photo dump

screenshots, no chaser #4

Today is one of those days where I’m left to hold down the fort while my co-workers are at an event. Naturally, I am using my time productively to get some work done  pretend that I don’t have to share a computer clean out the screenshot folder on my phone. Some of these are really old, some you’ve probably seen floating around the internet before, all of them make me laugh. Or, inwardly smile, at least.

 

What have you been inwardly laughing at lately?

weekend update: burgers, shakes and statues

I don’t do weekend recap posts often, but when I do… they’ll be here. I actually did things this weekend and since I have some time to write about them, I figured, why not?

Lisa’s birthday is next week but being the busy adults we are, we penciled in plans for Saturday night. Jessica’s landlord is a producer on Saturday Night Live and as a birthday surprise, Jess was able to score tickets for her and Lisa to see the show. The host was Aziz Ansari, who we happened to see as a special guest at the Comedy Cellar. He used some of the same jokes in his monologue and I felt special because I heard them first. so ha! Nicole and I met them for dinner near the studio at Bill’s Bar and Burger, where I got the most delicious cookies and cream shake and an equally delicious burger complete with smoked mozzarella and some sort of BBQ bacon sauce.

It’s a big year for us. We’re turning 30, and as of September, we are celebrating 25 years of friendship. 25 years. Our friendship is a functioning adult. We aren’t, but our friendship is.

After we finished dinner, we left and unknowingly entered Gotham. The fog was so strong, it ate the top half of 30 Rock. I wanted to wait around and see if we could catch a glimpse of Batman, but I was concerned that the Ben Affleck version might show up so I carried on with my night.

After we dropped Lisa and Jessica off at SNL and after a failed vlogging attempt by yours truly, Nicole and I headed for the train since we both had to work the next morning. If you weren’t aware, the Women’s March was held on Saturday in cities all over the world. Naturally, I was looking for stragglers at 10pm, when the event ended at 4.That’s my middle name – day late, dollar short.

A quick word on what’s going on out there. First, I believe in marches like the ones held on Saturday. They were non-violent, people came out en masse, and the participants got their point across. I am so disappointed in myself that I didn’t give myself the opportunity to get out there. Second, the vile tweets, memes and posts that are connected to the women’s march hashtag are shameful. There are a handful of people on my Facebook feed that have made the most asinine comments about the women involved with the march, calling them ugly, stupid, fat, disgusting, etc. WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH ANYTHING?! Not only is it not true, but pretty, smart, skinny, desirable women don’t need/already have rights? (actually, i think i just found a topic for someone who organizes their thoughts better than me to write about. the privilege of the skinny, pretty girl.there’s just so much to be said.) All of this being said, I guess the bottom line is the problem with today is everyone thinks their opinion is the right one and the only one. Myself included i guess since here we are on my blog.

Moving on.

On our way to the train, Nicole and I passed the big LOVE statue on 6th Ave. On the ground around the statue were signs from the march. JACKPOT. If I wasn’t going to find a protest, this was the next best thing, in my opinion.

I threw my camera at Nicole and had a photo shoot with one of my favorite signs. I should have picked up a few of them but there were people waiting to take their own pictures in front of the statue. I didn’t want to be rude.

 

sign: Ok we get it. you won. now GROW UP.

That sign, for me, was directed less at Trump and more at Facebook. Well, those select few.

I had put my sign down and was walking away when a man told me to pick it up again. “Me?” I said. “Yea, you”, he replied. And just like that there is someone in this city who I don’t know from a hole in the wall with my picture on his cellphone. Too bad he was old enough to be my father and I think he was with his husband so, there’s always next time.

We got home just in time to see the cold open for SNL. I stayed up to watch Weekend Update and then I was out like a light.

Sunday morning while I was at work (ugh.) I got a phone call from my cousin telling me that they would be in Brooklyn if I wanted to meet for dinner. Not one to say no to a good roast beef sandwich (Brennan and Carr, FTW), I accepted. There are no photos because I forgot and because sometimes the best foods aren’t the prettiest.

Now I’m relaxing, hoping this Nor’easter that we’re supposed to get tomorrow keeps the people away from the office. Sure, it makes the day drag, but I have a book to read.

