Mother's Day + Giveaway

We made it halfway through this week (claps for everyone)! As I look at the weeks ahead in my favorite Sugar Paper planner, it is covered in events galore. One event coming up that holds a special place in my heart is Mother's Day.

“I realized when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.”
 —Mitch Albom 

Mother's Day (FYI it's Sunday, May 10) is a time to recognize all the great women in our life who have been there since day one. She watched as we took our first step, said our first word, had our first hit on our little league team, attended our first school dance, learned how to drive, went on our first date, got our first job; she's been there through it all! It's a day to show our love and appreciation for all that she's done and continues to do, day in and day out.

I have a few things up my sleeve for my Mom, but being that she is my proclaimed "#1 Fan," I know she will be reading this the moment it's up. But if you're in need of ideas, here are a few recommendations:
  • Spa Day - The Ritz Carlton here in Buckhead (or Downtown) are amazing! I "tested" out the new Spring menu earlier this week, and received a wonderful massage by my girl, Melinda! Seriously do yourself and your sweet Mother a favor, and get the 'Sun Kissed Deluxe' massage. 90 minutes of pure relaxation topped off with a glass of champagne. Need I say more?
  • diptyque Candles - These candles are the best! With close to fifty scents, some of which were inspired by childhood memories, there is something for every Mom. Head on over to Buckhead Atlanta to pick a few up today, or visit their site to place your order!
  • Garnish + Gather - OK, I'm a bit biased when it comes to this company, but they're awesome! And what Mother (or person) doesn't love the gift of food, am I right?! Head on over to get your Mom the gift of a meal for two, or better yet...ENTER IN MY GIVEAWAY! That's right, I've teamed up with Garnish + Gather to give ONE lucky WINNER a meal for two. Here are the rules: 
    •  Post a pic of you and your cute Mom, and let me know what your favorite meal she made for you as a kid was. Then use the #garnishandgather + #kalemekelly. Super easy, right?! I will pick from the posts and announce the WINNER on MAY 3! PS - How cute is my Mom?! Favorite thing she made for our fam growing up was her Chicken Tetrazzini...YUM-O!

Hope you all have a great rest of the week! And get those #tbt pics and entries in ASAP for the GIVEAWAY! XO


New Find - Cameron Ellis

I love finding people who have a passion for life and a love for food, it's a win-win in my book! My friend, Cameron Ellis, embodies both of these qualities. I've known her for some time, but did not realize her love for baking until one day while scrolling through Instagram I noticed these uh-mazing cookies. Seriously, my mouth was watering! I immediately knew I had to feature her on the blog.

One of my biggest goals for this blog is to introduce y'all to new people, companies and organizations that focus on local produce, being a presence in their community, and giving back. Cameron is full of life, lives in Atlanta and loves giving the gift of baked goodies to friends and family! Check out my interview with her, and stay tuned for how you can WIN something yummy straight from her kitchen! #CookiesBrowniesAndPie #OhMy #KaleMeKelly

1. How long have you been baking?
I have been baking more seriously for about 5 years, but I have been helping my Mama in the kitchen for years. The women in my family taught me everything I know!

2. What inspired you to get into baking?
I come from a southern family, and my Grandmother always believed that you should have a fresh, home baked dessert for "company". But, it wasn't until I had a health scare in my life that I started to get into baking. Baking, or more so the process of baking, was comforting and familiar in a time of uncertainty. However, one can only eat so many desserts by themselves, so I started giving my desserts away to friends, co workers and family. Nothing says congratulations, I'm sorry or just because like a homemade dessert. In fact, I have a chocolate peanut butter pie setting in the fridge right now to congratulate good friends of mine on becoming homeowners!

3. I'm all about cupcakes! What's your favorite goody to make?!
Cupcakes are the most fun treat to make. You have such creative freedom from the liner, to the cake, to the decor and icing on top. Cupcakes are also great because you can make a batch and deliver to friends more easily than an entire cake. I also enjoy baking pies because they are simple as can be, and who doesn't love an all-American apple pie?!

4. What types of events do you make your yummy treats for?
I most often make my treats for what has come to be known as the "Sunday Delivery". I bake something up yummy, package it, and drive around Atlanta dropping of treats with friends. Events surrounding the holidays are my favorite! For example, I did 7 different desserts, including cute pilgrim hats, for a Friendsgiving this past year. What fun in the kitchen even if it did take me hours to clean up! Any event is an excuse to try out a dessert, like champagne cupcakes for a Champagne and Cheese Girls Night.

5. OK, spill...I need your favorite Cinnamon Roll recipe.
My favorite cinnamon roll recipe is from Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman. Before, cinnamon rolls used to intimidate me with all of the rising of the yeast, etc. When I found Ree Drummond's recipe in her cookbook, step by step pictures accompanied the easy recipe. They are a cinch to make, so no more store bought tube rolls! Ree's recipe is completely customizable as well. With her base dough recipe, you can make traditional cinnamon rolls, lemon blueberry rolls or cinnamon apple rolls. The possibilities are endless!

