlywed friends, Shelby and Rebecca! I will keep you all updated. Be sure to follow me on social media @boozechewsviews on instagram!

-E

 

 

 

. 🙋🏼Asia here we

What Happens in Vegas…Isn’ t Always a Sh*t Show

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Recently my boyfriend Tony and I planned a last minute quick, mini weekend vacation to Vegas with another couple and we didn’t just GAMBLE. It can be done people. Granted we stayed for three free nights at Caesar’s Palace because of his gambling habits–which in this case was a good thing!

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Caesar’s Palace looks exactly as you can imagine–Gaudy and freezing. They seriously pump oxygen into the rooms to make you stay up and gamble–haha! It’s super big and overwhelmingly awesome. If you’ve been to Vegas you know that you can go a good 12 hours without seeing sunlight. So they add these fake sky ceilings to throw everything off.

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A long with the free hotel stay, a limo was included in the package to pick us up from the airport and take us to the hotel. Our limo was a little on the older side, but that made the experience even better. Our driver was very sweet! He drove us to a liquor store, because I had to have photo documentation of me drinking rose in a limo (obviously…). We met up with our friends and had a surprise that one of my friends was in town as well for work. So we grabbed some food at Smash Burger–which was pretty good. Pictured below is the Grilled Chicken and Avocado Burger I had. So this is proof that casino food isn’t all terrible for you. The fries did surpass the chicken burger though!

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The next day we went to the brunch buffet at the Belliagio–AMAZING. It’s definitely a must-do. Here’s a list of other great buffets in Vegas. Crab legs, eggs Benedict, doughnuts, etc. the list goes on. All of your food craving needs can be met in one place for only $79 for two people! Not bad–this doesn’t include bottomless alcoholic drinks–that was extra.

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We didn’t immediately start boozing because we were heading to the Hoover Dam. Before we set out on our adventure, we went to the casino at the Wynn which is AMAZING. Our friends we’re staying there and I’m proud to show off their view of the city. We didn’t have much of a view, but our stay was for FREE! So who cares.

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We hung out and had some pre-Hoover Dam drinks at the Black Jack tables and saw child-star Patrick Renna AKA the little red headed kid from the Sand Lot, with his catch phrase “You play ball like a girl!” He had his posse with him and I think one of the other guys was in the movie with him and they played blackjack with us–small world.

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The Wynn is decked out with flowers, lights and crazy tile design. After sight seeing and gambling with celebrities, we headed to Hoover Dam.

We drove to the iconic Hoover Dam and it was so unreal. To actually understand how big it is–you HAVE to see it. Afterwards we headed to Lake Mead marina which is the lake  and saw all this crazy fish–starving for food and attention. So of course we gave in and fed them. Poor things followed us as we walked down the dock with those eyes–they got us!

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After our adventure at Hoover Dam we headed to MGM for Brad Garret’s comedy club show. For those of you who don’t know who that is– (I didn’t until I saw him on stage) he’s Raymond’s older brother, Robert from Everybody Loves Raymond.

His commentary was HILARIOUS. My face hurt from smiling so much. He made a comment about how his career has come to an end since he’s in the basement of the MGM! Everyone died laughing. GO see it.

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We walked through the Cosmopolitanism which is another large hotel/casino with this gorgeous bar called the Chandelier Lounge.

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Had to stop at Taco Bell that night because the Taco Bell in Vegas sells alcoholic slushies. Yes, I repeat the Vegas Taco Bell sells alcohol! And to top that, as of August 7th, 2017 you can legally get married at that very Taco Bell. We were two weeks too early and missed the opportunity 😉 JK. As everything else in Vegas is over the top with lights and decor, etc.–Taco Bell is as well.

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We called it a night because I wanted to check out the pool scene the next day. Which I did! I’m really not into pool parties–not that I’m old or anything (25), but I don’t really want to deal with the whole peeing in the pool situation, long lines to get drinks and no where to sit–especially in Vegas during July. No thanks–I’m good. So Caesar’s Palace has it figured out. They have two pools–the party pool and the semi-normal pool.

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I enjoyed a few Pina Colada’s because it was necessary.

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And I treated myself and got this adorable hat to shield myself from the sun. I couldn’t find it online so I’ll keep looking and post when I find it!

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On our final evening we checked out Fremont Street. It’s known as “Old Vegas”, but it’s still very popular and has all the flashy lights! So we came straight from the pool to meet the guys for dinner and we were just looking for something quick to get our friends to the airport. We didn’t do the zipline across the chaos, but definitely will next time!

