Wednesday, October 31, 2018

New Orleans


Our recent trip to New Orleans was exhausting, but we had an amazing time.  I do wish we would have made this trip when we were younger, because the debauchery is real and I could not hang as well as my well seasoned husband.  He was raring to go and I was dragging behind in an embarrassing way!

The gaslights were enchanting. 
They are everywhere and each one was better than the last, so be sure to
walk the streets at night to truly soak them in. 

I'm going to do my best to share what we learned and what we would have done differently. We stayed at the Hilton DoubleTree on Canal Street.  It was a perfect location and made maneuvering around the city easy.  There is no shortage of hotels, so just do your research.  We had a great experience at the DoubleTree, but I would be willing to try a new location next time.

The balconies are also swoon worthy.
They are a staple in the architecture.

Let's talk Bourbon Street first.  However you have imagined it, you are either correct or didn't envision the crazy enough.  We were there the weekend before Halloween, so I don't know that you will experience the hilarious costumes that we did, but you will experience the drunkest drunk people you have ever seen.  Beads are everywhere, so don't worry about not not receiving any.  You don't even have to show your tatas.  Our bartender at Saint Lawrence told as exposing yourself is against the law, but during Mardi Gras they pick and choose their battles on Bourbon Street.

I patiently had to wait for a drunk man to move off this sign before I could take this shot.
He was loaded and it was 11:30 am! 
                       
Hints for partying in New Orleans:
       
1.  Drinking is allowed ANYWHERE, you can walk the streets and indulge as long as you are not using a glass container (that's the only rule...no glass).

2.  On Bourbon Street do not walk behind the sidewalk blockades. In some areas you are forced to, but they are crowded and people push. If you are at all claustrophobic stick to the street.

3.  I would invest in your own drinking mug with a LID. You will spill and I was worried about what might be placed in my drink. My lid brought me a lot of  comfort...for real.

The balconies are so full of people we wondered if they had ever collapsed.
The people watching from the balconies has to be epic.
4. The police are all around and it is fun to watch them. They sit up on their huge horses which are even more impressive. They are amazingly friendly and helpful, so take the time to thank them and ask questions.

5. Be prepared to deal with the drunkest drunk people you've ever seen. Most of them are fun loving and friendly, but you will run into a few that will cause you to be seriously concerned for their well-being. I watched one guy trying to stand for 2 minutes until his friend rescued him.  I thought he was going to fall and crack his head open!

6. Do NOT wear open toed shoes in the French Quarter unless you have a strong stomach. The streets are cobblestone and there are puddles and uneven stones everywhere. You will misstep and you will splash into unknown fluids, so beware.
                           
It's this crowded everywhere on Bourbon Street.
  It's best just to find a place and watch, trying to walk a lot is rough going. 
Other things to consider when you visit New Orleans:
                 
Make sure you duck into the random bars you will be passing and enjoy the music. This was one      of my favorite things about New Orleans. You will enjoy many different vibes from the bars you pass playing live music. This city feels like it has a heartbeat and you will notice it as you walk through the French Quarter.  This was how we found the bar Saint Lawrence.

They played the best music, although it wasn't live,
it fit the mood of the city perfectly. 

We loved this bar so much its where we started each evening. 
                                 
Explore the entire French Quarter and don't just hit Bourbon Street.  Jackson Square is amazingly beautiful.  You will find street performers and local artists all around Jackson Square. If you see artwork that interests you don't feel pressure to buy on the spot.  Most of the artists have business cards and online shops.  I fell in love with an art print, but thought that he wanted too much for it and didn't feel comfortable dropping the money until I had researched the artist. I took his card and was happy to find out I could buy the exact print on his Etsy shop. The other bonus to ordering online was that I did not have to carry it around or worry about damaging it when traveling home.

Andrew Jackson monument...in honor of the Battle of New Orleans. 

St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square.
Jackson Square is full of amazing architecture and landscaping.

When it comes to restaurants and where to eat I would advise to plan ahead.  There are places to eat on every corner, but you don't want to trust many of them. The tourist traps throughout the French Quarter are all around, but there are also just as many hidden gems.  Do your research, so you know which ones are getting good reviews.  We had good luck at Red Grav and Desi Vega's,

Do cave to the beignets at Cafe Du Monde.  We thought we would skip this because we heard the lines were long and we aren't huge dessert people, but while we were walking the Riverwalk Marketplace  we ran into a Cafe Du Monde coffee stand. We were able to enjoy the beignets while watching the river flow by.  I have to say it was a great alternative to the original location and the beignets were warm, sugary and delicious. 
Although this was just a small coffee stand we were
still able to watch how the beignets were made.
They are similar to a funnel cake, but better!