Cameron is currently a Senior Business Development Coordinator for Troutman Sanders LLP, an international law firm headquartered in Atlanta. Prior to moving back to her hometown of Atlanta, she was enjoying the Classic City, Athens, GA. Cameron is a double Dawg through and through, earning her undergraduate and master's degree at the University of Georgia. In her spare time, Cameron enjoys running, eating her way through the city with friends and, of course, baking!

As always, let me know what you're loving about my blog. Just use the #kalemekelly on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram! And don't forget about the Mother's Day Giveaway I  have going on NOW until May 3. See the rules over on my Insta!


Restaurant Week > Fashion Week

OK fashion lovers don't be mad, but I'm a bit biased when it comes to this "week." I love seeing all the new lines each season, but there's something about Restaurant Week that gets me oh, so excited! I'm pretty sure it has a lot to do with the FOOD portion. Pun intended. If I were to have an online dating profile, it would be simple and to the point, "I. Love. Food." I like to let the guy know what he's getting himself into on the front end.

With Buckhead Restaurant Week going on this week (April 18-26th), I intend on taking full advantage of all it has to offer! So last night, I "recruited" two of my girlfriends to go to True Food Kitchen with me, and check restaurant number one off the list. The link directs you straight to the prix fixe menu they're offering. 

I'll tell you from a first-hand account, it was amazing! I've been to True Food several times before, but decided to try everything I have not had before. Mix it up!

The first course is your choice between their Soup of the Day or Miso Soup, Kale Salad or Hummus.
MY PICK: Hummus - Light and refreshing! The olives added a nice touch.

For the second course, they offer you the option of their Panang Curry Chicken, Spaghetti Squash Casserole, Red Chili Shrimp or Moroccan Chicken 
MY PICK: The Panang Curry Chicken - I LOVE curry. Slight obsession. TFK's hit the spot. Will be back for seconds!

The cherry on top  final course (and best in my humble opinion) presents three tasty options: Chia Seed Pudding, Superberry Tart or the Pomegranate Yuku Sorbet! Being that I had my girls with me, we got one of each and all got to try a sampling of each!

Be sure to check out the full listing on Buckhead restaurants participating in lunch and/or dinner HERE! I would love to hear where you all go and what I need to try. Use the #kalemekelly on Instagram (@kalemekelly) or Twitter (@_kellymcgill), and be sure to follow me!

BONUS: If you dine there this Wednesday, April 22 for Earth Day, you'll receive 25% OFF your entire order!

Have a great week! And may the fork be with you.


C'mon...It's Good For You

One of my favorite companies, Good Measure Meals, is rolling out their NEW customizable meal plan feature in less than two weeks! Mark your calendars people, Monday, April 27th. As you know, I did their 5-Day Meal Plan last month. But when GMM reached out to me recently to inform me of this new feature, I couldn't say no. I LOVE food. I've selected the 5-Day Dinner Plan, and start the week of April 27th. Join me! For all my Southerns, they have a Southern Style Oven "Fried" Chicken. Need I say more?

If you're like me and dying to try them out, you're in luck! The gracious girls over at GMM are giving all my readers 10% off a new plan! Just use the promo code 'Kelly.' I can't have y'all being all hangry (...the struggle is real)!

As always, let me know what you're loving about my blog. Just use the #kalemekelly on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!


Ladies Who Brunch feat. Erica Key

This past Sunday I had the pleasure of joining some of my new blogger beauties (and friends) at Tin Can Fish House & Oyster Bar for a lovely brunch! The event was hosted by the one and only Erica Key, of Eating With Erica, and boy can this girl put an event together. From the party favors to the fresh flowers that provided the decorations for the tables, Erica was extremely thoughtful in her planning. I also loved her personalized invites she sent out via e-mail. Too cute!

The two guest speakers, Melissa D. White and Lizette C. Leanza, were both amazing! Each provided us ladies with tips and tricks that we all could benefit from at a corporate lunch or on your next date night. Here are a few of my takeaways from the brunch:

1. If you're going to lunch with a potential client or a decision maker, read up on them! Know your stuff, and be able to ask questions about articles or things that are of interest to them.

2. Don't be shy. If you want to connect with someone in your field on LinkedIn, send them a brief message about who you are. If you can sum it up in 30 seconds or less, you need to refine what you're all about!

3. Let the host (or who you're meeting with) set the tone. If they order a cocktail, you can follow suit. If that's your cup of tea (...you know what I mean). 

4. Know your B to D. Take your LEFT hand and make a 'b.' Now take your RIGHT hand and make the letter 'd.' Your bread aka 'b' goes on the LEFT side of your plate, and the 'd' which is your drink goes on the RIGHT side. 

5. Most restaurants wine lists go from sparkling wines to red wines. From light to full bodied. And if sweet wines (aka Riesling) are your thing, don't be ashamed! Feel free to ask the waiter/waitress which of the options listed are drier, then go with the less dry wine. The drier the wine, the less sweet it is! You're welcome.

Adorable party favor & menu for the brunch

Can anyone say mimosa? 

The wine glasses Erica gifted each of her guests with for the event!

