An Friday Afternoon Stroll Down North Highlands ~ Featuring Beetlecat, Highland Cigar Co. & Bartaco

A couple Fridays, I wanted to do something a little different. Visit some places I’ve never been. A post from Bettlecat appeared on my Instagram feed. I been trying to get be there, but never have. Friday seemed to be the perfect day. Especially since they had lunch specials on Friday. Yes! Destination set!

I arrived at Beetlecat around 1:30. It was a really cute restaurant! Since it was a beautiful day, I decided to sit on the patio.  Shortly after sitting, my waitress can to take my order. She suggested the Fish House for my cocktail and the Lobster Roll with mayo for my lunch. Sounded good to me! Let’s do it! When it came out I knew it was going to delicious. I dug in and it was. Mmmmm. And the cocktail was perfect.  I definitely want to come back and try the rest of the menu.




After my awesome lunch,  I walked down to Highland Cigar to visit friend and bartender, Amber. This would be the first cocktail she has made for me. And after one sip, I knew it wouldn’t be the last. Amazing! Go see Amber!!

Highland Cigar Co.
245 N. Highland Ave. Suite 140
Atlanta, Georgia 30307
(404) 477-2415



After hanging out a bit, I left and decided I was hungry again. So into Bartaco I went.  I sat at the bar and ordered a cocktail and a couple tacos.  If you’ve never been to Bartaco, you are missing out. Their tacos are amazing! My cocktail was on point too!



That ended the Unofficial Shana Was Here Cocktail Crawl. Perhaps I should hold an official one.  N. Highlands has so many options for cocktails and food.  It just might be a great idea. Stay tuned!

Tupelo Honey Cafe Brings Good Ole Southern Eats To Georgia

A few weeks ago,  I attended a most fantastic media dinner at Tupelo Honey Cafe‘s newest location in Sandy Springs, GA. It would be my second visit in the last few weeks. This one even more delicious.

We serve fresh, scratch-made, Southern comfort food re-imagined. At Tupelo Honey, when we play with our food (and we think it’s okay), the result is scrumptious.

While waiting for the rest of the guest to arrive I sipped on some Proscecco and chatted with Caroline and Grace from Phase 3 PR. I was also introduced to Tyler, who made sure everything was perfect. As guest arrived they ordered drinks from their carefully crafted cocktail menu. I started with the Peach Mai Tai. Soooo good!

Blues & Brews Happy Hour

Sunday – 1/2 off all bottles of wine

Monday – $5 frozen cocktails

Tuesday – $5 draft cocktails

Wednesday – $3 select draft beers

Thursday – $4.50 snacks & bites

From there delicious parade of southern food did not stop. It was wonderful! Check out the awesomeness that is Tupelo Honey Cafe.

Farmer’s Market Pickled Plate

{Tangy pickled carrots, cauliflower, green tomatoes, okra, green beans and cucumbers served with ancient grains}

Appalachian Johnny Cake

{ Classic cornmeal flatbread with a mountain twist, with slow roasted pork and smoked jalapeño barbecue sauce, corn jalapeños slaw and topped with fresh jalapeño.}

Don’t Judge My Okra Obsession

{ Blistered and lightly spiced okra served with scratch made garlic buttermilk ranch.}

Southern Burrata Bruschetta

{ Soft Burrata mozzarella with kale and pecan pesto over heirloom tomato and micro greens.}

Watermelon Salad

{ Sweet watermelon over spicy arugula with honey yogurt dressing, topped with country ham and candied basil.}

Creole Scallop Sofrito

{ Two scallops with a smoky and spicy tomato Creole sauce, atop a petite kale salad.}

Appalachian Shrimp

{ Sorghum chili-glazed, wild caught American shrimp over a fluffy Appalacian corn soufflé and sautéed garlic kale.}

Fried Chicken Tower

{ Available on Sunday & Wednesday! Only 30 made a night! Get there early!!}

Carolina Mountain Trout

{Seasoned & Pan Seared with brown butter.}

Brown Butter Pecan Pie with Dark Chocolate Sauce

Glamping S’mores Cake
What an awesome dinner! Every single bite was amazing! And the cocktails are the best! Tupelo Honey Cafe is definitely a current favorite of mines. I cannot wait to bring my parents here when they visit!!