I have mixed emotions about the cemeteries.  They are obviously very old and they above ground tombs are interesting to see, but they are also very spooky.  There is not a chance of me visiting one at night, but Lafayette Cemetery is surrounded by homes, so I am just a big chicken. There are several older cemeteries, we just chose to visit Lafayette because it is in the Garden District and the homes surrounding it are amazing.  St. Louis Cemetery is the oldest in the city.


I read that Anne Rice was inspired by the cemeteries while writing
Interview with the Vampire and it's obvious why. 
There is something earthy and regal about them.

Thank you to the people of New Orleans for being so friendly and truly personable. We just skimmed the surface of all this city has to offer and look forward to visiting again and delving deeper into the culture. Bourbon Street lived up to it's reputation and we were enchanted by the French Quarter.  The music, food and vibe of New Orleans should not be missed! 


                     

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Saturday, August 25, 2018

Weekly OTD's

This was the first full week of school with students.  It was a busy week, but I am enjoying getting to know my students.  I teach Family & Consumer Science, which is a class that the kids enjoy.  We started our hand sewing projects this week and everything seems to be off to a great start. 

I teach several fashion classes, which makes it fun to dress for work. I've linked as many items as I could find from my outfits this week.  I am not an affiliate for any of these brands, I just enjoy sharing great finds! 

Monday was rainy and cold.

I love this black skinny jeans by SILVER
They are the most comfortable black jeans I own because the material is soft and stretches perfectly.

The jacket is from Sanctuary and seems to be sold out, but this one at EVERLANE is very similar.

The polka dot tee is from OLD NAVY

The shoes are VALENTINO and I know they are expensive, but I have worn them more times than I can count.

Tuesday is my least favorite day of the week, it just feels like groundhog day for Monday.
This was my favorite outfit of the week, so that helped spice up the day.

The tee by CALSON is super cute and I loved it's message.

SANCTUARY  is one of my favorite brands at the moment.  This green pants have an amazing fit and fabric quality is great.

The shoes are old, but this pair by TREASURE & BOND are similar and a decent price.  

Wednesday's outfit is my least favorite of the week.  I just didn't like the way it looked.

Pants are old, but they are from Old Navy and these OLD NAVY KHAKIS basically the same.

This top has always been fun because of the asymmetrical hem, but it's really old.  
I will recreate this look in the fall with some black booties and this
 BP SLIT TEE.

These Dolce Viita Shoes are last season, but still available HERE.



Thursday was a long day, but it was a good day.

This jean jacket is my favorite ever.  I love the banded collar, because it is less bulky than a traditional jean jacket. This one is by BLANKNYC, but there aren't many sizes left. This one from Abercrombie & Fitch has a similar look.

I am HUGE fan of OLD NAVY ROCKSTARS.  This pair is versatile GREEN COLOR that I wear with lots combinations. They are a staple in my work wardrobe for sure!

It is hard to tell, but I am wearing a navy tee from OLD NAVY

Friday is always a jeans day at work, which is nice!

I am realizing as I type this post that a lot of my work clothes are from Old Navy.  I guess it's because they are price friendly and I can find appropriate items for a school teacher.

I got this RUFFLE SLEEVE TEE in three colors.  First of all it is cute!  Second it is a great length.

I love distressed denim, but I can't wear holes to work, so these MID-RISE SUPER SKINNY jeans are perfect. 




I hope you had a great week...enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Magnolia Market Finds


On a recent trip to San Antonio we made a quick stop in Waco to visit the Magnolia Market. When I say quick I am not exaggerating. It was super crowded and we couldn't find a place to park, so my husband dropped me off and then went to get gas and In-N-Out,  I was in the store for possibly 25 minutes, but I had been there before and had a general idea of where I needed to be to find stuff I wanted. 


Originally I just bought the medium and small size in these canisters, but once I got home I decided I needed the large as well.  I ordered it online and received it within 3 days.  It was packaged adorably and I even got a complimentary Magnolia pencil, Magnolia drawstring bag and the latest copy of the Magnolia Journal magazine.  Great deal!

When I first looked online for the items I bought they were not all up on the website, but I just checked and have linked them below.  My favorite item is the bowl, it's just super versatile and comes in three different sizes.