What did you get up to this weekend? Did you march? Tell me all about it!

christmas 2016 photo dump

How can Christmas be over already? I ask that every year and every year it seems to be more and more unbelievable.

Anyway, for posterity’s sake and because I love those life lately photo posts, here are some scenes from Christmas and Christmas Eve 2016!

2016 has been an all around shit storm that I am looking forward to cutting ties with. This year I took a few minutes to try and step back from the festivities and appreciate the people in the room. As long as we have each other, I think we’ll be OK – no matter what 2017 (and beyond) throws at us.

Hope your holiday was great and filled with love, food and good people. I’ll probably see you before the new year, but if I don’t, may it be happy and healthy, always.

signature-script.jpg

mar & dar’s christmas train

Last week, my mom and I played my favorite game of tourist and took a ride into the big city to see the tree and the lights of midtown. It wouldn’t be Christmas around these parts if I didn’t have at least one post with pictures of crowds of people, lights, over the top decorations and probably a taxi or two. This time you aren’t getting any taxis, but I think I got everything else covered.

We wanted to hit Macy’s first and work our way up to Rockefeller, but for whatever reason we decided to forego 34th Street and go straight to the epicenter of Christmas. the tree, if you didn’t know.

Saks was the first stop on the Mar and Dar Christmas train and, without being too dramatic, I was in awe. Maybe it’s the kid in me, maybe I get distracted too easily by bright colors and sparkly things (true and true), whatever it is, Saks made me smile immediately.

No trip to 5th Avenue would be complete without a stop at Saint Pat’s so that’s where we headed next. They weren’t all Christmassed out yet but SPC is a beaut with or without poinsettias and greenery.

By the time we lit some candles and doused ourselves in holy water it was time to get a move on. The sky was a bit ominous and we weren’t prepared for rain. The tree was our next stop. Tourist central. We felt right at home.

The best thing about going so early in the season is that even though there are crowds, they’re not unbearable. Last year I was walking down 5th Ave with my mom, my aunt and my cousins. We got sucked into the crush between 47th and 50th Street. Behind me, in the throng, a woman say, to no one in particular, “This must thin out near the tree”. this poor tourist, I thought. I turned as much as the crowd would allow, chuckled and said, “um. try 52nd Street.” She gasped. I smiled. And another Christmas memory was made.

Our final stop was Bryant Park. I love Christmas in Bryant Park. There’s so much going on but it’s not crazy. The shopping, the eating, the skating- you can’t go wrong. Even if you’re like me and only eat and shop. I wanted to get to Bryant Park because I saw on Instagram that Melsy’s Illustrations was going to be there and I wanted to check out her stuff in person.

My mom and I walked around, checking out the other booths, trying to get some giftsipration and because try as we might, it’s been tough getting into the Christmas spirit this year. For me, it’s no other reason except it’s all going too fast. There’s only 16 days until Christmas, guys. 16 days. i can’t.

Finally, we found the Melsy’s Illustrations booth. I love her Instagram, but I loooove her stuff in person. It’s all so me. Anyway, her booth was busy and space is at a premium so my mom and I waited outside until it calmed down a bit. While we were waiting a woman came over to tell us that all of the available illustrations were in the binder near the door, if we wanted to look while we wait. We started talking and it turns out that nice lady was Jamel’s mom. She told us that this was her passion and she finally took the plunge, quit her 9-5 job and starting doing this full time. #goals. 

I seriously loved everything in her shop, but I finally decided on this one. I’m going to hang it over my computer for inspiration. blogspiration, if you will. follow my passionspiration, if you also will. 

Mine is a brunette, because after I eventually get my grays covered and highlights toned, so am I.

I also fell in love with this one because a bun is my go-to “I want to feel like a Kardashian” look. And my “get this mop off of my neck” look. It’s so versatile.

 

Her mom was so nice and had the best Boston accent. My mom mentioned my love of photography and, in true mom fashion, they started talking about us and how it’s great that we have things that we love to do and do well at.

click this photo to go over to the Melsy’s Illustrations Etsy page! she didn’t ask me to link it or anything, i just really like her stuff and wanted to share!

The booth traffic finally let up enough for me and my mom to go in and meet Jamel. She couldn’t have been nicer, seriously. I told her I follow her on Instagram and she was so appreciative. As we were leaving, they mentioned getting the truffle fries from the homefrite booth. Naturally, the Mar and Dar Christmas train had to make a pitstop. 

