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May, 2011

  1. Bad News for Swimsuit Season (Menchie’s)

    May 30, 2011 by SavvyInTheCity

    Feeling hot and hungry last Sunday while running errands, I was pulled magnetically into Menchie's frozen yogurt in Toco Hills. Maybe I was also thinking of Ashley's frequent fro-yo posts.

    Holy awesome fro-yo excitement overload! The place is cheerfully decorated in bright pink and light green, with holy beams of light emanating from the yogurt machines (okay, maybe the heat had me hallucinating, not to mention I always lurve me some ice cream). "Welcome to Menchie's!" one of two, young cashiers casually yelled in my direction.

    Menchie's serve-yourself format is similar to many other yogurt joints around Atlanta (think Yoforia, Yogurt Tap, Yogli Mogli), so I felt right at home. Free samples? Yes please!

    I REALLY enjoy traditional ice cream most but often end up shoveling low-cal fro-yo into my pie hole because I feel less guilty about eating it, and the flavor options are getting better and better all the time. Those who knew me in college can attest to this… I scooped ice cream at Hogdson's Pharmacy in Athens and only gained maybe… eh… 15 pounds that year? How can you turn down free chocolate malts and scoops of chocolate chip cookie dough?!? Anyway, I digress… One thing I DON'T love about frozen yogurt is that it's sometimes gritty or tastes non-dairy (I prefer my fro-yo creamy so it tricks me as much as possible into thinking it's legit ice cream). Menchie's flavors were probably some of the creamiest/rich ones I've tasted.

    One thing I forgot to check, however, was the ingredients (not sure if they have organic or dairy-free offerings).

    The Numbers:

    – $0.44 per ounce (compared to The Yogurt Tap's $0.39/ounce)
    – $1 for waffle cone
    – 14 flavors to choose from with free samples
    – 25+ toppings (including candies, brownies, cookies and fresh fruits)

    When I visited last Sunday, the shop was managed chaos. Kids, adults, young and old alike were out to get their fro-yo fix. Despite the crowd, I didn't wait in any lines at the spouts or to pay.

    The flavors change regularly, but many are staples. Here's what was on tap when I stopped by (each pairing can be swirled):

    French vanilla
    Milk choc

    Dulce de leche
    Thin mint cookie

    Sweet coconut
    Luscious lemon

    York peppermint patty
    Cake batter

    GA peach
    Zesty orange tart

    Orig tart

    Strawberry lemonade sorbet
    Key lime sorbet

    I filled up on three flavors (luscious lemon, cake batter and dulce de leche). I' m kind of a fro-yo purist, so no toppings for me. The cake batter was divine (similar to Marble Slab's flavor, but left me feeling much less guilty). The luscious lemon was probably my favorite, reminiscent of the lemon custard hand-scooped variety my siblings and I enjoyed so much as kids. Dulce de leche – meh. Overall this flavor was much to sweet for me.

    The good:

    – Convenient parking
    – Creamy texture
    – Allegedly low-calorie (versus traditional ice cream)
    – The number and variety of flavor choices

    The bad:

    – Convenient parking and flavor choices (because I see a weight gain in my future! It may be low-cal but it's not no-cal…)
    – I felt a little guilty not spending my dollars at my local establishment Yogurt Tap, and I feel even more guilty admitting I enjoyed the texture/flavors/etc. more than Yogurt Tap's! Ah!

    Toco Hills Promenade
    3011 N. Druid Hills Rd.
    Atlanta, GA 30329
    (404) 228-6229
    Mon-Thurs: 11am – 10pm
    Fri-Sat: 11am – 11pm
    Sun: 12pm – 10pm

    (This is the location I visited, but Menchie's has locations nationwide)

    Private party room? Ummm now we all know where I'm going to celebrate the big 3-0.


    What's your favorite fro-yo in Atlanta?

  2. It Doesn’t Have to Match…

    May 22, 2011 by SavvyInTheCity


    I often say, "it doesn't have to match… it just has to go together!"

    Just because you're wearing a navy top, it doesn't mean you have to don navy shoes or a navy purse, too. Creative color and pattern combinations may feel awkward to do at first — but they make life so much more interesting!