Rose Stem
(These were actually a free gift for spending over $100,
 but I wanted to include them because they look convincingly real)
Magnolia Candle in the scent of Glasshouse, 
which I cannot find on the website.
The Linen scent had a fresh/clean scent. 
I loved the Glasshouse scent for the same reasons. 
Large Cake Stand  the one in my above pic is a large. 
Brass Lid Cannisters
Paulownia Wood Vase
Natural Mango Wood Serving Bowl mine in the picture is a medium.






Friday, August 3, 2018

2 Days Left for Nordstrom Sale

I am not a Nordstrom affiliate, just a loyal shopper.  I did buy some items during the anniversary sale and since there are only two days remaining I thought I would share what I bought and kept. 

I don't know if this post is going to be helpful since it's coming so late, but I 
do like the items I purchased. I was actually pretty proud that I didn't go crazy this sale.  I just got a few things that I think I will get a lot of use out of. 


These Zella Crop Leggings are always part of the anniversary sale and I wear them so much throughout the year that I always order a new pair during the sale. I work out in them and don't wear them for fashion, but I have friends that do and love them.  I went with the crop legging this year for a change of pace. 





These Vince Camuto boots have been very popular during the sale and I understand the hype. They resemble a much more expensive brand that I cannot afford. They are also comfortable and versatile.  I am so excited to wear them this fall.  I loved them so much I go them in Tree House Suede and Black Suede,

Rebecca Minkoff is my go to for purses  I really like her style, so when I saw this cute Small Love Genuine Calf Hair Crossbody Bag I didn't hesitate. It's super cute and a great size for an evening out or traveling. 



This BP. Plaid Shirt is so comfy and has an oversized fit. 
I ordered a medium, which is my normal size and I was happy with the fit. It comes in 4 colors and mimics the look of a Rails flannel.  I haven't washed it yet, so not sure how it will hold up to wear and tear.

So that is it...that is all I got this year!  I did order some other items, but wasn't thrilled with them, so I sent them back.  Would love to hear what you guys bought and were happy with.



Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Target Favorites



If you are a Target shopper (and who isn't) , I wanted to share some of my best summer finds. I would also love to hear about any "must haves" you've found too. 

Summer is not my favorite time for clothing.  I struggle with things feeling comfortable and I lean towards wearing loose fitting tops to help with the heat. I've had good luck finding tops at Target this year, so I wanted to share a few with you. 

I've also found some other Target items for the house that I wanted to share. 

This TEXTURED VASE is a great size.

  It stands 15.5 inches tall so it's a decent height.
 I also love the texture of the vase. 
This WRAP FRONT top is so comfy. 

It's cute with jeans or shorts. I liked it so much I bought it in BLACK and OLIVE.
It is the type of top you can wear casually or jazz it up with jewelry and a dressier bottom piece.I wore it out to dinner with denim and heels the other night. 
Loving this DENIM JACKET.

I love the fit of this jacket and it is a great price. 
I had to have this BAMBOO PIZZA board when I saw it.
It is so cute! It does need to be hand washed.

This gold plated UTENSIL HOLDER comes in handy.
It's held up well and I love the color.

I also picked up this gold PAPER TOWEL HOLDER to match. 
This top is on clearance at TARGET

You cannot tell from this picture, but there is cute buttons down each side. I wear a strapless bra with it, but if you have a skinny strapped bra I think you could wear it without having your straps hanging out.

I am so happy with how this bed turned out.

I cannot find this lumbar pillow online, but linked some similar ones HERE and HERE.
I bought these PILLOW CASES to bring in some more blue. 
They have the cutest print them and are made of organic cotton. 

I put together this table setting for Father's Day, so I kept it simple and not to foufou.

The GLASS VASE was the perfect centerpiece for some simple greenery.
 I've moved it around the house numerous times.  The shape is cute shape.

I had been seeing jute chargers all over the internet, but couldn't find any that I thought were worth the money. These JUTE CHARGERS have been the best quality I have found and at the cheapest price.I didn't hesitate to buy them at $5.99 each!  Such a great price. 

This is the same GLASS VASE as the above photo, but I moved it to the bar cart.
 Like I said, it's been moved around the house many times. 





Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Kitchen Details


Hi there!  I am going to do my best to give you a kitchen tour and source the colors and products we used. If I have any advice when it comes to picking colors it's to study lots of different pictures and visit lots of model homes. You will find the perfect combination that works for you, but don't take it lightly. 

There are so many helpful tools out there that I would say to utilize them all.  Go to Pinterest, study other bloggers and don't be afraid to use those ideas.  People post things so that you don't have to reinvent the wheel and there is no shame in trying out the things you find and then tweaking them to fit your style. We call all those ideas INSPIRATION! 


I have wanted a white kitchen since I can remember, so that decision was easy. The difficult part was deciding on what shade of white to use.  I referred to my builder, Pinterest and other blogs, before deciding on Sherman Williams Pure White (SW7005).  My cabinets, trim and ceilings are all painted in this color and I love it.  It is WHITE and there is no creamy tint, which was what I wanted.  I like to think of it as bleached white, it would definitely pass the tissue test if it were teeth! 

We used Sherman Williams Repose Gray (SW7015) on the walls. 


The floors are white oak and are a 5" plank.  We used a local Kansas City company called SVB Wood Floors.  I wanted a natural look, but was a afraid to go without a stain, but they had an actual Natural Stain color and that is what we used. We have two big dogs and so far we have had good luck with it holding up to wear and tear. 

The back splash is a called Dove Gray Diamond Mosiac,  It was the first thing I picked for the kitchen.  It was also the first tile I saw when I walked into the showroom for my first appointment.  I kept walking passed it, because I knew it was going to be out of our budget.  

When you build a home you are told to stay within certain "sticker color" if you want to to stay within budget.  I was supposed to be picking out items with "green stickers." It took about 30 minutes for me to abandon that idea. I had planned to spend more on certain items, but the truth is when you build it will happen time and time again.  This is when the stress starts to set in!


This pot filler never gets used, because I always forget about it!  When I make pasta, I grab the pan, fill it in the sink and then turn around to set it on the stove and see the pot filler. I hope I will start remembering, but even if I forget more times than not, I love how it looks.  This pot filler is in champagne bronze and is by Delta.  

I wanted to do something different for the hood.  I did not want a wall mounted hood, so I just kept searching for different ideas and finally found something on Pinterest that peaked my interest.  I sent a picture to our cabinet maker and he said he could do it, so I was thrilled. That would be my second piece of advice...don't be afraid to ask. It may be too expensive or they might just say no, but it's better than living with the regret of not trying. Eventually I may paint it a different color, but for now I am happy with the white. 

We had quartz counter tops in our old house and I wanted them again, simply because they were so easy to care for.  They are durable, require little care, and I think they look gorgeous. We used the company Legendary Stone and went with Q Quartz in Calcutta Classique, It is very pretty! 

The bar stools were a special order at Nebraska Furniture Mart, but I have also seen them online HERE.

The faucet and accessories are all from the Delta Cassidy Collection and are also in champagne bronze.  

We are loving this Avanti Wine/Beverage Cooler.  It is nice because it has controlled temperatures on both sides.  One side is for soda and water and you can set the other side for either white or red wine. 


The Samsung black stainless steel appliances have been great and don't show smudges too badly. The refrigerator was not my thing, but my husband wanted to be able to watch television on the fridge (can you feel my eyes rolling).  I never use the features in has to offer, because is it nothing but confusing! 

I wanted to use rain glass on the kitchen cabinets, but it was not an option with the cabinet company we used, so I went with bead glass instead.  This was one of those "happy accidents" because I don't think the cabinet lighting would have  been as vibrant through rain glass.  The plates in the top cabinets were not a splurge...I got them HERE and I love the black orchid print. 

This table was a surprise.  It was not on my radar.  I looked at so many wood tables and none of them were working.  I even returned two tables, because they were not complimenting the space.  My husband picked this one out and we nearly got in argument over it, because it was not wood, but after going home and considering his opinion I realized he was right.  The table and chairs are both made by Four Hands Furniture, but we purchased them at Nebraska Furniture Mart.  Currently the chairs on sale HERE.

My biggest dilemma in the kitchen was picking lights.  I don't know why, but this was challenging for me and I still am not 100% satisfied.  I see stuff all the time (online) that I like more. The only explanation I have is that the lights were one of the last things picked and by then I was broke and tired!  I changed my mind four times and I am pretty sure I drove the lady crazy. In the end I went with simple lights for the island and something within budget above the table (thinking I can change it out eventually). We used Wilson Lighting in Overland Park, Kansas.  

That pretty much covers the kitchen.  Thank you for taking the time to stop by and please let me know if you have any questions.  Have a great day!