I told my mom I needed to incorporate these and the lemon garlic aioli into my everyday diet. She gave me THE LOOK, I rolled my eyes and another Christmas memory was made.

Our last stop was Lord and Taylor’s windows. These are usually my favorites but this year, I’m not gonna lie, I wasn’t impressed. It was an enchanted forest theme (yass!), which when done right, could be amazing. I’m not sure if the windows weren’t totally done or what, but there were some things that were lacking. Mainly, they had “The Enchanted Forest” written on the bottom of each window, but on at least one of the windows, it looked like it was either coming off or it wasn’t put on correctly. Either way, they were really cute and Lord and Taylor still wins in my book. I’m sure they were super concerned about my opinion and couldn’t wait to get my verdict.

As much as I wanted to push my mom to either Uber down to Macy’s or up to Bergdorfs, I was ready to go home, get in my pajamas and finish the Gilmore Girls revival – which is exactly what we did.

weekend update: bridge views

Happy Monday! Except for me, it’s more like Wednesday since I’ve been working since Saturday.

giphy (27)

See what having a weekend job does to you? Or maybe it’s just me since tons of other people seem to cope much better than I do.

Anyway, I figured I would share what I did this weekend, even though it was technically Thursday and Friday.

Wednesday afternoon I got a text from Lisa asking if I wanted to go to the Promenade later that day. I’ve talked about the Promenade before. It’s in Brooklyn Heights, has excellent views of lower Manhattan and is where I spent most of my lunch breaks in college.

DSC_0648b

So, we’re walking and enjoying a nice summer night in Brooklyn Heights. the views! the brownstones! the yuppies! oh my! At the same time, we look up and see the Brooklyn Bridge. “We should walk over the bridge,” Lisa says. “Ehh, I don’t know, Lee. I haven’t eaten. I hear it’s a steep incline. We should do it eventually, though.” I reply. “Yeah, you’re right. What do you want to eat?”

P.S. We walked over the Brooklyn Bridge.

After talking ourselves out of it, we figured, what the hell. After we got turned around looking for the footpath entrance, we were finally  on our way. Let me tell you, the entrance is like the long walk towards death. It starts to steadily incline and all of a sudden you’re walking over cars. Then, the bridge itself is wooden planks. I was terrified. There were people all over who DID NOT MOVE. On our right, we had the Tour de France passing on their bikes. Every time a bike sped passed, the boards moved, like a typical beach boardwalk. Except over cars and water. I think if I were able to calm down for a minute and catch my bearings, I would be OK, but in general, the whole walk was torture. I was mad at myself afterward because I feel like I missed out on a really great experience. I’d go again, but in the daytime and with a clearer head.

All of that being said, look at these views.
*i can’t figure out if these pictures are kind of blurry because i was shaking or if i was zoomed out too far and it was dark. just another reason to go over again.

Obviously, I’m obsessed with the Empire State Building. I almost forgot Brooklyn was on my side. Ok, I did forget that Brooklyn was on my side, but in my defense, when I looked that way, all I saw was cars under me and it freaked me out.

The Manhattan side of the bridge starts at City Hall park. Lisa and I took a rest and then were off to find food because I was starving to begin with, add to that my nerves, I was ravenous. And thirsty. SO THIRSTY. We wandered into the Financial District, which pretty much closes when the stock market closes. However, there were a lot more people milling around than I expected. We wound up hydrating at a Duane Reade and then getting on the train headed back to Brooklyn. All in all – something else to check off my bucket list.

Thursday I wanted to clean my room and I was so excited to do it. #adulting It turns out that I didn’t so much clean my room as I moved some things around and watched Kardashian reruns all afternoon. My legs were like jello for most of the day from my adventure the night before. That hill is no joke. Also, it’s my Saturday, after all. I went to dinner with my mom and that was basically it. There’s no photographic evidence but picture the two of us having really delicious salads, al fresco because, summer.

