Tuesday’s Treats #146

Ippolito’s Italian Restaurant

Location: Suwanee, Ga

Ok, so anyone who knows me here, knows I LOVE desserts! If you’re looking for a great place for atmosphere, dinner AND desserts, you should make a trip to Ippolito’s. I hadn’t been here in a couple of years, because we got burned a couple of times after loving it for awhile, but they surely redeemed themselves!

About 18 girlfriends met up for a fun Girls Night Out last week, and I couldn’t have been happier with the evening. The atmosphere was festive, not just for us, but because the restaurant is located in the Town Center, and they were having a cornhorn competition, it filled up pretty quick. The service was great, even if the poor guy was the only server, and they added 2 more large tables in his section! 🙄🤦‍♀️

The food was incredible. We started with two different apps, the Gorgonzola chips and the Pepe. Yeah, I know you’re probably curious to know what those are all about! The homemade chips were crispy and covered with the Gorgonzola cheese, chunked tomatoes, diced cherry peppers and ranch dressing drizzle. The Pepe is a delicious dish of spicy Italian sausage wrapped in a homemade pizza dough, brushed with honey, baked and served on a bed of marinara sauce. Oh. My. Both of these were a big hit at our tables!

They bring huge Parmesan rolls and marinara to your table to start. Yum! I ordered a Caesar salad and lasagna for my meal. Several around me ordered a few different items. There were several lasagnas, chicken & spinach cannelloni, manicotti, and spaghetti. Everyone said they enjoyed their meals, and several of us decided to save just a little more room for desserts. Those things look divine in the display case!!

They have this million dollar cake that is supposed to be phenomenal. There were no pieces left when we made our order. One of the girls got the black & white cake, which was just as good! It’s this chocolate brownie, cheesecake, chocolate mousse cake “devil!” 😂 Another young lady got the cookies and cream cheesecake, and I got the tiramisu. The cheesecake was yummy, and my tiramisu would have been amazing, if it wasn’t supposed to be tiramisu. Lol.

Let me explain. It was a very tasty dish; however, it didn’t have the deep espresso flavoring or “mousse/cake” texture and appearance of a traditional tiramisu. This dish is three scoops of “tiramisu,” drizzled with chocolate, almost as if they “stirred” the tiramisu and then served it as ice cream. The texture was almost that of a soft, stirred cake or crumble (not as crunchy as a crisp). Honestly, it wasn’t bad! I just had my heart set on a traditional tiramisu, and it ended up being a bit of a disappointment. However, it was a blessing for one of the husbands whose wife took it home with her leftovers for his dinner and dessert! 😉😂

We will definitely be back for the meal and the million dollar cake! … if you need directions or menu options, you can check out their Website here.

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Tuesday’s Treats #145

Maynard’s at the Corner

Location: Flowery Branch, Ga

This place has been around for quite a while, but we just recently checked it out. The atmosphere is for a variety of tastes, because they essentially have three seating areas. There the bar and high top tables right on the center for those wanting a little entertainment, but not too overly raucous, as the whole environment seemed family friendly. Of course, we were there on a Saturday afternoon; so, you’d just have to see about the weekends and judge that for yourself.😉

To one side is a couple of billiard tables and cafe style seating for the larger groups and competitive types, and on the opposite side, they have a nice, quaint booth area, complete with softer lighting and nice decor. So, whether you’re looking for a night out with festive friends or a bit more intimate dinner, they could have what you’re looking for. Mind you, the one side isn’t too intimate, as each section is only separated by a half wall, but it’s nice to have a choice.

The food was great. The burgers were cooked to perfection, complete with amazing fries, not too greasy. Now, it might surprise you, but the steak was AMAZING! We will be going back just for that! The Caesar salad was delicious as well. We ordered the potato skins to start off the meal, and because they were so scrumptious, we just didn’t have time for desserts, but we’re going to try for that next time as well. They sounded tasty, too.

Check out their website for location and times.

Tuesday’s Treats #144

Firebirds Steakhouse and Grill

Location: Montgomery, Al

This place had amazing atmosphere, wonderful staff and incredible food. We will definitely be back!

To Ponder

To me, pondering is like a rolling tide, swirling in loads and loads of seashells and sand. It’s like falling back into the deep, fresh fallen snow, sinking lower and lower till you almost have to dig yourself out. It’s the billowing clouds above shifting and turning with the wind, the jet streams drawing one near while sending another away. It’s the swirling of autumn leaves as they gently fall off the oak tree and spin and twirl toward the dirt in a waltzing dancelike motion.