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We ended up finding what we thought was a dive bar in the basement of the Queen Casino, but was actually a five star restaurant called Hugo’s Cellar. Amazing food and service! When we walked down the stairs from the casino in our beach wear, we didn’t know that we were about to be handed roses. White linen table clothes and butlers in tuxedos were in front of us. We immediately started laughing and went with it. It was pricey, but it was our last night of vacation…so we went for it. We had Hugo’s Hot Rock Specialty for Two. Definitely have to try it. It was a filet of marinated Ahi Tuna, breast of chicken and shrimp on a sizzling granite slab medallions served with a trio of  special dipping sauces. They also have this amazing roll up salad bar where you pick your own toppings along with Grilled Stuffed Portobellos mushrooms and Spinach and Artichoke dip with crab. We were stuffed needless to say! My boyfriend enjoyed a delicious steak so I split all of that with my friend because her husband was on a roll at the blackjack table, haha!

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Tony rented a car for us to take our friends to the airport and to take us home the following day. The only cars they had left were the “exotic” cars…so he comes back to get us in a Mercedes C63… LOL. did we have fun in that bad boy. Literally goes from 0-60 in under a second it seems! We of course made the trip to the Vegas sign at night–there was a line so this was as good as I could get it with the time we had.

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On our last night we stayed in the hotel and watched the new episode of Game of Thrones, like the true fan I have become because of Tony! I wanted to get up early and see the Seven Magic Mountains before we hit the airport! I knew of these mountains because a few of my friends told me about them on their Vegas trip so I had to go see them myself. The backstory with these mountains is that they are an art installation in Las Vegas by renowned Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone. The installation has been in Vegas for two years and they are seven thirty to thirty-five-foot high “dayglow totems” comprised of painted, locally-sourced boulders. The purpose of these mountains and location is “physically and symbolically mid-way between the natural and the artificial: the natural is expressed by the mountain ranges, desert, and Jean Dry Lake backdrop, and the artificial is expressed by the highway and the constant flow of traffic between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.” This is directly from their website so no one can think I plagiarized or am giving the wrong description! 🙂

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They were amazing and are definitely another must see when traveling along Interstate 15 outside of Vegas.

Needless to say there are TONS of things to do in Vegas other than gambling. You can go and do something different every time which is what we plan to do.

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Hope this helps when planning your next Vegas trip and I’ll keep you posted on our next adventure 🙂

–Erin

 

 

Homemade Ravioli Bolognese

Homemade Ravioli Bolognese

Prep Time | Total Time

     10 min.  |  1 hour

 (Wine depending)

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[ Ingredients ]

Wonton Wrappers (Kroger)

[ Bolognese Filling Ingredients]

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 1/2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 4 tbsp. Tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 4 tbsp. Water
  • 2 tbsp. Heavy cream
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

[ Pasta Sauce ]

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup marinara ( I used vodka sauce as well )
  • Reserved pasta water

[ Instructions/Filling ]

  1. Heat a medium Dutch oven to a medium heat. Add olive oil. Add onion, carrots, celery, garlic and salt. Saute for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add ground beef and pork. Use a wooden spoon to break the meat up, brown until cooked through.
  2. Add tomato paste. Cook 1 minute. Add wine. Cook until reduced by half and then add Italian seasoning, nutmeg, water and heavy cream. Simmer until thick and almost all of the liquid has evaporated, about 3-4 minutes. Turn the heat off and transfer to bottom of food processor. Cool completely. Once mixture has cooled completely, add cheese and process in the food processor until completely ground. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Flour a surface and lay out wonton wrappers. Note you will need (2) to form one ravioli. Whisk one egg in small bowl for sealing.
  4. Spoon 1 teaspoon of filling in the center of each wonton wrapper. Use finger or brush and wash all four sides with egg wash. Place another wonton wrapper on top and use the end of a fork to crimp all edges. Keep wontons floured or they will stick to each other causing the pasta to rip when boiling.
  5. Bring a large pot of water seasoned with a splash of olive oil and a generous portion of salt. The olive oil will keep your pasta from sticking together and the salt will season your water which you’ll later use in your sauce. On a side burner add a heaping spoonful of marinara and vodka sauce to a large skillet on medium to low heat. You will transfer pasta as it becomes ready.
  6. When you’ve reached a rolling boil begin to drop several wontons in. I do about 5 at one time. When they are ready they will float to the top, usually about 3-4 minutes.
  7. Immediately transfer to heated skillet with sauce. As you add more ravioli spoon more sauce. I typically add a splash of cream as well as a few spoonfuls of pasta water. Top with shredded Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.

 

[ Prep ]

Chop: Carrots, celery,  onions and garlic

Cut and food process meat: Pork and beef

Whisk eggs in a separate bowl

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THEN….

Place wonton wraps out on flour covered parchment paper. Spread butter on wraps and add meat and veggie mix unless your a vegetarian then don’t add meat 🙂 Top wonton and meat/veggie mix with another wonton wrap like a sandwich.