Friday it was back to the city for me and Lisa. We wanted to head to Central Park but we got a late start so we walked passed Lincoln Center and found Lady Gaga’s (parent’s) restaurant on the Upper West Side. It looks adorable and cozy and the menu sounds delicious. I didn’t bring my camera even though it was World Photography Day. I felt a little naked. So, again no photographic evidence, but I’ll leave you with the picture I posted on Instagram last year on World Photography Day.

meharry

#meanttobe #soulmates #notplanned

How was your weekend?

signature - script

 

weekend update: food, friends and billy joel

It’s weekend recap time! Let’s pretend I do these almost every weekend instead of almost never. So, it was a lot of nothing/lot of everything kind of weekend. I mean, the usual.

Friday: Billy Joel has a residency at Madison Square Garden. He does one concert a month, which he said he would do until people stopped coming. like that will ever happen. I got tickets to the May show. I’m going to take a sharp left here and not ramble for a million hours about this concert. i’m going to try to, anyway. I’m going to take another left and just put it out there that I do not have tons of pictures to share from the show. gasp! Actually, I DO have a ton of pictures but they’re mostly blurry, colorful dots. My seat was close enough to watch but not close enough for decent pictures. If I wasn’t so nervous about it being confiscated, I would have brought my new mirrorless camera. It’s for the best because if I did, the whole post would have been Billy’s bald head.

DSCN4446_WM

What I love about Billy Joel is he’s all about New York. Like Springsteen has Asbury Park, Billy has Oysta Bay, Lawn Guyland. (Oyster Bay, Long Island – for the non-natives). He still lives out there and can be found out and about around town. He seems like a truly nice guy and very down to Earth. He never forgot where he came from (maybe because he never left), which is big in my book. Since it is Fleet Week, there was a group of sailors at the show. Bill had them all come up during Goodnight Saigon and then thanked and shook each one of their hands. Coincidentally, the best pictures I took that night were from this moment.

DSCN4506_WM

It turns out that Carson Daly was also at this show. So, you know, typical Friday night, hanging with Bill, Carson and 18,000 of our closest friends. Speaking of our 18,000 friends, I think one of the coolest moments of my life was standing there, listening to Billy Joel sing Piano Man along with all of Madison Square Garden. I mean, I’ve sung along to I Want It That Way with 4 of 5 Backstreet Boys and all of Nassau Coliseum, but this trumps it by a loooong shot.

Saturday was a whole bunch of nothing. I went to work, came home and emptied my DVR. the roller coaster of life, my friends.

Sunday I worked again then came home and got ready to go out for Nicole’s birthday. Her birthday was Friday but I was indisposed and she had family plans so Sunday it was. We went to a beer garden in Park Slope with the best tater tots I’ve ever had. They were shaped like Tetris pieces – a party for the eyes and mouth! We played a rousing game of cornhole, where the most un-athletic person in the place (me) was on the winning team.

To round out the weekend, on Monday, I took a trip with Lisa to the city. She had to drop something off for work and after we just walked around. The city was empty, which was amazing. Summer is definitely on its way because the humidity was high, which brings out all the best city smells.

I can’t say I’m ready for work tomorrow, but are you ever really ready to go to work? Nah.

What did you do this weekend?

Fill me in!

signature

 

NOLA in a nutshell (part two)

Now that you’ve digested (ba dum dum) part one of my NOLA recap, let’s move on to part two!

As I mentioned in my last post, I came to New Orleans for the photo opportunities. I mean, I wanted to have a good time and experience the city too, but food and photos were my top priority. This post is probably going to be photo heavier than the last one. You’ve been warned.

WHAT WE DID/SAW

Swamp tour – Taking a swamp tour was on my cousin’s list of definites. They offer a speedboat or a normal, not scary boat. We chose the normal boat over the speed boat (sorry, Dez!) and off to the swamp we went. We were told that we had come at a great time because all of the wildlife would be around. Score. This city girl was ready for some gators. Within the first 10 minutes we spotted our first gator.

DSC_0459_WM

crikey.

The tour guide fed our new friend, Herman (the tour guides name them when they get older/bigger. this guy was too small for a name so i gave him one.) and made sure that both sides of the boat got a good view of him. They love hotdogs, marshmallows and hands with cameras. I took the guide’s word for it.

