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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Review & Giveaway ~ The Biggest Story DVD & CD #FlyBy #TheBiggestStory

Once upon a time there lived a man and a woman. They were the happiest people on the planet.

True, they were the only people on the planet, but they were still terrifically happy.

Unfortunately, things didn’t stay happy and wonderful for long . . .

The Bible is full of exciting stories that fill children with awe and wonder. But kids need to know how all those classic stories connect to Scripture’s overarching message about God’s glorious plan to redeem his rebellious people.  In The Biggest Story, Kevin DeYoung—a best-selling author and father of six—leads kids and parents alike on an exciting journey through the Bible.

With powerful illustrations by award-winning artist Don Clark, this imaginative retelling of the Bible’s core message—how the Snake Crusher brings us back to the garden—will draw children into the biblical story, teaching them that God's promises are even bigger and better than we think.

This set includes:

The Animated Short Film: Featuring beautifully animated illustrations adapted from the book, The Biggest Story: The Animated Short Film will captivate children and parents alike as they see how all the classic stories in the Bible connect to Scripture’s overarching message about God’s glorious plan to redeem his rebellious people.

The Audio Book: This audio book of The Biggest Story—written and narrated also by the best-selling author Kevin DeYoung—takes kids and adults through the Bible, connecting the dots from the garden of Eden to Christ's death on the cross to the new heaven and new earth.

Kevin DeYoung is senior pastor of University Reformed Church in East Lansing, MI, husband to Trisha, and father to seven children.

I've watched this with my 12 year old, and also with my 5 year old and 7 year old niece and nephew.

My son liked how fast-paced the short film is - each chapter is only a few minutes long.  I loved the bold, bright illustrations, too.  We also enjoy listening to the CD in the car while running errands.

My niece and nephew liked the bright colors and the story.  But being younger, even these short chapters seemed a little long for them.  They both watched the entire film though!

(Affiliate Link)

Awesome news: I have the short film DVD and the audio CD to give away to one of you!

Just enter via the Rafflecopter widget below.  Make sure to complete the mandatory entry so that your bonus entries will count.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Check out the Yellow Daisy Festival this weekend! #YellowDaisy16 #StoneMountainPark

Some of the treasures we found at the Yellow Daisy Festival!

David and I spent two mornings at the 48th annual Yellow Daisy Festival at Stone Mountain Park this week and wow - the vendors this year are amazing!!  There are still two more days for you to attend, so make plans to go while I tell you a little more about it.

First of all - plan on lots of walking - we managed almost 5 miles between our two mornings there. Good walking shoes are a must. And take a frozen water bottle because you will need it!

We went at 10 am yesterday, and it was already hot and pretty crowded.  Today we got there at 8 am, paid $5 for early bird admission and that made a huge difference.  So much cooler and the crowd level was 1 out of 10! (Yesterday was more like an 8/10!)  After experiencing both early and regular admission at this year's Festival, I think it is worth the fee to get in early.

With over 400 artists and vendors there, you can find almost anything! We saw stained glass, windchimes, birdhouses, maple cutting boards, hot sauces, clothes for kids and women, leather goods, kitchen decor, musicians selling their music, plants, body and facial care products, yard decor, Christmas ornaments and decor, quilted goods, purses, artwork, bow and arrow sets, musical instruments, and so much more! I was able to knock out quite a few of my Christmas gifts there.

There are food trucks and vendors galore, and lots of places to sit and rest for a bit out of the sun. You'll even find a Man Cave-type place for the men to wait on their wives, and a Children's Corner with fun kids activities!

We got delicious popsicles from King of Pops both days.  Yesterday David got their Sweet Tea & Lemonade Pop.  Today he got that one again, and I tried the Salted Watermelon Pop.  Highly recommend them both!

The Festival is open
Saturday, September 10: (Early Bird admission is 8 - 10 am for $5 fee)
10 am - 7:30 pm
Sunday, September 11: (NO Early Bird admission today)
10 am - 5 pm.

Parking is $15 per day, or an annual parking pass is $40. Festival Admission is free during regular hours with your parking fee.   If you go early, it's $5 for per person, over age 12.

Stone Moutain Park is located at 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd Stone Mountain, GA 30083

Visit Stone Mountain's website for more information!

