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Dogwood Weekend

I was looking forward to this past weekend because the weather was finally feeling like spring and one of the biggest and oldest festivals in Atlanta was happening!

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As you can see from that picture, there were so many beautiful dogwoods blooming! Dogwood flowers are like the iconic symbol of springtime in Atlanta. DC gets cherry blossoms, Washington gets apple blossoms, Texas gets blue bonnets, and we get DOGWOODS! The festival lasted three days but Jason, Ashley and I headed out for the fun festivities on Saturday.

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Did you know that Atlanta has the most tree cover of any major city in the US? That is on my list of top five reasons why I love it here. Even in the most urban of areas, you never feel like you’re in a concrete jungle.

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This festival is located in Piedmont Park every year, which is pretty much our version of Central Park. I hadn’t been to this festival in years and couldn’t believe how much there was to do!

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As you can see, there was a ton of rides and fun things for kids to do. Ashley picked the GIANT slide to ride on! (Can you see her up there on the right?)

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In the main meadow next to the rides the Disc Dog Southern Nationals tournament was being hosted!

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I’ve never seen a frisbee dog competition before and it was SO cool! So many of the dogs were incredibly talented, and you could tell how strong the bond was between them and their trainers. Makes me want to try and get Cynewulf into frisbee!

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In a separate area of the park there was a Kid’s Village that had face painting and a bunch of arts and crafts kids could do. We told Ashley she could pick out one craft and she decided on this cool sand art station.

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She did such a great job, it looked beautiful at the end!

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There was also a LOT of food to choose from! I think we made a mistake by going to the “food court” section of the festival instead of the “food truck” section of the festival. We all got food and drinks but most of it was greasy and only mediocre tasting. Jason ordered a sweet tea that tasted nothing like tea and everything like pool water. Yeah. BUT we did find a delicious funnel cake that the three of us shared. That was definitely the food highlight!

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After a long day of walking and having fun in the sun (too much sun), we headed back to the subway station and went home. We got hungry again in the meantime so we broke into some new snacks. I finally gave in and ordered a Nature Box! I have to admit, the snacks are darn good and I love that the ingredients are so simple.

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My parents had to come to our place to pick up Ashley anyways, so I thought it would be fun to have them over for dinner. Funemployment is coming to an end, and so I wanted to invite them while I still have the free time to shop and cook leisurely. I made Ashley’s favorite dinner of mine: sushi bowls! Seared ahi tuna for my family and tofu for me.

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The next morning Jason and I slept in and then headed to an AWESOME 12:30 church service. After church we went by Trader Joe’s and Kroger to do our weekly shopping. I was starving when we got home so I quickly got to making myself a big lunch/dinner.

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That’s a HUGH JASS salad of chopped raw cauliflower, cucumbers, jicama, celery, tomatoes, bell peppers, green onions and herbs. On top is a raw vegetable dressing (that’s why there’s so much of it!) made with zucchini, avocado, cumin, and more herbs. It was my first time trying a recipe from Fully Raw Kristina and I loved it! It makes a HUGE quantity so I had plenty for leftovers.

Yesterday I had a BIG INTERVIEW (YAY!) and so it was a pretty special day. I had leftovers of the chopped salad for lunch (I ate after I got home from the interview…didn’t want to go in with onion breath!), and for dinner I made one of my favorite plant-based meals. A big green salad, plantains, brown rice and cuban black beans! This salad is loaded with romaine, heirloom tomatoes, baby bell peppers, cucumber, and basil.

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In case you didn’t already know, I’m a plantain fiend. Ever since I was a kid I’ve always had a separate compartment in my stomach for plantains. There’s no such thing as too many.

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I have to wait about a week to hear back about the interview! But I am already praising God for the phone call with GOOD NEWS! :)  And thankfully I’ll be distracted because we are going to New Jersey in a couple days to spend the Easter holiday with Jason’s family. Prayers for my new job are greatly appreciated! See you soon with another “best of Trader Joe’s” post (for the vegans in the house–woot woot!).

-Lauren

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{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Ashley April 15, 2014, 6:12 pm

    Lauren, your pictures are so amazing, and you are talented at taking them! My friends always say, “her photos are amazing!” or “the food looks so yummy!” Amazing salad by the way :D

  • Valerie | From Valerie's Kitchen April 22, 2014, 2:06 pm

    Lauren, your photos are just GORGEOUS! You could do a post on every one of those plates of food up there. They all look beautiful and totally delicious! Best of luck on the job :)

  • Lauren @ Dash of Soul April 23, 2014, 1:35 am

    Thank you so much Valerie, you’re so sweet! :)

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