New Orleans: Day 1

After sorting through 100+ pictures, I think the easiest way to do justice to our New Orleans anniversary trip is to break it up by days.  We filled our days to the absolute brim with fun things to do and adventures to experience ... never a dull moment in The Big Easy!

We flew in Saturday, and after checking into the hotel, we hit the French Quarter.  We were starving, and we stopped in to Napoleon House where we split a muffaletta.  I also ordered a Pimms Cup, which they are known for. 

After lunch we strolled Bourbon Street and made our way to Pat O'Briens where we sat in the courtyard and ordered their signature drink, the Hurricane.

We also took this moment to open two anniversary cards that came to us before we left town -- one that my mother gave us, and one from Ian's sister.

I had to pour some of my drink in Ian's cup because oh my word, those things were powerful.

That Hurricane may or may not have led me to pull Ian into a bar as soon as I heard the opening notes for Ying Yang Twins "Salt Shaker" ...

... and then I marched myself up on stage and shook my booty for the entire song's length ...

... those pictures will [likely] never hit this blog.

And yes, I shook the bootay proudly while wearing Lilly.  An unlikely pairing.

Bourbon Street was so much fun, and during the afternoon, we still saw crazy things without the street being too "sloppy" (which we saw that night around 10 or 11).

We also stopped in to Razzoo's which, in some aspects, was a bit of a trainwreck (okay, I'm talking about the old lady on stage repeatedly flashing her bra which was likely purchased in 1984).  We saw the same lady on our streetcar on Monday and I wanted so badly to call her out.  I refrained.

The Razzoo's host -- no, I didn't photograph the flasher!
That evening we had dinner at EAT new orleans which specializes in local dishes with a farm-to-table concept.  It was just a quick walk from the hotel as it was located on the other side of the French Quarter.

I wore the dress I was wearing the night we got engaged.

A cool thing about this restaurant is that it is BYOB.  There is a convenience store a few blocks down, and after putting our name on the list, we headed up that way and grabbed a $12 bottle of chardonnay.

Our food was delicious.  We shared the drum entree which came with a mashed potato gravy.  We also split two appetizers, a blue cheese and fig torte and the crawfish boullettes.

We had a great server, and he even brought us a slice of cake with the bill. 

After dinner, we walked back to our hotel down Bourbon Street, and that place really does come alive in the night hours!

Day two recap coming soon.  :)


Back From New Orleans

We are back in North Carolina after a fantastic first anniversary trip to New Orleans!

Thank you all so much for your sweet anniversary wishes.

We had a magnificent time, and I truly fell in love with the city.

I don't want to rush through a recap, so bear with me while I pull one together that really does it justice?

Can't wait to share all of our fun adventures in The Big Easy.


One Year.

One year down.
Infinity to go.

Happy one year wedding anniversary to us!  And yes, it's absolutely possible to fall even more in love with someone with every passing day.

For full wedding-related recaps, see "Our Wedding" posts on the right sidebar.

I, myself, click on them from time to time just to relive the goodness.

PS - Hello from New Orleans!


Hair Chop + Spoiled Pup

I took the plunge - three inches of my hair, gone!

The decision was made after my hair just stopped holding a curl.  Hot rollers, curling iron, the best volumizers and hairspray a girl can spritz -- by 5pm, you never would have known I'd spent time curling my hair that morning.  Obviously, I needed inches taken off.  I mentally prepared myself for that, and I made my appointment. 

The morning of my appointment, I -- for some unknown reason -- decided to skip out on spritzing in my beloved leave-in conditioner.  The one that I was sure was keeping my hair healthy and dead-end free.  And the one that I have been using every day for months now.

What happened?  I had the most gorgeous hot roller curls that lasted  Right up until my hair appointment at 5:30pm.  I couldnt' believe that all this time I thought the length was weighing it down, and it was just the product that was doing so!

Since I'd already mentally committed to more than a trim, I went with it.

Before: leaving work at 5pm

I mean, it WAS pretty long, and that's a lot of mane on someone that a) has thin hair , and b) is only 5'2".

Right before the appointment, 5:30

So snip-snip we went, bringing up the layers and taking off quite a bit all around.

After, styled straight.

Aaaand, honestly?  I like it, but I miss my longer hair.

Thursday morning

I know that the difference isn't hugely dramatic, and I'll most likely end up loving it this length.  But there are just a few updos that I probably won't be able to pull off anymore.  Operation: grow it back out may be right around the corner.

Anyway, on now to spoiled pups. 

May you all have a "lick-the-carton-clean" type of weekend.

Happy Memorial Day weekend!
Dance party in the car will be commencing at 5:00pm sharp.

Blinged Out.

Ya'll know I am not one to shy away from a little sparkle.
Aaaaand ... you know I love a good sale.

With that said, I couldn't be more excited for the semi-annual JoJo sale!

I think the Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time to spoil yourself with some sparkly new baubles.  The sale starts today (eek! get on it!) and goes through Monday, May 28th.

I own the lavender tear drop blings (found here) and the quality is like none other.  JoJo does jewelry SO well.

So whip out your fave plastic card, visit the JoJo Loves You site, and don't blame me!  Have a great weekend, and happy blingin'.  :)


Washi Tape on The Plaid Barn

I was so excited to see cute washi tape on The Plaid Barn this morning!