If you go, I'd love to hear what you think of this year's festival - leave a comment below!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Giveaway & Review: We The People Fight Tyranny Game

Hey y'all!

Hope everyone enjoyed the long holiday weekend.  We had my daughter and son-in-law over for a cookout.  After we ate lunch, my daughter, son and I played a super-fun new game that I received to review last week!

We opened the box and set up the board - it's BIG!  There are several different types of cards and several decks of trivia cards as well. (more about these cards below) We started by reading the instructions and picking our colored pawns for playing.  Then David (he was the Game Czar!) chose identity cards for each of us. These cards determine each player's occupation, salary, family members and vehicle for the game.  I was not too happy with my card - he got me good!

We love a good board game and this one didn't disappoint! We laughed a lot during the game, and had a great time playing.  I was surprised that I knew a good number of the trivia questions (but not always the ones I got on my turn, ha ha!)  I think our game took about an hour to play before Katie was declared the winner. David came in second place and Mom came in last - wahh!

We can't wait to play again - it was so much fun and the trivia questions are great! We all learned things while playing this game.  Some of the questions we encountered were about religion, historical events and figures, Supreme Court cases, and the Constitution.

Oh, and the "Social Justice" cards are hilarious! They show you how ridiculous an intrusive government is to our society, and teach players about modern day tyranny.  The "Disappoint Big Brother" cards represent ways "We the People" can restore America.  This game WILL spark conversations about our government and changes that are needed!  My kids and I already talk about that often, but the game really encourages discussion!

If you homeschool, this makes a great history resource.  Heck, even if you DON'T homeschool, it's great!  It's meant for 3 - 8 players, and ages 15 and up.  David is 12 and he surprised me with how many trivia questions he could answer.  So I think some younger kids would do just fine playing this game!  Oh, and another great thing - this game is MADE IN THE USA!

Visit the website to learn more about the game, or to purchase your own copy!

I am so excited that the game designers are sponsoring a giveaway of We The People Fight Tyranny. This giveaway has a retail value of $56.99 but they are going to send one of my readers a FREE game!  Isn't that awesome? 

All you have to do is enter through my rafflecopter widget below.  Make sure you complete the mandatory entries (one of which includes leaving a comment below this post) so your bonus entries will count!  Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Giveaway: The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow, Pirate Today DVD

**Sony Home Video provided me with some of the materials I used in this Blog Post/Giveaway. The opinions I share are my own.**

Calling all Pirates and Princesses!! You will love this fun new DVD from Sony Home Entertainment! The Swan Princess: Princess Tomorrow Pirate Today will be out on DVD September 6.   Here's a bit more about the movie:

In this brand new original animated film, Princess Alise is training to be the perfect royal but in her heart all she wants to do is sail the seven seas as a swashbuckling pirate! After setting sail, Princess Alise is shipwrecked and washes ashore on an island where she meets Lucas, a young boy who has been living there by himself. They have to work together to survive and get back to civilization!

Check out this cool Blog App for more about the movie!

Want to win a copy for your family?  Enter to win on my Rafflecopter Widget below:

There is always one mandatory entry that involves leaving a comment below this post - scroll down til you see the box that says leave a comment.  Once you do that, you just need to finish the mandatory entry in the widget and leave the name you commented under!  This must be done in order for any other entries to be counted.  :) 

I'd love for you to share this giveaway with your friends using the share buttons below this post for Google +, Twitter, etc.  Thanks for entering, and good luck!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Giveaway ~ Atlanta JapanFest "Cooler Japan" 2016 tickets!

Want to learn about Japanese culture?  This year’s JapanFest “Cooler Japan,” offers an electric combination of cool tech-advanced modern Japan with a traditional twist.  It promises to be a fun weekend for the whole family!

JapanFest Weekend will be held on September 17-18, 2016, from 10 am to 6 pm (Saturday) and 10am to 5pm (Sunday) at the Infinite Energy Center (located at 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth, GA 30097).

We make Japanese culture COOL in our Children’s Area! Children will be able to make paper puppets and enjoy Kamishibai, a form of Japanese theatrical storytelling that uses paper puppets. They can also learn Japanese calligraphy, try on traditional Japanese clothes, make kites, color in Japanese coloring books, fold origami figures, and play with traditional Japanese tops and paper sumo wrestlers! For our modern counterpart, children will get to play with Samurai Borgs (Japanese fighting robots), Beyblade (modern Japanese tops), Hyper yoyos, and Kendama (modern cup and ball game).