    – Red/orange and white striped tee (Old Navy – $6)
    – Knock-off beige and light aqua Pashmina ($6 via eBay — bought a bunch of these for my bridesmaids when we got married in all different colors)
    – Beige knit drapey cardigan (Target – $27… a little more than I usually pay for something at Target, but I can see myself getting lots of use out of this)
    – Simple black skirt (half of an Anne Klein suit I found at Ross two years ago for $50)
    – Black elastic art deco-y belt from Salvation Army a million years ago ($2)
    – Nine West patent leather black flats ($70 – a bit of a splurge but a wardrobe staple. Got these in NYC at the same time I bought my jump suit)

    Also wearing:

    – New frames from Decatur Eye Care*
    – Fresh haircut from Verrilli Hair Studio**

    *I hadn't been to have my eyes checked in 2+ years, so I scoped out optometrist reviews in my area to find somewhere with reasonable prices, good hours and a nice selection of frames — oh, and that took my insurance, too. I settled on Decatur Eye Care. True to the reviews I found, the husband/wife couple (Dr. Thomas Brillante and Renee) were friendly, professional, thorough, etc. They are conveniently located in Oakhurst (Decatur, Georgia) in a neat studio-type space (exposed brick, interesting furniture, etc.). Dr. Brillante took his time during my appointment and answered all the questions I had ("Should I consider contacts?" "Why is it a good idea to get my eyes dilated?"). Renee helped me pick out a pair of frames, keeping in mind I wanted them to be fashionable and affordable. Renee is up on trends in eyewear (the big, square "nerd chic" look is big right now). Since I already have some oversized/fun frames, I settled on these Nine West specs for everyday wear. The only downside: it took about 8 business days for my frames to come in. Renee tells me that 8 days is the max someone has to wait, and sometimes the frames are ready in as little as 4 days (if your ordering timing is just right with the suppliers). In my mind though, going here was worth the wait. (9 out of 10 stars from Savvy in the City)

    Decatur Eye Care reviews here.

    **Mary Verrilli (owner/stylist at Verrilli Hair Studio) has been my hair go-to gal for nearly 3 years. She does a great job with professional and fun color as well as fantastic fresh cuts, so I've referred her to many friends, as well as my readers. Because of that, Verrilli Hair Studios is now a sponsor of this blog. LOVE Mary and her cute little studio in the Perimeter area (Dunwoody).

    Verrilli Hair Studio blog here, and reviews here (27 5-star reviews!).

  3. LH Photography Giveaway Winner…

    May 19, 2011 by SavvyInTheCity


    Congratulations to one lucky Savvy in the City reader…! You're the lucky winner of a half-off photo shoot with with LH Photography!

    SCRATCH THAT! Lindsay enjoyed reading all your comments so much that she couldn't imagine only having one winner… so she's giving all you commenters the half-off professional photo shoot* for $125! I will be contacting you all shortly with additional information — just be sure to mention the Savvy in the City blog when you book your shoot.


    Thank you, LIndsay, for giving me the opportunity to do this neat discounted photo shoot giveaway on my blog. I look forward to posting some of the finished pictures here!

    *See details of the giveaway here.

  4. Jumpers – Not Just for Late 20-something Bloggers!

    May 12, 2011 by SavvyInTheCity


    My mom spent the night with us last night because she had a conference to attend in Atlanta this morning.

    So… naturally I insisted she try on my new Macy's "Material Girl" collection jumpsuit/jumper. Why not, right?


    I immediately regretted it! The mama looked looked ferosh and fabulous… pulling it off better than I did!


    Warning to others – your mom may be cuter than you… so don't let her try on your clothes!

  5. Discounted Modern Photography Shoot in Atlanta “Giveaway”

    May 11, 2011 by SavvyInTheCity

    Hello friends!

    Great news for you! My friend Lindsay reached out to me this week with a great idea — giving away a discounted professional photo shoot to one of my lucky Atlanta-area budget savvy readers!

    Lindsay of LH Photography is a very talented chica (and a new mom to boot!). When Lindsay does a shoot, the outcome is a set of thoughtful, personal, flattering, modern, vibrant and often photo-journalistic-style photos. See some of her work on her Facebook page here, and also on her photography blog (here). All in all though, you'll see she has a talent for capturing people.

    Glancing through her work, you'll see that LH Photography's portraiture runs the gamut. Her portfolio includes:

    – infants
    – toddlers
    – kids
    – families
    – couples (e.g., engagements)
    – adult headshots
    – pets
    – maternity (belly pics!)
    – and more.

    So without further adieu, here's what LH Photography is giving away on Savvy in the City… a $250 photo shoot for only $125!!

    The $125 shoot would include*:

    – one hour of shooting (flat rate – not priced per photo)
    – post-production/editing time
    – digital copies of the final photos
    – rights to the photos

    To win the discounted shoot, leave a comment between now and Wednesday, May 18 (10pm) with how you'd use the shoot and why – I'll be drawing a name at random for this giveaway. Be sure to include your e-mail address so I can contact you later.

    *The fine print… scheduling will happen at a time that works mutually for the "winner" and Lindsay's schedule (note: she makes herself really available/flexible) and shoot  must be 15 miles of Atlanta's city center, or in the Alpharetta/Roswell area. If you're an-out-of-towner… that's okay! Schedule your shoot for when you're here for a visit.