When Herman had enough of us, we moved on to see if we could find some pigs. Unfortunately, the tour that went out before us were kids on a school trip. That means the pigs had already had their fill of marshmallows and pig treats and wanted nothing to do with us. However, the trip to the pig section was straight out of The Little Mermaid and it took a lot for me to not sing Kiss the Girl. Ok, maybe I sang it a little. Just some sha la la la la my oh mys.

On the way back, we caught sight of another gator, Jerry (again, my name, not theirs). Jerry looks like a real jokester, but according to the tour guide, this is what alligators do to cool off and are known to sit this way for hours on end. Jerry wound up moving as we passed; dispelling any “that’s not real” myths. We also saw some turtles on the way back.

To get to the swamp, it was a 45-ish minute ride from the Quarter. We drove through neighborhoods that were obliterated by Hurricane Katrina. There were empty lots where houses and stores used to be. Whole apartment complexes and hospitals were standing there, gutted and untouched in a decade. Things are starting to come back but very slowly and it almost seems impossible to get back to 100%. Because I wasn’t familiar with the area and didn’t understand the true magnitude of Katrina, I didn’t realize how horrible it was. Hearing the bus driver say that the area used to be all built up and how many people from the area had died, it gave me a lump in my throat. Not that you have to be familiar with an area to feel bad for a terrible tragedy. It’s almost like being a New Yorker during 9/11, I guess.

The French Market – I have a love/hate relationship with flea markets. I love a good bargain but sometimes they can get schlocky. The French Market was a bit of both. It offered a little of everything –  artwork, photography, jewelry, masks, cellphone accessories, food. There weren’t many photography booths which is what I usually gravitate towards so I just wandered through. As I’m writing this now, I realize that I never went back for a mask like I intended. figures.

My cousin Desiree reported live on Snapchat (dla22 tell her I sent you! Or don’t. Just don’t be a creep.) the whole trip. I wish snaps lasted longer than 24 hours because you guys would have loved these.

Walking tour of the French Quarter and St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 – Like I said in my last NOLA post, I came for the photo opportunities. I decided that the best way to do this was to hit the pavement. I strapped on my too tight sneakers, threw my camera around my neck and got to walking. The tour was filled with history. Well, New Orleans is filled with history but, I digress. New Orleans was owned at different times by the French, the Spanish and then, of course the United States. There are tons of French, Spanish and Caribbean influences in their architecture (and their food). The tour was two hours long, but to tell you the truth, if my feet didn’t suck and if it were offered, I could have hung out with the tour guide and walked around all day.

St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 is one of the oldest cemeteries in the Quarter (I think. I’m really a horrible re-capper). The graves/crypts date back to the 17 and 1800’s. Each crypt is usually made of of people from the same family. God bless the crypt keepers because the process is a little much for me. Basically, the crypt is a small building with w ledge in it. The ledge has a hole in the back of it and underneath is all open space. When a person dies, they are waked(?) in a regular coffin. At the time of burial, the crypt keeper transfers the body into a simple pine box. It is then placed on the ledge and the crypt is closed for exactly one year. After that year, the crypt keeper opens the tomb and takes out the remains of the pine box. They then push the remains of the person to the back of the crypt where they fall through the hole and into the bottom of the crypt. It’s a little gross, a little intriguing, a little creepy. Enough crypt talk.

I was adamant about going to this particular cemetery because it is home to New Orleans voodoo priestess, Marie Laveau. I’m all about spells and potions so I wanted to see this for myself. It’s said that if you make a wish and leave an offering at Marie’s grave and it comes true, you must come back to her grave and draw 3 red Xs on the grave. The picture directly above this paragraph is Marie’s grave. The one above that is someone else in the voodoo world( i think. again, horrible re-capper.)  The cemetery constantly cleans Marie’s grave because it is always being vandalized. Personally, I think she’s floating around the Quarter somewhere.

Cooking class at the New Orleans School of Cooking – Taking a cooking class was never on my radar of things to do, especially on vacation but this was so much fun! We were in a group with 5 other people and a chef who taught us about the origins of Creole/Cajun cooking, what a roux is and what each different color means flavor wise, that cinnamon vaguely looks like sparkles when thrown into a flame. We broke into teams and got to cooking. I, of course, teamed up with my mom. For two reasons – one: she’s good at what she does and two: we work well together. until we don’t. The menu consisted of shrimp remoulade, chicken breast or pork chop stuffed with seafood cornbread stuffing and blueberry compote, glazed sweet potatoes, crepes with berries. According to the chef, Louisiana cooking is saltier that normal. That being said, my meal was a bit saltier that I would have liked since we followed the recipe. We got to keep a copy of the recipes that we made so I would definitely have my mom try her hand at the meal again. I mean, I would try too, but why waste time?

