Move Me To ATL – The Resource Website for People Moving To Metro Atlanta

As you know, moving is a frustrating ordeal and relocating to another state or country can be even more daunting.  Wouldn’t you like to have a website in which everything you need to know about relocating to metro Atlanta is at your fingertips?  Move Me To ATL is just that and more.  It is a website designed to help you through the relocation process and has blogs that will entertain you and provide you with ideas on how you can make your house a home once you settle in Atlanta.  Our social media pages also give you a glimpse into what is happening in metro Atlanta so that you will get to know the city better.  Don’t see the types of things that you would like to know about Atlanta?  Use our contact us page to share your suggestions for what you would like to see on our blog and our social media pages.

 

 

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Quick and Easy Meal of the Month – Chicken Fried Rice

Image courtesy of Mel

 

ATLANTA – Written by Mel

 

I love fried rice!  However, takeout can become quite pricey.  So I started fixing my own chicken fried rice at home.

The key to making good fried rice lies in the choice of rice.  I usually use Basmati rice or Jasmine rice.  You can prepare it on the stove but if you are a person who cooks rice on a regular basis, then it would be best to invest in a rice cooker.  I must say, this is one of the best tools I have in my kitchen because I never, ever burn the rice and it is never sticky.  Whatever the package says in terms of ratio of water to rice, stick to that rule; otherwise, the rice may end up overcooked or under cooked.  After the rice is done, let it cool.  When I say let it cool, I really do mean “let it cool” to the point of being cold.  Better still, cook the rice, the day before you want to prepare the fried rice and let it sit in a container in the fridge.  The colder the better.

As the rice is transforming, you can work on the other ingredients.  If you are not a vegetable fan, then just prepare the chicken, onions and eggs to include with the fried rice.  Otherwise, include whatever stir-fry vegetables that you like.  You can pick these fresh from the market or you can even get a package of stir-fry vegetables out of the freezer section at the market.  I usually use thawed, frozen chopped chicken but you can also use left over breast meat from any previous dishes that you may have cooked.  Next, scramble the egg and put it to the side (some people cook this into the mix; you can it this way or prepare it an put it to the side).  Dice up some onions and also put these to the side.  By now you should have chilled rice, scrambled eggs, chopped chicken and chopped onions (also stir-fry vegetables if you like) ready to go into a Wok or a cast iron pan.  I like to use a Wok because it is big and deep and allows for more movement of the rice but the cast iron pan works just as good.

Before you add all of your ingredients, start with adding an oil of your choice.  I use vegetable, canola or olive oil but if you prefer another type of oil, use that.  Try to get the oil as hot as possible but don’t scorch it.  The frying process will be quick this is why the oil needs to be hot as possible.  I would start with adding the onions and after they brown add the rice.  At this point, you should add some soy sauce to start to brown the rice.  Move quickly stirring the rice and onions to avoid them sticking to the pan. Start to add the other ingredients one by one and keep tossing the rice around.  Add more soy sauce if you like a darker rice; otherwise, just wait until its all done and add more.  Once its nice and hot, place it on a plate or in a bowl and enjoy!

Remember this dish can be made with other meats if you like and if you don’t like to use white rice, you can substitute brown rice.

How did your dish turn out? Share your thoughts about this dish in the comments or on our our Facebook group.

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Quick and Easy Meal of the Month – Chopped Beef and Ramen Noodles

 

Image courtesy of Mel

 

ATLANTA – Written by Mel

Who hasn’t had Ramen noodles?  This is a rhetorical question because I want to believe that just about everyone has tasted these.  They aren’t the best meal but they certainly hit the spot when you are craving them, or you want a low-priced meal option.  For those who honestly don’t know what these are:  Ramen noodles are Asian noodles that usually come dried with a small packet of spices in the package to add after softening the noodles by cooking them.  I have eaten them this way for years (as I’m sure you have too) but recently, I decided to do something a little different to make the meal more appealing.

I had some beef Ramen noodles and I decided that it would be a great idea to add real beef to the mix.  So I grabbed some chopped beef from my fridge and added it.  This is a very simple dish that you can prepare quickly for yourself or your kids.

Start with the meat.  Usually I just use chopped beef from the freezer section of the grocery store.  But if you have left over pieces of beef from another meal, you can use these instead.  Start by lightly saute the beef to warm it up but to jazz up the flavor, you can cut up and add some onions and bell peppers.  You could even add some stir-fry vegetables, salt, pepper or other seasonings to mix if you like.  While this is sauteing, go ahead and boil the noodles.