Kids will also be given the opportunity to let their creativity shine. This year we will be featuring a 3D pen that will make their art literally stand off the page! And with our 3D aquarium, they can bring their art to life! Children will draw their fish, and after scanning it, they will be able to see their fish swim around our 3D fish tank. Everyone in your family will find something to enjoy at JapanFest!

If you need a pick-me-up from all the fun, JapanFest Konbini store and Japanese grocery store, Tomato, are providing tasty and unique Japanese snacks!  My son is looking forward to this!

Love music? JapanFest will feature a variety of musical performances sure to suit all ages and interests, including taiko drumming, J-Rock and J-Pop, and classical music. The festival will also feature Japanese dance performances, a kimono fashion show, and kabuki theater.

Want a selfie taken in Tokyo without the jet lag? Take a virtual trip to Japan with our Magical Photo booth. Take a picture in famous Japanese locations such as Mt. Fuji, Harajuku, or even a photo with a sumo wrestler! Other photo ops include the cute Japanese mascot Domo-Kun, who will be at the festival.

This will be our second year collaborating with anime convention, MomoCon. The Anime village is a section of the festival completely dedicated to anime products, anime viewings, and gaming. Keep Momocon is also sponsoring a Pokémon Go! Meetup. Capture and boost a gym, claim resources from Poke Stops and build your team, all factions welcome!

For fans of more traditional fighting methods, rather than Pokémon battles, there will be demonstrations of virtually every Japanese martial art in existence, including aikido, karate, kendo, kyudo, and sumo.

Shoppers will love the amazing array of Japanese goods available. Ginza-dori, organized by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Georgia and named after Tokyo's famous shopping district, will feature Japanese ceramics, traditional Japanese clothing and accessories, and fun items such as masks and toys. For those who want to try on a kimono, the Konnichiwa Club will dress them in the latest kimonos from Japan.

Attendees are encouraged to purchase  tickets online to minimize waiting at the event entrance, as additional entrances are provided for pre-purchased ticket holders.  Individual tickets are available for sale until the day before the event (Though Infinite Energy Center ticketing system, AXS). .  The deadline for our corporate ticket package is August 10th for e-tickets  (60 tickets and above)

Tickets are $10. Children age 6 or younger free. Teachers can bring students to JapanFest for free by applying online at Larger organizations can purchase ticket packages online.

No pets other than guide dogs are allowed inside the convention center. For more information,  call 404-842-0736 or visit

Platinum-Delta, Gold-Aflcac, Coca Cola, Silver-Fisher-Broyles, Kumon North America,  TV Japan/NHK Cosmomedia America Inc., WSBTV-Channel 2, Bronze-American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Power Equipment Division; LeafFilter; Miura America Company; PriceWaterhouse Coopers; Sapporo USA, Inc; Temple University, Japan Campus; TOTO USA Inc; Fuji-Dexerials America Corporation, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport,  Inside Gwinnett Magazine, Panasonic Automotive Systems, Yamaha Motor Corp.U.S.A, Sakura-Atlanta Parent Magazine; Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC; Ernst & Young LLP; Global Atlanta; Gwinnett Daily Post; Holiday Inn Gwinnett Center; Creative Loafing; Honda Precision Parts of Georgia; KPMG; Nidec Elesys Americas Corporation; Toppan Printing; Ume-Atlanta Braves, Kuraoka Clinic, Machida Family of Duluth

Doesn't JapanFest look awesome?  I can't wait to take my son! This will be a fun, educational experience for us both.  

Local friends, I'm giving away a four pack of tickets to JapanFest! Enter via Rafflecopter below! (Must live in metro-Atlanta area to be eligible to win)

Thursday, August 18, 2016

$25 Family Christian Stores Giveaway! #FamilyChristianStores #FlyBy

Last week I had the opportunity to visit my local Family Christian Store for a little shopping.  They have some great summer sales going on and I was excited to see what I could find.