 

A tarot card reading in the French Quarter – After food and photos, my main goal was getting a reading. I didn’t care if it were tarot, palm, tea leaves, a medium – I just wanted to get read. Jackson Square in the day time is full of artists and their wares. Jackson Square at night is filled with readers. After dinner one night we were walking through Jackson Square back to our hotel and we noticed that the psychics were lined up, one card table after another. As much as I wanted to see Otis on Chartres Street at Bottom of the Cup tea room (he was on The Little Couple!), I have an affinity for mass psychics. They’re all over the Brooklyn street fairs in the summer and when I was younger I used to go for zeppolis and a reading. ahh youth.  Not wanting to be the guinea pig, I let my cousin’s friend Stephanie go first. I was next and, I’ll admit, I wasn’t satisfied with my shuffle, but I went with it anyway. When I was done, I went back to compare notes with Stephanie and it turns out the first part of our readings were almost identical. *side eye emoji* The psychic told me that I had to work with the Laws of Attraction to get what I want. She shamelessly plugged the Netflix doc, The Secret (i guess i just did too), and then explained to me how it works. Basically, the universe hears what you tell it so the LoA is you putting out to the universe what you want/need and it will come to you. Except it’s not as magical as it sounds. It’s not going to open the fridge and get me a Diet Coke on the rocks with a twist of lemon; I’m not Matilda, but if I learn how to really hone in to it and use it, it might get me a boyfriend or a well paying job. Right now, I’m aiming big and putting my order in to be a trophy wife. So Universe, let’s talk.

St. Louis Cathedral – As we all know, I’m pretty partial to Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, but in reality, I love all cathedrals. Just like a North Jersey mansion, they’re big, filled with marble and ornate almost usually to the point of being gaudy. Saint Louis didn’t disappoint.

20160505_230302_picmonkeyed

I know I said I’d include the things I wish I would have done on this trip in this post, but I think I’ll do one more. I love a good trilogy. So, be on the lookout for the final installment of NOLA in a Nutshell.

*for reference, all of the photos in this post were taken on my new Nikon 1 J5 mirrorless camera and edited in PicMonkey. except the ones from the cooking class, those are phone photos.

signature

 

NOLA in a nutshell (part 1)

Friday marked a week since I got home from New Orleans. I had every intention of getting this post up even before then, but life happened, as it tends to do. Anyway, here I am with a NOLA recap.

giphy (4)

I was going to break this down day by day, but then I thought against it. When I was searching for places to go, things to do, where to eat, etc. I looked for travel blogs, regular blogs of people who go places, blogs of New Orleans – anything. I couldn’t find much of what I was looking for so I’m going to provide that service for the internet. you’re welcome.

We left for New Orleans on May 3rd. It was a week after Jazz fest and after the torrential downpours that they had that whole week. I was ready for heat and extreme humidity. The first day was humid. The rest of the days were absolutely gorgeous. The sun was hot, but the humidity, by the grace of God, was low. Like, 35% low.

WHERE WE STAYED

We stayed at the Maison Dupuy. Personally, I’d give it a 4 out of 5 stars. It was beautiful. The rooms were nice, but nothing to write home about, unless you are able to score one with a balcony. Because, fresh air.

20160504_235313

My biggest complaint about the hotel was that it was a little bit too far off the beaten trail. It was about 3 blocks from Bourbon Street, which isn’t terrible, but it’s about 7-10 blocks from the heart of the Quarter. With the uneven streets and having to sidestep homeless people, it’s a trek. However, the beds were super comfy, the pool was relaxing and the croissants were delish.

WHERE WE ATE

Other than the photo opportunities, I was most excited to experience the food. I was a little nervous about the spice, because, no thank you. My taste buds were delightfully surprised that they had nothing to worry about.

