As Facebook so graciously reminded me, it’s been 2 years since I posted this photo of my son graduating from high school:

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I really can’t believe that it’s been that long – it really seems like yesterday!  What a joyful time that was for our family, but also what a stressful and busy time too.   I don’t think I’ve orchestrated a celebration that big since my wedding!   Since we’re in the party throwing season right now, I hope that I can inspire you to make your own DIY party decorations for a graduation celebration, a milestone birthday or even a summer gathering.

Let me say upfront that I am NOT a big DIYer.  I would rather pay for assembled decorations, but since I was already spending a fortune during graduation season (which is also prom and college admission season, so I know you feel me), my desire to save money won over my desire to save time.  All I’m saying that if I can do this, you can do this.  A little planning, some trips to Michael’s and time are all you need to make fabulous DIY party decorations.   My daughter, who spends most of her free time on Pinterest and Etsy, loves DIY projects so she was a big help.

These cupcake toppers are one of the DIY decorations that I made for my son’s graduation party:

Cupcake Toppers

You can read about the rest of my DIY party ideas in the original blog post.   Now go and plan the best party of the season!

© 2015, Funkidivagirl.com. All rights reserved. Republished only with permission.

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RIP Miss Ann – Ann’s Snack Bar

in My Charmed Life

It was sad news for burger-lovers everywhere when Miss Ann Price, of Ann’s Snack Bar, died earlier this month.  People traveled from near and far to not only eat her famous “Ghetto Burger,” – named “World’s Greatest Burger” by the Wall Street Journal in 2007 – but also to see Miss Ann in action; she was quite a character.  A few years ago my family paid Miss Ann a visit and my husband wrote a review of our experience.  This post is for you Miss Ann; you’ll be missed.

Ann’s Snack Bar: Atlanta’s Best Burger 

By James Andrews

My family is always on the quest for a good burger.  As the family leader I think that I am the cause of this; I was brought up in California which many call the capital of all burgers.  McDonald’s, Bob’s Big Boy and In And Out Burger were all birthed in California.  And those are just the mainstream/commercial burgers.

But the hoods of California– that’s where the best burgers are found.  From Nation’s and Quarter Pound Burger  in The Bay Area hoods to Quick N Split and Mo Better Meatty Meat Burgers (the best turkey burger ever) in Los Angeles, I have tasted the best.

Upon moving to Atlanta my family had been hearing about Ann’s Snack Bar and the “World Famous Ghetto Burger” so today we decided to give it a try.   Joining us in the hood on Memorial Drive East was our friend Matt Arnett and his two kids.

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When you arrive at Ann’s Snack Bar  you can almost guarantee that there will always be a wait.  Why you ask?  Mainly because Miss Ann has a protocol; you do not come inside the kitchen, you wait in the patio area with all the others until you are asked for your order.  Not knowing this protocol, we arrived hungry and immediately went to the door where the other patrons stopped us dead in our tracks with a “You have to wait, sir.”

Put off a bit, we retreated to the wire seats in the waiting area with all of the others.  It only took a little while for us to realize that there was a “Miss Ann’s Snack Bar Protocol” and soon we were mentoring the other patrons who came behind us and weren’t familiar with the “house rules” (think of the “Soup Nazi” from Seinfeld and you have a good idea). When we finally had our chance to order, of course I ordered the “World Famous Ghetto Burger” but opted out of the chili; the chili-cheese fries that I had coming was enough.

Now while ordering is the first part of the protocol, waiting is the second.   After a good 35 minute wait (which included a trip to the package store for a few bottles of Tahitian Treat) a tap on the window signaled me to retrieve our order.   I rushed to pick up the red trays which resembled the old school cafeteria “china” you remembered as a kid.

The first burger that I grabbed was the “Ghetto Burger with chili” that my 13 yr old son ordered.  It was by far the biggest burger that I have ever seen.   The thing was so huge that it scared the people waiting and made my wife shriek.

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My “Ghetto Burger” (no chili, but I kept the bacon) was big and juicy also.

I took my first bite; the very well seasoned and hand-formed patty was a pleasure to sink my teeth into.  The best way to describe it is “a Momma Burger on steroids.”   Matt Arnett commented that the bun was nothing special, but a burger of this size required a solid bun.  It is clear why Miss Ann gives you plenty of napkins and forks and knives as tools for the meal as it is plenty messy.   I barely made it through the burger but I was determined and I’m happy to say I’m conquered it.