We were greeted by the salesperson as we entered the store, and she told us about the awesome sales going on.   We headed back towards the journaling Bible section first, but along the way we checked out some of the other sale items!  The wall art is fantastic here - so many beautiful options.   Coloring books, CD's, water bottles, greeting cards, books - they have it all at Family Christian Stores!

I already have the Inspire Bible, which I received as a gift last Christmas.  Even so, I still love to look at all of them, as well as the tools that go with them.  Family Christian has a great variety of journaling Bibles and supplies, and many of these are on sale for 30% off now!  (Think Christmas gifts!)

Speaking of sales: The Family Christian Summer Sale is in full swing right now!
Make the most of your summer with Family Christian’s unbeatable Buy 1, Get 1 50% Off sale on ALL Books, Movies and Music for the whole family! You can mix and match products to get the deal, which means you don’t need to shop within the same department. For example, you can buy a movie at full price, and get a book (or CD or another movie) for 50% off!

This sale is going on now through August 25, so visit your local store or shop online at!  Their website is very user friendly so shopping online is as easy as shopping in their store!

Just a few of the summer sale items you will find in stores and online:

Bible: Journaling Bibles
Description: Select journaling Bibles are now 30% off through August 25! Ignite a renewed passion for exploring God’s Word, whether you’re jotting down notes from a church sermon or recording prayer requests from small group—you’ll have all the space you need. And many of our journaling Bibles are filled with illustrations to inspire and get you started. Choose from 26 styles, and save now!

Book: For the Glory by Duncan Hamilton
Description: Eric Liddell, hero of Chariots of Fire, ran and lived for the glory of God. This compelling narrative is his untold and inspiring story of athletic heroism and faith in the darkest circumstances—from his Olympic medal to his missionary work in China to his last, brave years in a Japanese work camp during World War II.

Book: Traces of Guilt by Dee Henderson
Description: When Evie Blackwell arrives in Carin, Illinois, it’s to help launch a new task force dedicated to reexamining two of the city’s unsolved crimes. As she dives into evidence and develops new leads, she unearths a surprising connection . . . possibly a third cold case. She’s determined to solve them before she leaves town, and Sheriff Gabriel Thane and his family will be key to those answers. Book #1 of the Evie Blackwell Cold Case series.

Description: This sixth studio album from NEEDTOBREATE finds the group reflecting on the tumultuous seasons behind their recent albums, Rivers In the Wasteland and The Reckoning, and enjoying extraordinary success while experiencing personal conflict. “We were in a dark place when we made the last record, but to me this album is mostly a story of redemption,” Bear Rinehart said.   H A R D L O V E delves into the world of electronic effects and instrumentation, resulting in a sublimely crafted and expansive sound that reflects the band’s unforgettable live show. Includes lead singles “Happiness” and “Money & Fame.”

DVD: Miracles from Heaven 
Description: Upon discovering her 10-year-old daughter, Anna, has an incurable disease, Christy Beam becomes a ferocious advocate of finding a solution. After Anna has an accident, an astonishing miracle unfolds in the wake of her rescue, restoring her family’s faith. Based on a true story. Stars Jennifer Garner and Kylie Rogers with Queen Latifah.

DVD: Risen
Description: Risen tells the story of a powerful Roman military tribune and his aide seeking to solve the mystery of what happened to Jesus in the weeks following the Crucifixion. Their goal: to disprove the rumors of a risen Messiah and prevent an uprising in Jerusalem. Stars Joseph Fiennes and Tom Felton.

New Product Line: Active Faith
We’re thrilled to be the exclusive retail partner for Active Faith Sports! Formed by a group of Christian athletes, Active Faith offers apparel with Christian-inspired designs and messages, encouraging you to share your faith whether you’re on the court, out for a jog or running errands around town.
Pro athletes seen wearing Active Faith apparel include Stephen Curry, Demaryius Thomas, Clayton Kershaw, James Harden and more.  Men's, women's and youth apparel available now!

About Family Christian:
Family Christian is a Christian retailer, operating in 250 stores across the country. They are committed to helping you find, grow, share and celebrate your faith through a wide selection of Christian books, music, Bibles, DVDs, gifts and more.  When you shop with Family Christian, your purchases support their efforts to unite with ministries that are helping children and families in need around the world.