Tin Can Salad

Shrimp and Crab Cake Benedict paired with Sweet Potato Tots

Thanks Allison (of Peachfully Chic) for letting me "borrow" your Key Lime Pie!
After looking back at these pictures, I'm getting hungry! Be sure to check out Tin Can Fish House & Oyster Bar next time you're in the Sandy Springs area. 

They are having their 4th Annual Oyster Roast & Crawfish Boil Saturday, April 25 at 4pm! 

Thanks again for gathering so many inspiring people in one place, Erica. Such a treat!

Erica Key 

Be Sure to Follow Eating with Erica on Social Media: 

Instagram: Eating With Erica 
Twitter: Eating With Erica 
Facebook: Eating With Erica 
Pintrest: Eating With Erica

PS - The Cookie Studio gift certificate is still up for grabs! 
Check out the post NOW to see how to enter --> 'Something Old, Something New'


Something Old, Something New

About a year ago I discovered this little gem located on Pharr Road. in Buckhead, The Cookie Studio. Just a short walk from Buckhead Atlanta, their store is a little oasis from the hustle and bustle of Peachtree Road. Known for their delectable cookies (hence the name), they also offer tons of other amazing goodies! Excuse me while I rave, but I love this spot! From their unique cookies to Intelligentsia Coffee (visited their flagship store in Chicago), this is the place to cure that sweet tooth of yours!

They recently expanded their menu from cookies, pastries and a few breakfast items to serving even more breakfast items and lunch! Once I caught wind of this news, I set-up a lunch date with Barbara, the Owner of The Cookie Studio, right away! Upon my arrival, I could already tell the set-up was different. They've added more seating and tables, creating a cozy atmosphere to enjoy a cup of coffee or catch up with a friend over one of their new tasty tarts!

Here's a look at what I finally decided on (hard to pick, considering I wanted everything) for lunch:  

Spinach Salad, Italian Basil & Chicken Sausage Soup, & Zucchini Mango Chutney Tart with Caramelized Onions 

Zucchini Mango Chutney Tart with Caramelized Onions

Comment on the post below, and let me know what you are liking on my blog! The 10th comment will when a gift certificate to The Cookie Studio!

Told you I had exciting things coming your way this week. If you stop into The Cookie Studio soon, tell Barbara I sent you!


I ate, I saw, I conquered

I'm back! Sorry to go MIA for the week, but I had to fully maximize my time in Chicago! And boy did we do a lot of eating, walking and sight-seeing. Thank you to everyone who sent in suggestions!

OK, so let's get to the good stuff...the FOOD!

Our first night in town, we  I had to go to RPM Italian. Made reservations via OpenTable, but also sent the restaurant an e-mail letting them know of our trip. Hands down the best food and service throughout our entire trip! Big shout out to Kelly, Bruce and Jeffrey! They all went above and beyond to make our first night (and stop) in Chi memorable. If I could have their Wood-Roasted Octopus everyday for the rest of my life, I'd be a happy girl! It. was. unreal. Even if you're not a huge octopus fan, get it. You can thank me later! After the octopus, we took our talents to the other plate; we dove into the 600-Day Prosciutto. Thanks for that, Bruce! Another amazing starter! For my entree, I went with their Alaskan Halibut. Paired the dish with roasted brussels sprouts and cauliflower. This place will be a must every time I visit! Maybe next time I'll have a G&B sighting!

Even though this trip was vacation for me, I was also helping my "little" brother move into his new place in Chicago! Being our first time in the Windy City, we had tons of stuff we wanted to do and see. But for any one that knows my brother, boy likes to eat... A LOT (and often). Our second day in the city, we planned to go to Willis Tower (see pictures below)! Not a huge fan of heights, but that's beside the point. En route to the tower, Charley had to eat. He literally found his holy grail, Protein Bar! This place is insane. From their bowls to blended drinks, we both couldn't get enough of this place. We definitely ate there a few times, and picked up a couple post-workout smoothies. Highly recommend the Buffalo Bowl and the Wrigley Peeled smoothie. Not only do they include the calorie count on their menu, but they provide the breakdown on protein, fats, carbs and fiber in their items. Not kidding! Excuse me while I go look into franchise opportunities...

We definitely ate well on the trip, but RPM Italian was at the top of the list for me! If you're headed to Chicago in the future, here's a list of where we dined:

  • RPM Italian
  • Protein Bar 
  • Intelligentsia Coffee - The Cookie Studio & Atlas in Buckhead both brew this amazing coffee! 
  • Chicago Cut
  • Maude's Liquor Bar
  • Pump Room - Cool vibe. Their lamb was phenomenal!
  • Cantina Laredo - Awesome table side guac! Plus, an entree comes with a mimosa or bloody mary.

As always, feel free to send me an e-mail or comment below, and I am more than happy to suggest some places!

Now for a few touristy pictures and some of the incredible food we had on our trip!

Wood-Roasted Octopus at RPM

Buffalo Bowl at Protein Bar 

Vanilla Latte at Intelligentsia Coffee

On Lake Michigan 

Wrigley Field (...pinch me)

First Opening Night in Cubs' history

Now that I'm back, I have LOTS of exciting things coming your way! Stay tuned for another giveaway this week!!