Cafe du Monde – beignets and frozen coffee FOR. THE. WIN. This was our first stop in the French Quarter and it didn’t disappoint. It’s a survival of the fittest seating system so the trick it to just take any empty table you find. The waiters and waitresses will clean it off while you wait. You can buy the famous chicory coffee and beignet mix at du Monde or you can get it in one of the two Cafe du Monde gift shops. The coffee also comes in K-cups. So there’s really no reason to not go home with some.

Jackson Brewery – We had lunch here. DEEE-lish. I had seafood and corn chowder in a bread bowl. WIN. Everyone else had burgers and they all raved about them. We also shared brisket and cheese fries. Holy shit. I could have dove in and did the backstroke through that pool of cheesy meaty potatoey goodness for the rest of the trip. Or for the rest of my life. Either or.

The sports bar across the street from Jackson Brewery – I don’t remember the name of this place, obvs, but we had lunch here on day 1 and it was pretty good. I recommend the fried pickles and the quesadilla.

Tujages – Housed in either the second oldest or THE oldest buildings in the French Quarter, Tujages (pronounced: two jacks) came highly recommended and it didn’t disappoint. I had the BBQ shrimp. They were served not shelled. Eating something that looked up at me was a little unnerving, but I got over that quick because they were really good. i’m a monster.

20160505_213147

Emeril’s Delmonico – If you follow me on Instagram, you saw that I felt 100% out of my league here. Delmonico’s is one of those high-class restaurants that your team of waiters ask you if you prefer bottled water or if tap is OK. tap is wonderful, THANK YOU. I fell in love with the ambiance at this place. The building is old and renovated but it kept its charm. The waiters were great. Very professional and Southern. Lots of “yes, mam’s and sir’s” flying around. I got the 4 out of 5 of us got the steak. My cousin got chicken. We were all very pleased. Then we shared sides. French fries with lemon aioli (yes), mac and cheese (yes), Brussel sprouts, (YES), collard greens (yes) and mashed potatoes (I went with the fries but I heard they were a yes). I was dying for a lemonade (#bey), but sometimes lemonade is tricky. I took the chance and ordered one and it was perfect. For dessert, we got the from the oven chocolate chip cookies with vanilla milk. I still have dreams about them. The cookies even had a little bit of salt sprinkled on top… #nextlevel.

The Napoleon House – Another lunch spot. Supposedly, Napoleon built this building for when he was in the area, except he never made it back because he was exiled. Or something. We came to the Napoleon House in search of muffalettas. Well, that’s why I was there. They serve them warm which I think, even though I didn’t try it cold, is the best way to eat it. It is a monster of a sandwich, filled with every Italian meat you could dream of, cheese and olives. I was a little turned off because I’m not the biggest green olive lover, but this version wasn’t overrun with them. I’ve been thinking of the muffaletta since I got home. I’m determined to find a substitute. Maybe I shouldn’t mention this, but after we were finished eating and getting ready to pay the bill, my aunt noticed a mouse scurrying around under the table The waitress explained that since everything is open and the building is old, this is a common occurrence. I get it, but still.. ehh. Doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t go back for anotha ‘letta.

20160504_143454
*i did not tackle this beast by myself. i shared it with my cousin’s friend. but, if we’re being honest, i would try to in a heartbeat.

Bistreaux– This was the restaurant connected to our hotel. We only had a quick breakfast there before running off to do fun things. We passed at lunchtime, though and the burgers looked really good. Like I said, the croissant was delicious. I also recommend the breakfast sandwich, served on, you guessed it – a croissant. The side of potatoes were a little too spicy for my morning meal, so, pass.  They offered iced coffee, which makes me so happy.

Court of the Two Sisters – First and foremost, it is beautiful. We were so lucky with the weather this trip and were able to sit outside. My mom, my aunt and I came for breakfast on our last day here. I love a good buffet and this was a good buffet. We got there at that awkward brunch time where there’s still breakfast out but they want to switch it over to all lunch. I was able to get an Eggs Benedict for breakfast that I enjoyed. The highlight of the meal was the scoop of creamed spinach I took. I’m going to need that recipe.

I’ve changed my mind about not breaking this into two posts. The next one will be about what we did, what I wish I got to do and overall experience. That one will also have the bulk of the pictures. Just like Christmas, it’s coming.

signature

belated bridal shower photo dump!