After browsing the entire store, I ended up choosing the War Room DVD, a Fall decorative "tag" that I'll hang on the back door knob in our family room, two sets of tabs for my Inspire Bible, and some little cards for sticking in greeting cards.   I'm going back again soon for a few more journaling items - they had some cute stickers and other accessories that I have my eye on!  The clearance section in the back is also a great place to score some amazing deals on seasonal merchandise!

Now that you've seen some of what they have to offer, how would you like to have the chance to shop at Family Christian with a $25 gift certificate of your own? (in store or online!) They have generously offered to give one of my readers just that - and it's easy to enter via my rafflecopter widget below!

Don't forget to complete the mandatory entry first - otherwise none of your other bonus entries will count!

Monday, July 25, 2016

All Things Bright & Beautiful Giveaway & Review #flyby #AllThingsBrightandBeautiful

Hey y'all! Back with a quick review and a fun giveaway!

In case you can't tell from all my book giveaways - I love to read, and I adore books.  (I may even hoard books - I have SO many!)  I always enjoyed reading to my kids when they were little - the books were so sweet and fun to share with them.

Now I like to give children's books for shower gifts and such. I have several favorites, like Jamberry, Love you Forever, and A Bad Case of Stripes.  I had the opportunity earlier this month to review All Things Bright and Beautiful, a lovely new children's book that is based on the well-known hymn. After getting to read this book, I'm adding it to my list of faves!

I really enjoyed the sweet illustrations, and that this book would work equally well for a boy or a girl. It's just precious, and with Christmas coming, it would be a lovely gift for a child you love!

About the book:
First published by Cecil Frances Alexander in 1848, this favorite hymn has become a mainstay of churches and Sunday school classes everywhere. Here artist Katy Hudson brings new joy to the words with her fresh and bright watercolor style. Readers can join in the fun as they follow two little girls and their brother on a day filled with the discovery of “all things bright and beautiful.”

About the artist:
Katy Hudson was raised in Middlesbrough, England, and started her career as a small child drawing on freshly painted walls. Her parents quickly encouraged drawing with pencil and paper instead. The idea stuck, and after earning a degree in illustration, Katy is now a freelance illustrator. Katy works at a desk in a studio within Old London Library and likes to tap dance in her spare time.

Jacketed hardcover
Page count: 32
Reading age: 4-7
Category: juvenile fiction/Christian
Retail price: $15.99

You can buy your copy here, or enter to win a copy below!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Review & Giveaway: A Teen’s Guide to the 5 Love Languages® : How to Understand Yourself and Improve All Your Relationships

Last month I had the opportunity to review A Teen’s Guide to the 5 Love Languages® : How to Understand Yourself and Improve All Your Relationships by Gary Chapman.  Having an almost teen-aged son, it couldn't have come at a better time.

I read Gary Chapman's book The 5 Love Languages® several years ago and took the inventory as well, so I knew my two highest love languages are Receiving Gifts and Acts of Service. This book gives your teen the chance to learn his/her love language by completing an easy profile.  Everyone has a primary love language, and knowing which is yours can really help improve your relationships!

This latest book teaches teens how to interact with others using their love language, and important skills like how to apologize sincerely, and how to become a better listener. It focuses on maintaining healthy relationships with family members and friends.  I consider it a must-read for any teen!  As a Mom, I enjoyed reading it too. David has just started reading it, so he hasn't taken the profile yet.  I can't wait to find out which of the love languages top his list.  I believe knowing his love language will help our relationship as we navigate the teen years!

Here is more information about this book and the author:

Chicago, IL – In a teenager’s world of hashtags and chat acronyms, where relationships
are measured by Facebook likes and Instagram followers, and where a long-term
friendship can be discarded with a click of the mouse, developing lasting, meaningful
relationships can be a challenge. But there is hope.

“Everyone has relationships at some level,” says Gary Chapman, author of A Teen’s
Guide to the 5 Love Languages® : How to Understand Yourself and Improve All Your
Relationships (Northfield Publishing, May 2016) with Paige Haley Drygas. “The question
is, “What is the quality of those relationships?” Maybe you have a thousand Facebook
friends but feel like nobody understands you. Or, maybe you feel you and your parents
are from different planets. The good news is it can get better. The secret is learning to
speak love and appreciation in a language the other person can receive.”

Chapman, a pastor, counselor, and author of the New York Times bestselling The 5 Love Languages®  (more than 10 million sold) brings his popular love language teaching for the first time to the lives of teens, helping them navigate the many relationships they face with family, friends, boyfriends/girlfriends, teachers, teammates, coaches, and more.

“Our culture often dilutes the meaning of the word love,” says Chapman. “We tend to use the same word for how we feel about Belgian waffles or a football team that we use to describe our deepest bonds. And for many teens, the word “love” often conjures up images of romance. But, as we learn, love is much more than that and when we understand how to communicate love within all of our relationships, we’ll live a much richer life.”

In A Teen’s Guide to the 5 Love Languages® , Chapman lays a foundation for what love really is (a choice) and how that translates into all relationships, and takes teens step-by-step through each of the individual love languages—words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, and touch. He outlines the general characteristics of each love language, explains the various dialects within each language, and offers practical examples of how to communicate the love languages in the daily ups-and-downs of relationships. He also spends time focusing on helping teens navigate their relationship with their parents and siblings (it doesn’t have to be negative), shares how to handle anger and apologies, and encourages teens to focus on their “tribe.”

“Rather than having five hundred lame, half-hearted, Facebook-only relationships, you can cultivate five or ten thriving relationships in which the others really know you and feel known by you,” says Chapman.  While Chapman encourages teens to learn how to build relationships with others by speaking their love languages, he also spends time helping teens figure out their own love language by observing their own behavior, noticing what they ask others to do for them, listening to what they complain about, asking the right questions, and taking the included Love Languages Profile.
“Discovering your own love language helps you understand why you feel more loved by and connected to certain people,” says Chapman. “Once you know your own love language, you start to get your instincts—why you love others the way you do, why you’re drawn to specific people, what you’re looking for in a relationship. This self-knowledge can really help you in life.”

Gary Chapman, Ph.D., is an author, speaker, and counselor who has a passion for people
and helping them form lasting relationships. He is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of
The 5 Love Languages® and the director of Marriage and Family Life Consultants, Inc. Gary
travels the world presenting seminars and his radio programs air on more than 400 stations.
For more information, visit

Want to get this book for your teen? Here's a link to it on Amazon (affiliate link).  I'm also including one for the original book - it's so good!

I have a copy of A Teen’s Guide to the 5 Love Languages® : How to Understand Yourself and Improve All Your Relationships to give away to one lucky reader.  Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below - one mandatory entry and a couple extra easy-peasy entries! (Plus, you will find out your love language!)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The best cookies at the Magic Kingdom! #WaltDisneyWorld #MagicKingdom #DisneyDiningPlan

We love, love, love Walt Disney World.  We've been several times over the past 8 years, and we're going again in December!  Today I wanted to share one of our favorite snacks at the Magic Kingdom. We always pick a few of these up when we are at Walt Disney World!

These Minnie's Bake Shop cookies are the best I've ever eaten!! The only one we've gotten is the Chocolate Chip Supreme and there is no reason (in my opinion) to try any other variety, as this one is heavenly!  (Actually, in December I'm going to try the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip - I will review it then)

These cookies are HUGE.  They are moist and delicious, with crunchy sugar crystals on top.   They are made to share, but we usually don't. We just eat half of the cookie, then save and enjoy the other half later!  

See how moist and dense they are on the inside? Perfect!

The sugar crystals on top add a delicious crunch to every bite! 

You can find these amazing treats at many of the shops and stands throughout the Disney parks, but we usually pick them up at Main Street Confectionary in the Magic Kingdom, or at Goofy's Candy Company in Disney Springs.  They cost $3.99 per cookie, and they are considered a snack option on the Dining Plan!

The bad news? They are not-so-good for your waist!! But since we only get these once a year or so, it's ok. You can check out the nutritional info below:

Next time you visit Walt Disney World, try one of these yummy cookies - you'll be glad you did!  For more about Disney, and other travel reviews, click the Travel link at the top of my blog.  Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Whistle Stop Cafe in Juliette, GA (Fried Green Tomatoes movie!)