Tupelo Honey Cafe

4600 Roswell Rd Bldg C Ste 110

Sandy Springs, GA 30342



Big THANK YOU to Tupelo Honey Cafe for the delicious eats and warm hospitality. And THANK YOU to Phase 3 PR for the media invite.


*I received this dinner complimentary. All thoughts and opinions are that of my own.

White Oak Pastures: Relax, Unplug & Enjoy The Farm Life ~ Part 1

“We take care of the land and the herd, and they take care of us.” – Harris Family Core Value

A few weeks ago,  I left Atlanta for a most amazing adventure with fellow awesome blogger, Melissa Haas of  The Front Porch Gourmet. Our destination, Bluffton, Georgia,  home of White Oak Pastures.

White Oak Pastures is a 5th generation family farm that has been in operation since 1866. Our farm specializes in humanely treated and processed animals, as well as organic vegetables.

We arrived at the gates of the 2.5 acre farm not really sure what to expect, but very excited of what was to come. We were greeted by Jenny, Marketing Manager at White Oak Pastures,  and official welcoming committee member, Regal. Jenny offered to take us to the On-Farm Dining Pavilion for a beer. There we met a few members of the staff. We sat, enjoyed a cold beer, while Jenny told us a little bit about the pavilion.

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White Oak Pastures decided to build the dining pavilion after realizing that most of their 100+ employees had to traveling 15 minutes each way to get food. Fast food at that. So they thought, why not provide fresh food, cooked from food raised and grown right on the farm for the employees. Now they serve lunch to their employees Monday through Friday, as well as tour groups and cabin guest. In addition to a laid back lunches, they also feature a more sophisticated dining experience on the weekends. I love that instead of calling it farm to table, they call it the “farm’s table”. This food is as fresh as you can possible get it.

Our cabin was amazing ! We had to drive past a pasture full of grassfed cows and free range chickens. And so it begins. We were pretty excited and took several photos. They were so cute! And totally unbothered by the gleeful photo shoot that was in full swing. I have about 500 pictures of them. Lol!

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We are fiercely proud of what we do at White Oak Pastures, and we enjoy showing it to people. We also believe farms and food companies should operate with full transparency. In addition to that, we are gracious southern people and the enjoyment of entertaining guests is part of our heritage.

Once we passed these beautiful farm animals, we turned onto a small dirt path going into the woods. We arrived at the cabin. So cute!!!

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The cabin included 2 beds, full bath, kitchen and a closed in porch with 2 large rocking chairs. In the refrigerator was a half dozen fresh farm eggs, and a fresh baked quiche. Can’t wait till the morning to partake of that! The cabin was beautifully decorated and so cozy. Not included was wifi or any kind of cellular service. Yes! Unplug from the world, relax and take these beautiful surroundings. At first,  I was a little nervous about not having cellular service,  but quickly embraced it! This is perfect place to enjoy the company of the  person your with. Or a place to go by yourself and to fully reflect on life. It was so beautiful and peaceful!

I want to live here. For real!  Until I saw our little friend. Eeeekk!!!!


White Oak Pastures is open year round for day trips or multi day vacations. We offer on-farm lodging along with on -farm dining at our Pavillion Restaurant; self-guided or hosted farm tours are available; equestrian activities upon request; miles of walking trails, fishing, and a whole lot more.

I had the best conversation with Melissa over a glass of wine and cheese from the pavilion. Rocking in our chairs in this most perfect night, we both agreed that tomorrow was going to be an adventure. With that, we climbed into our cabin beds and called it a night.

Up Next : Day 2 , The Farm Tour

For more information about on-lodging at White Oak Pastures visit


White Oak Pastures 

22775 Highway 27

Bluffton, Georgia 39824

Monday – Friday: 8AM to 5PM

Saturday: 9AM to 6PM

Sunday: 11AM to 5PM

(229) 641-2081

We are 170 miles south of Atlanta, GA (and 80 miles south of Columbus, GA):

Take Highway I-85 south to I-185.

Take Highway I-185 south to Columbus.