I’m here! I’m alive! Did you miss me? I didn’t go anywhere, procrastination has been my first, middle and last name lately. Hence, why I’m coming to you today with a recap from two weekends ago. whatever. my blog, my rules. 

Two Sundays ago, we gave Jessica a bridal shower. I wanted to share some pictures in my usual photo dump style. Is it too late for that? Is it officially irrelevant in blog time? whatever. MY BLOG, MY RULES.

When Jessica asked all 586933 girls to be bridesmaids, she decided that she was not going to have a Maid of Honor. Instead, she gave each girl a specific task that encompasses the role of bridesmaid and Maid of Honor. One of my tasks was to, with Lisa and Nicole, help Jessica’s mom plan the shower. Jessica is simple and classic. Her mom, and I say this out of love and because I’ve been friends with Jess for almost 25(!) years, lives in a Laura Ashley showroom. Opposites are an understatement.

The shower’s theme was Love Birds. I have to admit – I’m totally obsessed. I love bird cages; they’re so pretty. I’m not the biggest fan of birds so I was careful to only incorporate the cute ones.

Let’s get to (photo) dumping!

The shower was supposed to be a surprise, but well, are bridal showers ever really a surprise?

The party was finally underway. Surprise parties, whether they’re a true surprise or not, always make me nervous. Like, jello leg nervous. At this point, I was hoping that Jess came in and loved the room and all of the little touches that make showers special. Taking away the fact that you’re in a room full of people who love you and only want the best for you and your future spouse. That’s pretty special too.

Then we did a panty line. If I remember, I’ll post the little poem that goes with it on here, someday. I’m not making any promises though, so if you want/need it you might as well Google it.

Finally, it was time for gifts. If you’re wondering, we did eat in the midst of all this. Boy, did we eat. The shower was at a steakhouse, need I say more? delish! And don’t worry, I’m not going to include all the pictures of the gifts. It’s the most boring part of any shower. I wouldn’t do that to you.

After cake, it was time to leave. My feet were so thankful because they don’t play well with heels. They were gearing up for the next day when I had my job’s annual Spring Fling. But that’s for next time.

I hope this wasn’t too boring for you. I figured, in keeping with the my blog, my rules deal, I should post it for posterity’s sake. You know, in case Facebook ever loses my pictures and I need a throwback Thursday picture or something.

See you soon!

signature

 

photo dump: better late than never!

How has Christmas come and gone already? I hope everyone’s holiday was great. Filled with lots of love, food and presents. I just wanted to share two things. One is a really quick “aww” moment and the other is a collection of pictures I took before the holiday that I hadn’t gotten a chance to post until now. Better late than never, right?

So, the aww moment happened on Christmas morning. My mom’s aunt, who is either in her late 80’s or early 90’s called to wish my family a Merry Christmas. After my mom filled her in a bit on her siblings and asked for her cousin, Aunt Margie asked about me and my cousins. Being the cute, little old school Italian lady that she is, she wanted to know if I had a boyfriend. Normally I’d have to roll my eyes at this question. Except when it’s from an adorable aunt. She didn’t ask my mom outright if I had a boyfriend or if I was seeing somebody, the way she put it was “Is Martina keeping company with anybody?” Is she not the cutest? First of all, I love older phrases like that. Like pillbox hats and ballgowns with gloves; very vintage. Second, it’s so to the point. It’s not like the term “hooking up”, which means 100 different things depending on who you ask. Anyway, I just thought it was cute and thought I’d share.

Next are some pictures I took last week when I was in the city (yes, again). Basic stuff. Bryant Park, the tree, candles at Saint Patrick’s (i have to go back. i got kicked out because a mass was starting), a Christmas Village in the basement of an ornament store. Good stuff. sidenote: what better place for a Christmas village than an ornament store? this year was the first year and i really think they should keep it going. until it gets mobbed and noone could breathe or move down there.

The village was really cute. I got tickets on Groupon for $15. Totally worth it. They were originally $30. I probably wouldn’t go that high. Or if I paid full price I would have been a little disappointed. I mean, it was cute but it was literally in the basement of an ornament store. It wasn’t a show or anything, just a quick (or slow) walk-through.

How was your Christmas? Did Santa treat you well?

Let’s discuss!

signature

%d bloggers like this: