Broadway Love: “The Mountaintop” in Atlanta

 Y’all know that a belle loves a good play, right? I know you do, but I had to check! The other night the sis and I headed to Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company (Southwest Arts Center) to see Katori Hall‘s The Mountaintop. Let’s just say that this play wasn’t good…it was phenomenal!

This theatre is gorge. It’s intimate and cozy and even has an art gallery inside. While waiting for the doors to open, Shermika and I checked out some beautiful art in the gallery. Yes! This theatre has a gallery. Holla! 🙂

If you’ve never heard of Katori Hall, then you need to get out from under your rock. She’s the sweetest, and her work moved us and ignited our spirits. Directed by Jasmine Guy (I still watch her EVERY evening–CLASSIC), and starring New York based Danny Johnson (we just saw him in this fab play recently) and Atlanta based Demetria McKinney, The Mountaintop is Hall’s imagery of the last night of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life at the Lorraine Motel with the most cutest sassy Southern housemaid.

This play was nothing like I thought it would be. I don’t know what I thought, but the play was different from what I expected. In fact, it’s filled with bouts of comedic relief that will leave you in fits of laughter. Imagine Dr. King as a chain smoking fun guy who even calls his wife to tell her that she forgot to pack his toothbrush.

The Mountaintop is about a man who is flawed just like every other mortal. I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but I am sure that you won’t guess what’s in store for you by the end. It will make you think about your own life and how we should pick up the torch and carry on Dr. King’s wonderful work.

Y’all these actors were on point! McKinney and Johnson were uber fab and had a playful chemistry. The two actors captivated the audience and held their own.

The Mountaintop is leaving here soon so you have to go see it immediately  It’s worth any drive and be sure to spread the word because this is a wondrous play. Period!! You can find more info/ticket prices here.

* Disclosure: We received tickets to see this beautiful play. As always… a belle’s opinion is her own!

Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Annual Lights

*soft inhale and exhale* Ahhhh! Don’t you just love this time of year? A belle most def does! Thanksgiving was wonderful (I hope yours was too), and we are more excited about the new season upon us. It’s the season of gorge holiday lights, cookies and plenty of hot chocolate. You know what I’m talking about! Speaking of lights, the sis and I had the opportunity to check out ATL’s Botanical Garden’s 2nd annual light show and it is beautiful.

Seeing lights has been a holiday tradition since the sis and I were little girls. Ma would take us around nearby neighborhoods to check out all of the houses decked in the most fab decorations. The Atlanta Botanical Garden has taken the cake, y’all! There’s soooo much to see and they don’t disappoint with the lights and extreme designs.

We ooohh and ahhhed over the snowflakes, flowers, trees, choochoo trains, and more. Check out some of what we saw:

These lights are magical and they have the ability to bring out the inner child in any adult. It’s nice to feel like a child every now and then, right? Anytime we can ditch the stresses of life and enjoy the simple things (lights included) we are all in. ‘Garden Nights Holiday Lights’ is a must-see and worth any drive to see it.

Get your tickets and let us know if you eat at MetroFresh, the garden’s café, where you can purchase some of the freshest eats. Tweet a belle and tell us how much fun you had sipping on cocoa/cider, chowing on hot chili/soups, and roasting your own s’mores at their fire pit.

Before I forget to tell you, do dress warmly, wear comfy but cute shoes and head to see the lights. The show ends January 5, 2013 so there’s plenty of time to check it out!

* Disclosure: We were provided tickets during a media preview.  As always our opinion is a belle’s own. Special thanks to the Atlanta Botanical Garden and Danny, our sweet personal tour guide, for showing us nature in lights! 

How to Have a Stress Free Thanksgiving

Well, it’s about that time when we give thanks for all the bountiful blessings we’ve received. A belle likes to be thankful throughout the year, and loves to plan a mean Thanksgiving meal. We decided to list some tips to make your turkey day less stressful. We know you have better things to do besides sweating over a stove–like perusing through the archives of ArtBLT. You can even laugh at our Thanksgiving disaster last year.

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Our tips in a nutshell: Ready? Here goes.

  • Make a list of the foods you will cook along with an ingredient check list. Don’t you just hate going back to the store for that one ingredient you thought you had but didn’t?
  • Do your prep work ahead of time. This will give you more time to spend with your family and actually enjoy the day.
  • Prewash pots, pans and cooking utensils. Keep them on a clean countertop until you’re ready to use them.
  • Do something different! Create a quick and easy breakfast for Thanksgiving morning. Choose a breakfast that is filled with protein to keep you full until you get down with that turkey and ham. A great choice is to make a quiche and serve it alongside some fruit.

Do you have any Thanksgiving tips you’d like to share? Shout ’em out.

Local Eats & Treats: Hudson North

Hey y’all! A belle has been quite busy, but I had to get back to my sweet friends to tell you about one of the most tastiest local spots here in the A-T-L. It’s called Hudson North and you have to head there fast because this is a pop-up spot that’s about to sail away in 48 days! When you do, ask for Folks (we thought his name is cool too!). He was our waiter for the evening and will take excellent care of you.

Seriously, if you haven’t been to a pop-up restaurant, you have to go to this one. What’s a pop-up restaurant inquisitive minds want to know? It’s just like a pop-up store. It comes and goes as fast as it came! Read that twice and holla at a belle.

The sis and I were invited to Hudson North, an uber cool restaurant in Atlantic Station. The decor is fab, from the hanging jars with tea lights to the chic nautical theme. The food is affordable, fresh and locally sourced. The prices make a frugal belle squeal with excitement!

We started the evening off with a unique twist on fritters and fried okra. The fritters were unlike any cheese stick I’ve ever had. For starters, they were balls! They were filled with ricotta and parmesan cheese and were on top of a bed of asparagus puree. Pickled mushrooms were served on top. Talk about some good eating!

This food is as good as it is gorgeous! I could have devoured more of these, but I didn’t want to spoil my meal.

The okra was breaded like you wouldn’t believe. We’re Southern girls, so we know about our okra. This wasn’t your typical fried okra; it was cut lengthwise, breaded with buttermilk and a seasoned flour and came with a scrumptious chile-lime aioli. Can we say mmm, mmm, good?!

After our “bar snacks” we looked forward to choosing our entrees. I had hangar steak topped with parsley, mint, house steak sauce, pickled chiles and fingerling potatoes. To say my meal was FANTASTIC is an understatement. The steak was tender and juicy and the fingerling potatoes were cooked perfectly. The food was seasoned very well and we even chatted a bit with Chef Bart about the food and a little football (ROOOLLL TIDE!).

Tamika had braised short rib. She loved her meal immensely. It came with a root veggie slaw, and a bbq beet puree. Doesn’t it look good?!

If you like libations with your meal, you’ll love the drinks at Hudson North. They’re not those run of the mill watered down drinks some restaurants have. These drinks are strong, good, and are whimsical in a way. I had the Senor Jimenez which had a citrus flavor with hints of tequila.

Lastly, we had their “mason jar dessert” which was too cute for words. Take a look! I had the apple pie (on the right) and the sis had the banana pudding. It was the perfect little portion to end our meal. The service was exceptional, the food was beyond stellar and the atmosphere was inviting and beautiful.

Hudson North is the perfect place for a date night, or just when you want some good local food with friends.

Hudson North will be in Atlanta Station until December 31, 2012. We don’t know for sure if they’ll pop-up somewhere else or not, so make your way there TODAY. Also, be sure to like their page and keep up with all of their fab dishes. Have your name added to the wall when you visit. You know we did!!! Until our next foodie adventure, y’all!

 Disclosure: We were provided with these yummy eats. As always, a belle’s opinion is her own. 

Red, White, & a Pick Me Up

Y’all a belle had to get up early after falling asleep a few hours ago because we’ve been partying like presidential rock stars. The sis and I hosted our first ATL watch party and our home was filled with fab peeps, eats and plenty of treats! While waiting for the results we played games and conversed about who we thought would have the most votes in each state, while CNN was muted in the background.

It was exciting to see who our next pres was going to be. I LOVE my country and can’t wait to see how much better we can become. Team USA is in the buildin’! Did you attend a watch party/host one last night? Come on and give me the deets… you know we would love to hear! While you’re doing that, I am going to find me some caffeine!