Once the noodles are done, you can add the small packet of spice that is included with the Ramen noodles; however, I usually discard it because the flavors from the stir-fried beef is all the flavor I need.  But it is up to you.  If you are not using the packet, then completely drain the water from noodles.  Grab a plate or a bowl and place the noodles on it.  Then, layer the beef topping on the noodles once its finished cooking.

Finally, enjoy!  Keep in mind that you can also make this same meal using chicken or shrimp.

How did your dish turn out? Share your thoughts about this dish in the comments or on our Facebook group.

Don’t forget to follow our social media pages and check back for another quick and easy dinner idea.

So You’re Having a Housewarming Party and You Don’t Have a Clue What to Do?

ATLANTA – Written by Mel

Well done! You have finally purchased your home and now you are ready to show it off to those who you care most about.  You have spent months telling them about the purchase and now you can stop talking about it and instead be about it.  So just how do you go about putting together a housewarming party?

Just like any party, a housewarming will take planning.  But just how much planning will be necessary?  Well, it depends on your level of involvement and how much you want to impress your audience.  If you have a mansion to show off, then you might want to hire the help of a professional team to help you prepare for your housewarming.  However, if you’re like most of us who have a quaint home that you just want to show of to a few friends and family, then you won’t need to hire help.

I want to begin by first saying that I am not an expert at planning housewarmings by any stretch of the imagination.  I decided to explore this topic just like you because I don’t know what to do to pull off a successful housewarming party.  However, I gathered all the information that I could about the topic in order to help me prepare for this very special event in your home’s history.

Before the day of the party…

 

Start planning your housewarming in the decorating phase.

Believe it or not, I think the housewarming party planning begins in the stages of decorating your home.  Why?  Because if you are going to be showing off your gorgeous home, don’t you have to first make it — gorgeous?  But don’t get too outrageous with the decorating.  You want to leave key spaces empty just in case generous friends and family want to buy specific gifts for you.  In this case, you should purposefully not decorate particular areas of the room to subtly throw out a hint that you need a toaster, or a coffeepot, or a nice painting. Likewise, you want to also include showoff pieces in every room.  This gives you the opportunity have something to talk about, allowing people to linger and really enjoy the experience during the tour.

Clean and clear out all boxes from the move.

I did say that you want to give subtle hints to friends and family about your needs for the house.  You don’t want to invite them over only for them to see that you have nothing to show.  The last thing you want them to see is rooms full of half-opened items at every turn.

“And as we proceed down the hallway, if you look to the left, you will see yet another room of furniture still wrapped in plastic surrounded by boxes of my work clothing tossed all over the floor near them.”

Trust me, this is not the type of tour you want to give.

Pick a theme.

This should also be done during the decorating stage because the theme could set the stage for what type of furniture you would like to display.  However, if you are not this organized or you don’t want the theme to define your living quarters, then at least choose a theme that is suitable for the party.  For instance, if you live on the east coast but love the southwest then you may be privy to decorate in such a manner and have southwestern food at your party.  But if you love cosplay, it might make sense to just limit this theme to a party.  There’s no need to fill your home with comic book memorabilia and wallpaper but, it’s your home, so feel free to do what you want.

Create a list of invitees.

EVERYBODY shouldn’t be on your list.  Your home is your abode and you want to invite people who won’t be so annoying that they make you want to leave.  Also, a housewarming should ideally be a small, intimate affair so you want to invite those who can make the experience “warm.”

Pick a date for the party and spread the word about the party.

Everyone is busy, so the worst thing to do is plan a party that no one will come to simply because you chose a bad date.  Luckily, social media, phone apps, and email make it quicker and easier to pick a target date for a party.  One that I found that is convenient is called Doodle.com. 

Plan for what food you want at the party.  

This may be related to your theme but doesn’t have to be.  It may be wise to include a list of options in your invite because some people may have allergies or dietary restrictions.  This would be good to know ahead of time.  I found a cool site called Pollmaker.com that can help with deciding on what type of food to include at the party.  If your invitees determine that they want to help out with the party by bringing food, PerfectPotluck.com can help everyone determine who is bringing what.

Hire a DJ or at least get together an awesome playlist of music.

If you happen to know someone with great turntable skills or you are able to hire a DJ to keep the party going, by all means invite them.  However, you may not need one.  A great smartphone with a music app and a high quality speaker may be all you need.

While you’re at it, hire a bartender or plan to make cocktails yourself.

If you don’t intend to have anyone drinking alcoholic beverages, then don’t worry about hiring a bartender.  But, if you do and you have a large group of people attending, then this may be essential, even if its just for a few hours.  You can also make some simple cocktails yourself.

Plan for the activities to be executed that day.

Some people may just be coming by to visit while others may want to stay a while and enjoy the ambiance.  In that case, you should have some fun things planned for them to do.  Card and board games are always essential.  I like to play HeadsUp Charades using my phone app because it is a very fun, interactive game to play.  Watching sports in the man cave or the latest TV drama in the she shed portion of the house while eating finger foods could be another option.  Performing karaoke is also another option.  There are countless other fun things that you can dream up if you put your mind to it.

Send reminders.

Some people are great at remembering things.  Unfortunately, I’m not one of those people.  So you may want to keep reminding people about the event leading up to it.    Also, don’t just rely on snail mail either.  You can email, post on social media, text and a host of other things to ensure that your invitees remember to attend.  Try to get an RSVP in place too in order to make sure you know who is definitely coming.

Tackle parking issues head on.

I know this seems like a futile mission prior to the day of the party.  But it could quickly become a nightmare on the day of the party.  Instead, figure out ahead of time just where everyone will need to park and if you will need to designate an area near your home for everyone to park (without getting tickets in the process) or if certain people will have to car pool.  This will keep your guests and your neighbors happy.

Go shopping.

With all this planning to do, don’t forget to do the most important thing:  shop!  Get your plastic cutlery and paper plates if you need to.  Get the food for the party if you aren’t doing the potluck thingy.  Get your guest book if you need one for guests to sign.  Pick up all that you can in one trip but be prepared to go back because we always forget something.

Get everything ready including the designated gift space.

Clean up the house.  Prep the food.  Get the seating ready.  Do everything that you need to do to make your home presentable for the big event, preferably a day in advance.

On the day of the party…

 

Prepare for Murphy’s law to be in effect all day long.

You know the saying:  “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”  This will be the case with your party; so, don’t get bent out of shape about it.  The most stressful things have already been done:  you’ve closed on the house and moved in.  Therefore, a party shouldn’t stress you out at all.  Just grab some wine and keep the music playing.

Dress to impress.

I know that this is a housewarming party but that doesn’t mean that you should neglect the way that you look.  You want to be one of the best dressed at the party so that everyone visibly can see that you are the host.  Keep it comfortable, though.  There is nothing more annoying than greeting guest while you are wearing uncomfortable shoes or tight clothing.

Make someone the designated greeter and phone answerer.

You may assume that your home is easy to find but keep in mind some people are direction-ally challenged.  I’m sure you probably know a few folks that simply can’t find things no matter how many times you tell them where it is.  Try to get someone other than yourself to be designated to do this so that you can focus on other aspects of the party.  This person can also be responsible for ensuring everyone signs the guest book (so you can send guests thank you cards later) and showing people where things are such as the bathroom.

Sit the food out.

Preparation of the food should actually take place the night before but depending on what the food is you may want to sit it out for guests to help themselves.

Give the grand tour once everyone arrives or…

You could resort to giving small guided tours as people come in especially if you expect a big crowd.  This will allow others to play games or do other planned activities while you show the new group around.

Take memorable photos to share.

I can’t emphasize this one enough.  Sometimes you’re so caught up in all that’s going on that you don’t remember to do this.  Taking photos is not only something fun to record for your own memories but it is also something you can include with your thank you notes or to send in an email.

Thank your guests for coming.

Once again your home is your abode so you need to make sure that you wrap up the party at a descent time.  Of course you will have attendees who are so bored with their own personal lives that they will try to turn up the party when you are trying to tone it down.  Politely thank them for coming and show them the exit along with the other guests.  Keep in mind that “Ain’t nobody got time for that” as you show them the door.

Send thank you notes.  

Finally and most importantly, a few days after the event.  Show your gratitude by sending “Thank you” notes.  You can personalize them or digitize them but the key is to try to include images from the party as a memento.

What are some of your party planning tips?  Keep the conversation going on the Move Me To ATL group page here.