I can't remember which blog pointed me in the direction of this cute site, which is like a Groupon for crafting supplies.  The deals are fantastic, the offerings change up daily, and shipping is really reasonable. 

Today's feature is washi tape, and I just jumped on it.

They are selling the rolls for $2.25.  I bought the lavender lace roll and the grey diagonal stripe roll.  Shipping was only $2.95 for both.

I love this stuff ... and at the rate I'm going, I might need to add some washi tape storage to my crafting area, like this one from Pink Suede Shoe found on Pinterest!

Last time the Plaid Barn offered washi tape, it sold out before I could purchase.  If you would like some today, I wouldn't wait too long!


Dinners This Week

Let's be honest ... I am no food photographer.

I have a rather unfancy point-and-shoot camera, and I'm usually in a hurry to eat when I'm snapping a quick photo.

But I was proud of the two dinners I've made so far this week, and I know I always like to get ideas from blogs about what to cook.  It's so easy to get caught in a rut when it comes to preparing meals.  So, please do excuse the mid-level photos, but I hope you like taking a peek at what has been going on in my kitchen recently!

Monday Dinner:
Pesto parmesan tilapia
Sauteed spinach
"Make it up as you go" squash casserole

The tilapia was simple ... just brush with pesto, top with parmesan, and bake at 350* for about 25 minutes.  Very yummy.

Can we agree that "squash casserole" is just about the most unappetizing name for a dish?  How unfortunate.  From now on, I will refer to this dish as a mozzarella-squash bake. 

Anyway, I had one yellow squash and these adorable single-serving crocks that I got from Mom for Christmas. 

All I did was cut the squash into semi-circles, sautee with a tablespoon of butter until brown, and then mix with some olive-oil based mayonnaise, mozzarella cheese, and a small bit of Italian breadcrumbs.  I coated the crocks with a little nonstick spray and added the mixture into each crock.  I then topped with a little extra cheese and broiled until the cheese was melty and just starting to bubble.

We loved this dinner, and Ian asked me to remember everything and please make it again.  :)

Tuesday Dinner:
Grilled portabella mushroom caps
Roasted onions, cherry tomatoes, green olives and prosciutto

Tuesday is my late workout class night.  It ends at 7:45, so I'm not home until 8.  Ian doesn't mind us eating around 8:30 on these nights (especially if I have some nackies -- i.e., snacks -- in the fridge for him, like olives, homemade pickles, and Laughing Cow cheese).  I still try to plan a dinner that cooks relatively quickly.

The portabellas were wonderful.  I brushed the caps with garlic olive oil and he grilled that side first.  Then, he flipped them over and I came outside to top them with pesto, halved kalamata olives, garlic, and mozzarella cheese.  We closed the top and let them finish cooking.  They are like little pizzas, but they are "meaty" enough to be a substantial entree.

Before my cardio class, I went ahead and halved the cherry tomatoes and chopped the vidalia onion.  I added these with the sliced green olives into a bowl and tossed with olive oil.  Once home, I roasted that mixture along with two rosemary sprigs at 425*.  When I had about five minutes left, I added in the strips of prosciutto and finished roasting.  We loved this dish.

And what is better than walking into a house that smells like rosemary?!

Happy cooking!


The Reedy River Recessionista's New Monogram

This past Saturday, my youngest sister Laura (who you know as the Reedy River Recessionista) was honored with a gorgeous monogram shower.  Three of her best friends and their mothers hosted the shower.

I drove down to Columbia to our family's house, and Laura, Mom and I drove across the neighborhood to the shower location.

Our family dog Tipsy making an appearance in the picture!
The hosts did such a great job with the shower.  There were blue, white, and coral pink pom pom balls hanging from the walls.  The living room had a drink station where you could top off your champagne with orange juice, pomegranate juice, or peach juice.  Yummy!

The breakfast room table was brimming over with food -- thank goodness I'd skimped on breakfast that day.

Since this was a monogram shower, the guests brought all sorts of goodies for the bride-to-be with her new monogram or their new joint monogram.

This below is a tin that Laura can use for the goodies she bakes (she is a fantastic maker of macarons).  How cute is it?!

She got countless other cute items -- barware, servingware, tea towels, a monogrammed candle, a Lilly serving tray, cutting boards, jewelry, my goodness that girl will be set!

And here she is opening the gift from me - 

I had spreading knives with acrylic handles with a "C" monogram tied on top of the gift with the blue ribbon.  And then I wanted something for Laura to sport on her honeymoon, so I got this cute linen hat embroidered in ivory with her new monogram.

The finished product is difficult to see, but you'll see a lot of that hat this summer ... I couldn't help it -- I purchased a duplicate for myself with my monogram!  SIGH.  I'm going to need to work on that.  

Laura's future mother in law and sister in law also gave her a monogrammed ribbon that she can embroider in the inside of her wedding gown.  It also has their wedding date on it.  They framed it to present it to her.  Such a sweet idea.

Below is Laura with all of her girlfriends that came in from the shower.  I told them that I felt like I was doing photography for a pageant -- they are all so gorgeous!

And below is the bridesmaids picture -- just missing one, our middle sister Sarah.

Laura with her future MIL and our mom.

Laura with the shower hosts.

Check out Laura's recap of the day here.

I, too, was given a monogram shower before our wedding, and it was so much fun!  I think this is a really fabulous theme for a shower, and you can have so much fun buying items not included in the couple's registry.
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