You see, I ponder things. I wonder. I analyze. I muse. I imagine. I postulate and theorize until all facts and thoughts are gathered and brought to conclusion, and resolution, yet, attempting to not assume, surmise or conjecture. I meditate on scriptures, contemplating their meanings for my life and the course I might take. I cherish memories and reminisce of days gone by, how things were, how they might have been, and, sometimes, even how they should have been if the outcome was less than desirable.

It makes me think of the scripture spoken of the mother of Jesus, “But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19) I am by no means aligning myself with Mary, as she was much more meek, humble and chosen. Yet, I think of how she might have pondered all the wonderful things about Christ, even from his birth, and I aspire to be like that. She seems to be a woman who pondered and mused the things that happened to her, to her family and to her children. She seemed to be a woman of deep thought, possibly even, a woman of few words. Taking things as they come, adjusting as she must, and living life with faith and strength through the good and the bad.

Yeah, I think I’d like to be like that, a person of that same character. And so, I ponder. I treasure. I cherish. I reflect. I nurture and cultivate the thoughts and happenings around me. I study, deliberate and reason why His Word tells me what it does. I pray these wonderings lead me deeper and deeper in my walk with Him.

So, I will ponder.

Will you?

Tuesday’s Treats #143

Tommy Bahama’s

Location: Sandestin (or Miramar Beach), Fl

Yeah, I thought I’d just go ahead and tempt you with dessert first, cuz these were AMAZING!! That top one is a homemade pineapple crepe brûlée in a real pineapple. It was delicious, and I don’t even much care for crime brûlée! 😋😂 The second was a chocolate peanut butter ganache pie and the last one is a homemade key lime pie. Oh. My!

The food was just as delicious with steak medallions, fish tacos and fish and chips (that’s fried mahi)! Everything was delicious. Actually, I know I have one more pic at the top of the featured red snapper that day. They said it’s usually good, but I, evidently got a bad one and had to send mine back that day. But it looked good and the almond rice, zucchini and squash side dish was delicious. I just opted for the fish and chips, because it was amazing!

Enjoy! Tommy Bahamas

Authenticity Encircles Authenticity

As you become authentic, you will begin to see and be drawn to others who are authentic. As you begin to walk this road, you may also realize some people in your life seem to walk away or even fade away. Realize this for what it is, and embrace it; be okay with it.

Don’t judge them for not continuing in your journey. Don’t slander them for not being loyal and true. Don’t even worry about asking too many questions of why? Or why not?

Some weren’t meant to travel this same road with you. Some don’t wish for the changes you’ve chosen to indulge like a sweet dessert. Others just aren’t where you are and will never understand the transformation until they themselves come to that crossroad in their own lives…and that is okay!

Be you. Be authentic. Encircle others who are authentic. Let go of that and who you must.

Live! … And don’t just survive in living…

THRIVE in your authentic self!! 💕

Knowing you and Embracing you

Becoming a person of authenticity and purpose isn’t easy to do, and it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes hard work, deliberate effort and patience…lots of patience. To become a person of purpose, it’s almost like you’re training for the run of your life or for the fight of a lifetime.

Purpose follows persistence and persistence follows passion.

PASSION –> PERSISTENCE –> PURPOSE

Sometime, you will walk along life’s path and not really have a clue as to what your purpose is, and if you’re seeking that answer, this season of unknowing can be incredibly frustrating!! But, just as I’ve heard Pastor T.D. Jakes preach,

You’ve got to figure out what your passions are. When you figure that out, you’re half way there to finding your purpose! Just continue in that passion. Fine tune your strengths. Figure out your weaknesses and work to improve those areas needed. Get a coach who can challenge you and “get in your grill,” someone who will cheer you and not take “No” or “I quit” as answers. Keep pushing forward until you realize you’re working in your purpose.

Just as a boxer finally knocks out his opponent when he stays persistent in the fight, always looking for the weakness of his foe, and just as a runner finally crosses the finish line when she stays persistent even when her legs scream “just quit,” you will become an authentic person of purpose when you keep on keepin’ on!! 😉

Find You. Know YOU. Embrace you. Become who you were meant to be! You can do this! I believe in you!! 💕

Knowing You and Letting Go

When you’ve gotten to know you, only then, can you let go of who you are not. Because this is such a simple statement, this may sound silly or even a little cliche; yet, it is so very true. When you don’t truly know who you are, you can’t rightly let go of who you might have been pretending to be.