 

The entire experience of the fantastic burger and Miss Ann’s protocol makes this a must do in Atlanta. This is definitely the biggest and top 3 burgers I have ever had; clearly I have been to the mountain top.   I look forward to my annual trip (I can only do this type of eating once a year) back to Ann’s Snack Bar.   The rumor around town is that Miss Ann is retiring in May, so I must go back soon.

© 2015, Funkidivagirl.com. All rights reserved. Republished only with permission.

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A New Year, A New Look – No More Dreadlocks

in What About Me

I had talked about doing it for two years.  But it was a big step so I took my time deciding. I researched online, watched Youtube videos, read blog posts, had several salon consultations and talked to a few friends who had unlocked their hair.   It was a long journey to lock my hair and I felt that the decision to unlock deserved the same consideration.

There were many reasons why I finally decided to do it: my locs were heavy, swimming was a drag (literally), I wanted to connect with my daughter and her loose natural hair, and mainly, I wanted to shake things up.  A woman needs to reinvent herself every so often, it keeps life interesting.

There was fear.  How would my hair look unlocked after all these years?  For 12 years everyone pretty much defined me by my hair.  It was a conversation piece; the attention was both nice and unnerving.  It’s amazing how many people made assumptions – both good and bad – about me just because I had dreadlocks.   In the end I decided that however I looked without locs would be okay; I am not my hair.  And besides, I often like to do the very thing that causes me fear.

My husband was against it.  I did not take that fact lightly and in fact, it was a major decision why I waited two years – hoping that he would come around.   I didn’t discuss my decision with anyone else because I did not want their opinion.  Everyone always has an opinion.  Instead I picked two weeks in January when I didn’t have many outside obligations, blocked off several hours each day and slowly unlocked my hair.  I watched a lot of movies.

When I was finally finished, I was surprised that I was not emotional.  Even though I had made a clear decision to do it, I was prepared to feel loss.  Instead I looked in the mirror and said, “I know you.”  It was me 12 years ago.  It was me today.  With locs or  without locs, it’s still me.

It’s an adjustment, this new hair.  I have to allow more time to get ready in the morning and schedule ample time to wash my hair. I have spent a small fortune on hair care products.  On a recent trip near the beach I discovered that humidity is not my friend (summertime in Atlanta should be very interesting).  And I still don’t think my husband is quite there yet.  It’s sort of daunting and it’s sort of fun.  But it’s all good.

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selfie reveal – the new me

© 2015, Funkidivagirl.com. All rights reserved. Republished only with permission.

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A Look Back at 2014 – My Life In Instagram

in My Charmed Life

Yes I KNOW it’s February but here on my blog it’s still the new year.  What?

Follow me on Instagram at Funkidivagirl to see what I’m up to in 2015!

© 2015, Funkidivagirl.com. All rights reserved. Republished only with permission.

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I love France as much as I love dogs so The French Dog by Rachael Hale is a delight.  The photography is so beautiful that I keep it on my coffee table.  The dog lover in your life will enjoy pouring over this book and dreaming of a trip to France where the dogs live  la belle vie.

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In particular I love my dog; I always say that he is my favorite person.   He’s a person wearing a fur onsie who happens to lick his butt.  No judgement there; we all have our quirks.  My dog and I, we’re like this and I can read his mind.  I am certain that he could have written these poems, had he access to a computer.  I keep it out of his reach because he’s really smart and really mischievous and wouldn’t hesitate to write a juicy tell-all book just to blackmail me for exclusive rights to my bed.  I bought this book the other day while shopping for others, but decided that it was the perfect gift for myself.  I have taken to reading the poems from I Could Chew On This by Francesco Marciuliano out loud to my family, but can barely finish because I’m laughing so hard.

Here’s an excerpt:

Wingman

I wag my tail

I tilt my head

I give a little wink

I flash my smile

I show my belly

I give a little lick

I do it all

From sit to speak

To attract women far and near

Then you chime in

With something about “fan fiction”

And I realize we’re going to die alone

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Okay here’s one more:

Ponder

Sometimes

When I’m running on the beach

The warm wind in my face

The cool water at my paws

The bright sun shining on us all

I’ll stop for a moment

Look out at the brilliant blue ocean

And think

“Have I really eaten the same exact dinner

For eight years straight?”

Trust me, the Dog Lover on your holiday list will love these books.  Or just forget everyone else and buy the books for yourself!

© 2014, Funkidivagirl.com. All rights reserved. Republished only with permission.

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