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Use fork to form and seal ravioli shape. Cover with a dash of flour.

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Boil water until rolling bubbles and place three to four rav’s in the pot–3-4 minutes.

[ KEEP GOING ]

In a separate pan heat pasta sauce–can be store bought or homemade (up to you).

Start placing cooked rav’s into pasta sauce and keep em’ coming!

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Garnish with herbs, salt, pepper, WHATEVER.

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Now grab another glass of wine and enjoy! You kinda sorta made ravioli and it’s damn good. We were drinking a Sauv Blanc White Haven + a Cab Layer Cake because who said we couldn’t have both?

Recipe cred goes to my friend Lexi–thanks for sharing! Now start your own blog lady ❤

–Erin

The Things I Do for the Perfect Picture…

Long before I began my blog I always took a million pictures of my food, of brick walls, trees and my travels–obviously I still do. Whether it’s something I  saw while driving, on vacation, or something I made or ordered–you will see it. I don’t post shitty photos. I work really hard getting the right angle or right lighting. When cooking at home, I have to place my food just right for my photo. I wipe off the excess residue from the main course that spilled out to the middle of the plate before it soils the vegetables and makes my plate look dirty. Can’t have my masterpiece lookin’ a mess! These photos are for me–I really do go back and look at what I made for inspiration for myself or to share with others. It’s a large part of why I wanted to start a blog–to share my adventures, recipes, food spots and fun secrets.

The downside to getting the “perfect” picture is the process leading up to it, but it’s oh so satisfying. At home I just have to worry about my food getting cold, and my boyfriend getting annoyed with me because he waits on me to eat. He knows the drill now after two years to just start without me! Food pictures I’ve pretty much mastered, but when traveling I’m the worst with sight seeing pictures. The worst I mean by–it’s an ordeal. I’ve laid down in streets when there was oncoming traffic coming towards me to get the cool street few of puddles on a cobble stone street in Edinburgh. I’ve caused a line at the San Francisco bridge because I wanted the PERFECT cute kissing photo. I’ve been in situations where strangers think I’m taking a photo of them when I’m not and that’s so embarrassing/stressful. I’ve held my ice cream cone for so long that it’s dripped all down my arm to my shoes. I’ve also waited in line to take a photo in the basic spot that everyone else does at a festival like Austin City Limits or on the roof at Nine Mile Station at Ponce City Market of the skyline. Selfies are the hardest…I don’t post them often, but when I do it’s an event–just see below.

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^Me trying to get the perfect photo of my new balayage hair…LOL.

I’m not a model or genetically set. I like to think I’m somewhat photogenic, but we all have our “sides” or angles that we prefer when being documented. I have no shame admitting it. If you like to take photos–do it and share them with the world! BUT remember there is a time and a place for everything. A selfie a day is excessive. I’m more into taking photos of things and of others. and I love seeing other people’s perspectives of the same places I eat or locations I travel to. Pictures help us remember things and they take us back to a time that we can no longer be in and they take us back to places that we may never get to see again. From my perspective photos have so much meaning from the sense that remind you something you may have done, wish you had done or said at that time. By having a photo of that moment, you can reflect on it. I did not major in History, but photography has been around since sometime around the 1800s (I looked it up on Wiki). Back then, it was mostly for commercial use. Now in 2017, it’s so accessible for anyone to take photos and share them with the world. How cool is that? Remember when we had to upload photos from a camera–how archaic?! What I’m getting at in the end of all of this is that photos are the gateway of our memories. Good or bad. It’s a great way to connect with people from the past, present and those you meet in the future. That’s why I take so many damn pictures.

The things I do for the perfect picture. It’s always worth it.

–Erin

Choices

Choices. We make them, all of us–and we will continue to make them all of our lives. The thing about choices is that they are your own and are a reflection of who you are. When making choices we are constantly under different circumstances like high pressure for instance. Whether it’s from family members or friends, your professor or an intimate moment you find yourself in. No matter the circumstance you find yourself under, you have to think for the long term. You have to take control and think about how and who  this will affect and how long  you/they have to deal with it. It’s a fine line and so many of us cross it–myself included. I’m not perfect. I’ve definitely had my fair share of mistakes, but I’ve learned over the years to not only think of myself but to think of others. I’ve also thought about the long term affects.

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I feel too much. That’s my problem. I want everything to be perfect. Whether it’s a relationship or an event I’m planning. It’s unrealistic. You have to pick your battles in life and move forward and grow from mistakes. OWN IT. Especially in work situations. The more upfront and honest you are, the more people will respect you. Be yourself and be a little selfish. At the end of the day all you have is yourself so you better be certain that you like who you are and where you’re going.

That’s my Monday night rant everyone. Wine and emotions were involved–hope you enjoyed.

–Erin