Often, when we start pretending to be something, or someone, we’re not, we lose our true identity. We get lost in the fantasy, the struggle and the desire to be that other person, and that facade will become a false reality for as long as we will live it. It becomes a place of comfort and security while, in reality, the fallacy eats away at our very being.

Everyone around us can see it. Anyone who gets close and is tuned into reality will recognize the fake for what it truly is, and more often than not, those people will eventually remove themselves from our orbit without us ever realizing why they left. To me, this is one of the saddest places to be in life, because that person is so wrapped up in their own lies that he/she can’t even recognize reality until the painful truth slaps them in the face either by tragedy, self-harm or broken relationships that bring about a sense of desperation for truth.

So, tune into the real you. Stare hard into that mirror in the morning and be that the little boy on Hook, who wiped Peter’s face until he could find Peter Pan. Find YOU. Embrace YOU, and learn to love YOU. Then, you will become authentic, and others will be drawn to that new you. 💕

Knowing YOU

I’ve been sharing for the last few days on the subject of authenticity. This is such a great word, and everybody is better off when we all embrace it to it’s fullest. Yet, as I posted those blogs, I started thinking how maybe some people resist authenticity, not necessarily, because they like to be fake, but rather, because they don’t really know themselves.

It made me think of the movie, Runaway Bride, when Julia Roberts’ character has to go “find herself” before she can commit to what she’s purposed to do. (Trying not to give any spoilers here! 😜) Now, I’m not a big advocate of dropping all your commitments to go “find yourself,” because I think, too often, this is used as a cop-out to simply be lazy or rebellious toward the commitments you’ve made. However, my point is this…

You can never be authentic until you truly know and embrace who you are!*

So, get to know that person staring back at you in the mirror every morning. Stare hard. Stare long. Ask questions and answer them, even when they’re hard ones that scream for honesty.

What are my likes? What are my dislikes? Why do I laugh? Why do I cry? What do I believe? For what, in what, or in whom, do I hope? In whom, or what, do I put my trust? When am I the most scared? When am I the most lonely? When am I the most confident and why?

There are a gazillion questions to ask and answer. This may take awhile. Even if it takes the rest of your life, don’t stop asking and never stop answering.

That’s the only way you can truly realize who you are. Draw out that heart within. Reach down deep and find the depths of your soul. Is it shallow, or are the measures endless and complex? True self-evaluation and self-analyzation helps to recognize, acknowledge, challenge and change those things that need alteration and improve those things which are just needing tweaking or strengthening.

Having a mentor, a life coach or just a truth speaking friend will also help you to find yourself and be the “true you,” but these thoughts will be held for another day.

Now, get out there and get to know YOU; so, you can let that authenticity blossom!! 😉

*Note to the wise: the real truth in who you are can, actually, only be found when you come to know the Creator of who you are, and that, my friend, will be a full post for another day very soon; however, you can start on that path of discovery today: Proverbs 9:10; John 1:1; John 3:16

Tuesday’s Treats #142

O’Shucks

Location: Loganville, Ga

If you’re looking for a great little seafood dive, and you’re miles and miles from the coast, check out O’Shucks. I promise you, you’ll be surprised! From the moment you walk in the door, you’ll feel like you walked into a little dockside restaurant on a He beach. The atmosphere is so fun!

I’m sorry this pic looks skimpy but we had already dove into these yummy bites before I captured the shot! Yet, I did want you to see how tasty these are!!

The food is great! There are all kinds of seafood selections, and some that might just surprise you like redfish and conch fritters. We ordered bacon wrapped shrimp for the appetizer, the TNT burger, blackened redfish and chicken fingers. Yeah, we have some land lovers among us. 😂 Everything was delicious, and although, (obviously) I wouldn’t say it’s, “fresh right out of the sea” kind of seafood, it is still very delicious! Being from Florida, my craving for good seafood can be very disappointed while living inland Georgia; however, this place impressed me.

Now, for desserts, many of them are homemade. I ordered the apple pie this time, and it was decent, but when we go again, I am ordering their brownie ala mode. It is to die for!

So, if you’re stuck inland for awhile and have to get some good seafood at not the outrageous-fancy-place-prices, drive over to O’Shucks and give them a try! They have two locations: Winder and Loganville.