Take Highway 27 south through Cusseta, Lumpkin, Cuthbert, & Bluffton.

Our processing abattoir will be on your right.

We are 90 miles north of Tallahassee, FL:

Take Highway 27 north through Havana, Bainbridge, Colquitt, & Blakely.

Our processing abattoir will be on your left.

We are 50 miles west of Albany, GA:

Take Highway 62 west to Blakely.

Take Highway 27 north in Blakely towards Bluffton.

Our processing abattoir will be on your left.

We are 50 miles east of Dothan, AL:

Take Highway 52 east to Highway 62 east (at the AL/GA state line).

Take Highway 62 east to Highway 27 north in Blakely towards Bluffton.

Our processing abattoir will be on your left.


*Big THANK YOU to the entire Jenny and the entire White Oak Pastures Staff for hosting Melissa and I for this super awesome experience that I will never forget. This press trip was complimentary, but all thoughts and opinions are that of my own.

Atlanta Coffee Shops To Visit

I have not always been a fan of coffee. Growing up, my mother would get up early every morning start a pot of coffee for herself and my dad. Every single morning. I didn’t like the taste of coffee back then. I preferred tea. I didn’t really start drinking coffee till about five years ago. Starbucks was my coffee of choice until I was really introduced to the real world espresso. My espresso drink of choice is a Latte, sweetened with honey. If a coffee shop can nail that with the perfect amount of sweetness and flavorful beans as a base, they will have a return customer. There are so many coffee shops in Atlanta, you are bound to have a couple favorites. Here are a few of mines.

1. Octane Coffee

I had my first latte here and was hooked! I’m excited for the opening of their newest location at Woodruff Arts Center!
2. Chattahoochee Coffee Company


This coffeeshop has the most amazing scenery. Sitting along the Chattahoochee River, it’s the perfect place to enjoy you great cup of coffee and reflect on life.

3. Dancing Goats/Batdorf and Bronson Coffee

Recently I took a tour at the Batdorf and Bronson Coffee Roastery and became an even more fan of the company. Their coffee is just dreamy! They can be found in a few restaurants in Atlanta, but I like to visit their coffee shop at Ponce City Market, Dancing Goats. They have an amazing outside sitting area perfect for reading a book and sipping on a latte. 

4. Rev Coffee

This coffee in located in my former hood, Smyrna. I was so happy to discover this awesome coffee shop near me. I love going there to to write. The atmosphere is real chill. Their dedication to a perfectly roasted batch of coffee does not go unnoticed. What’s also very cool about this coffee shop is that it’s a converted garage. Brilliant! 

5. Cool Beans Coffee Roastery 
 Located in Marietta Square, this coffee shop is your best bet for a good cup of coffee north of Atlanta. I actually found out about the while attending the Coffeee Fest last year. As I sampled a taste, I was thinking, how have I not been to this place that’s basically sitting in my backyard?? Since then I’ve made several visits the Cool Beans Coffee Roastery. It was even a stop on The Marietta Food Tour I took not to long ago. Besides the great coffee, the atmosphere is real laid back. I like that. Who wants to go to an uptight coffeehouse anyway? Not I! 

Mango Lime Daiquiri 

Today is National Daiquiri Day and I have everything to make one. Yes!! I had a nice ripe mango that I needed to use. And I still had some Topper’s Spiced Rhum left that I won at a food blogger event not to long ago. I love daiquiris because they are so versatile. You can pretty much use any fruit you like. I love using mangos, strawberries, and peaches. Especially when they’re in season. Today I made mango! It’s super quick and easy to make!

Mango Lime Daiquiri


2 mango, peeled and chopped

Juice of 1/2 lime

3 oz of rum ( I used Topper’s Spiced Rhum)

1 tbsp organic sugar

1 cup of ice

Blend mango, lime juice, and Spice Rhum in blender until smooth. Add ice and blend until ice is crushed.

Pour into glass and enjoy!
Drink responsibly!