Yesterday David and I took a fun road trip with our friend Crystal and her adorable son.  She wanted to visit the tiny middle-Georgia town of Juliette.  Now, if you don't know about Juliette, you may find that you actually do recognize it from Hollywood and the silver screen.  Back in the 1990's, a little movie was filmed there called Fried Green Tomatoes.  If you haven't seen it, you should find a copy to watch! The movie is based on the book by Fannie Flagg, called Fried Green Tomates at the Whistle Stop Cafe.  I need to watch the movie and read the book again - it's been too long!

This tiny town got a makeover for the movie, and thus the Whistle Stop Cafe was born.  Located about 10 minutes off I-75, it's very easy to find if you are traveling to or from Florida or South Georgia.  Turn right on McCrackin Street and the cafe will be past the stores and on your left.  It's a small cafe, but you can make reservations online or if you go during the week, like we did, it's not likely to be packed.  We left Crystal's house (near Cumming) around 9:30, made two fast stops along the way and still got to the Cafe about 12:10.  We did have to deal with some construction delays on Hwy 400 and again on I-75.

Entering the cafe is like going back in time!! First, the front porch is rustic and so cute.  Pull the old fashioned handle on the door and you're inside the cafe. Walk on time-worn, wooden floors and you'll see white-washed planks on the walls and ceiling.  Old signs and pictures dot the walls, and check out the safe built into the bar next to the cash register.  The ceiling fans lazily circle and the lights are not too bright. It's just perfect!  There are booths along both walls, and a few tables for larger groups. There are also stools at the bar for additional seating.

The waitresses here are precious!! Never saw one of them without a big smile.  They greeted us and invited us to sit anywhere.  We chose a booth towards the back where we could see the railroad tracks. Not two minutes into our visit a train flew by our window!

You know we like our iced tea here in the South.  I am a huge fan of unsweet tea, so that was my choice, and D & Crystal ordered sweet.  Our drinks arrived in icy cold mason jars - wide mouth for unsweet, regular for sweet.  The girls kept our glasses full throughout the meal, which is always a plus when you are dining out.   There was no charge for refills or our to-go cups of tea, but sodas only come by the can, so if you want refills, you will pay for each. Remember you can click on the pictures to see a bigger version!  You can purchase the cute t-shirts the waitresses wear at the brick depot gift shop just down the street. (forgot to take a picture!)

The menu was two-sided and simple.  I ordered a basket of Fried Green Tomatoes to bring home to my husband.  He loves them, and no way would I let him miss the ones from this Cafe! Crystal tried one and said they were delicious.  D and I think tomatoes are disgusting, so we took her word for it!!

For lunch I ordered the Sampler - I thought we could share it.  It had two massive chicken tenderloins, a pile of onion rings, a pile of sweet potato stix and several more fried green tomatoes.  It also came with cups of honey mustard, ranch, a tangy horseradish sauce for the FGT, and the most amazing BBQ sauce EVER!! The chicken was seriously the best chicken I've ever eaten. Tender, moist and so flavorful.  I brought home so much leftover food though - that platter is massive!

David chose a grilled cheese - it looked so good - cheese melting over the edges and some kettle-style chips, plus a pickle on the side.

Crystal ordered the pulled BBQ pork.  She declared it delicious, as well as the slaw and the garlic mashed potatoes sides she chose.  Her son (he's under two) shared sweet potato stix and the bun from her sandwich.  Everyone was full and happy.

Then we decided to share dessert! They had some delicious sounding choices - pecan cobbler, peach cobbler, apple dumplings, and a hot fudge cake.  But we chose the lemon cheese cake and it was perfect. Light, sweet, and chilled from the fridge.  It was the perfect ending to our meal at the Whistle Stop Cafe.

We didn't have time to explore after lunch, since we wanted to get back to the other side of Atlanta before rush hour.   We left there at 1:30, dropped Crystal off before 4, and were home before 5. However, if you'd like to explore the area, Jarrell Plantation State Historic Site is only a few minutes away and offers a museum, plus the chance to explore an 1800's cotton plantation. There are also some darling stores and such right there on McCrackin Street in Juliette. There is even an Opry House and Opry Land across the street from it.  Such a cute little town and well worth the drive!

The Whistle Stop Cafe is located at 443 McCrackin Street, Juliette, GA 31046. They are open 11 am to 4 pm daily.