Homemade Fresh Peach Ice Cream 


Today is a double treat day! It’s National Peach Ice Cream Day AND National Ice Cream Day.What a delicious day it is. I live in the Peach State so you know I’m making Peach Ice Cream! Recently I visited Community Farmers Market at Ponce City Market to pick up a few things. Guess what I got!!! Peaches!! Yes! I stopped by the Pearson Farm stand to pick up a bag of their delicious peaches. These peaches are the best! 

I’ve been kind of plotting on this day for awhile and it’s finally here! And I finally get to use my ice cream maker! This recipe is super easy to make. I promise you won’t buy another carton of ice cream from the store again. It’s that good. 


Homemade Fresh Peach Ice Cream 🍑

Makes 2 pints

5 ripe peaches, peeled and sliced

Juice of 1 1/2 lemons

1 1/2 organic sugar 

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups heavy whipping cream


1.  Combine peaches, lemon juice, sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl. Let set for 30 minutes. 

2.  With a potato masher, mash peaches. Remove 2 cups of peach mash, with juice, from bowl and place the rest in the refrigerator. 

3.  Put the two cups of peaches in a blender ( used a Ninja! ) and purée. Add heavy whipping cream and blend again. 

4.  Place in a stainless steel bowl and and chill in refrigerator until very cold.

5.  Churn in ice cream maker according to manufacturing instructions.

6.  After churning is complete, mix in remaining peaches. Place in airtight container and put in freezer. 

7.  Freeze

8.  Scoop and Enjoy!

Topper’s Rhum ~ The Best Rhum You Never Had


Recently, I was invited to a very special tasting of Topper’s Rhum by Melissa Haas of The Front Porch Gourmet. Topper’s Rhum is handmade in St. Maarten and is only available in a few states. Not including Georgia. Booo! We hope to change this as this Rhum is much needed in every bar, restaurant, and rhum loving home in Georgia. This award winning Rhum is a true sipping rhum. It’s wonderful straight and on the rocks. Topper’s Rhum is also great to cook with. Melissa was so gracious as to provide us with tasty bites made with Topper’s Rhum. Thanks Melissa!

But first we had a cocktail made with Topper’s Rhum! Our mixologist of the evening, Rob from Mix It Up, made the specially crafted cocktails.  I had the Much Macho Spicy Mojito made with Topper’s Coconut Rhum. It was pretty awesome!

After a fabulous introduction to Topper’s Rhum we began dinner.  Each course was made with a Topper’s Rhum variety.  Every course was delicious! I loved how the flavors of the Rhum came out in each dish.  Rhum is definitely a great way to add additional pizzazz to your meal.  With so many flavors of Rhum offered by Topper’s, you are bound to find something for all of your cooking needs.

Halfway through the dinner, we had a tasting of six varieties of Topper’s Rhum. Tastings included Coconut, Mocha Mama, Banana Vanilla Cinnamon, White Chocolate Raspberry, Caribbean White, and Spiced. WOW!! Everyone of them I would want in my personal bar.  You could really taste the possibilities in each one.  Recipes and cocktail combinations just jumped in my head. I need them all!!!

We completed our dinner with a beautiful dessert, Honey Ginger Ricotta Filled Squash Blossom, Rhum macerated raspberries with coulis and white chocolate dust. Yes Please!! It was made with Topper’s White Chocolate Raspberry Rhum and it was perfect! That is some really good rhum! As a delicious bonus, Melissa prepared dessert to go because we were stuffed. Using Topper’s Banana Cinnamon Vanilla Rhum, Melissa made a Southern Banana Pudding with Rhum soaked lady fingers, topped with crushed vanilla wafers, fresh bananas, and banana rhum cream. I didn’t even taste it till a couple days later. It was so amazing! I need to see about placing an order!

So we had a friendly social media competion amongst all of the bloggers. Guess who won. ME!!! I won a basket of goodies, including a bottle of Topper’s Spiced Rhum! YAY!!!! In the basket was some other goodies from The Leaning Ladder and Astor Chocolate. I was a happy camper.

So lets get Topper’s Rhum here in Georgia. If they are not in your town, they need to be.

Thanks Topper’s Rhum for a wonderful tasting. Thanks Melissa and Rob for an awesome spread of food and cocktails.



*I received this tasting and dinner complimentary. All thoughts and opinions are that of my own.