Friday, January 29, 2010

Who are you? Who-Who? Who-Who?

Hi readers! I've noticed a lot of new readers in the past week or two.  I'd love to hear from you!  I'd love for you to leave a comment noting how you found my blog, what your blog address is, your favorite blog, or just something about you. 

Remember when the "25 things" post was going around facebook?  I loved that!  So I thought in the spirit of hellos and introductions, I'd post my 25 things so you could get to know a little more about me.  What's one of your 25 things?
  1. I hate sponges. Ick! They gross me out. I always feel like you’re cleaning the dishes with something dirtier than they are. The thought of hand washed dishes gives me chills.
  2. I love fine dining and Top Chef. They go together b/c when we go to a nice meal I like to play Top Chef and say things like “mmm, what a nice balance of flavors” or “it just needs a little salt and some acid would have helped.”
  3. We watched the documentary “The War Room” in civics class my senior year of high school about James Carville and George Stephanopolous about running the Clinton campaign and from that point on I wanted to be a speech writer/campaign organizer. Maybe one day!
  4. Speaking of writing, I have a bad habit of writing letters to people when they publish things I don’t agree with (Walter Block) or to businesses when they consistently provide poor customer service (airlines!!). I think I wrote three letters in the last month.
  5. I love the Saints – although it is usually a love/hate relationship. I’m not sure whether this is reflective of my persistence, my naïve idealism, or sheer craziness, but literally at the start of every September I tell my dad (and now Mark) I really think this is the year. Poor Mark – to have brought someone into this through marriage is really cruel. We’re so crazy we keep our season tickets and travel to half the games. (CAN YOU TELL THIS WAS WRITTEN BEFORE THIS YEAR!!!)
  6. I love most sports (hockey, boxing, and soccer are the main exceptions). I don’t count Nascar b/c I consider it an event not a sport. I have always wished I was born a natural athlete. Although I’m a terrible sport – so maybe it is better I’m not. I guess I’ll stick to watching it on tv and the summer kickball league.
  7. Mark and I met Drew Brees at Saltus River Grill here in Beaufort of all places. Can you imagine!! Of all the famous people in the world to sit at the table next to us, it is my hero Drew Brees. He’s also my facebook friend – so Drew if you’re reading this – hi from Beaufort!
  8. I give up shopping every year for Lent. But I think I make up for it pretty quickly there after. I’m really bad about going to Church but religious about not breaking my Lenten sacrifice or meat on Lent Fridays. Some things they teach you at Catholic school sticks with you like glue.
  9. I love hip hop. Especially local rap from New Orleans – you know you do too! I’ve seen most of you at the Gold Mine.
  10. My first concert was Kenny G. How embarrassing. It was my grandmother’s birthday present from my parents and we had to go as a family. I thought I’d rather die than be seen there. I always wanted to say my first concert was New Kids, but nope it was Kenny G.
  11. I got a C+ in Intermediate Accounting my sophomore year in college and my parents made me take out a Stafford loan so that I’d appreciate my education. Now every month I have to debate whether going out 21 nightsin a row with Heather was worth it. I still think it was – ahhhh Madigans!
  12. I love New York! No matter how many times we go there I could always go back for more! I think the West Village is my favorite part of the city, but I love exploring new places and things to do there.
  13. I would love to open up a cupcake shop or similar type of patisserie with my sister when we move back to New Orleans. Who knows if this will happen, but it would be my dream come true. I’d love to have seasonal items that you can only find for a short period like gingerbread muffins with a cinnamon frosting and candied ginger crumble.
  14. I am a hypochondriac to the highest order. I can’t watch shows like ER or House because I convince myself I have whatever the person on tv has. Thank God I married a doctor or I’d be in the ER all the time.
  15. I hate driving trips. I get really restless and bored. I’m trying to get better about that seeing as the only direct flight we have are to Dallas, DC, and NYC, but I’m still not very excited by the thought of more than a two hour drive.
  16. I cannot tolerate people who are rude to waiters. Being so is a characteristic that I think says all I need to know about someone.
  17. I took ballet for almost half my life but haven’t been to a class since college. It’s one of the things I want to get back to when we move back to New Orleans.
  18. Being at the Superdome the night it re-opened for the game versus the Falcons was one of the greatest moments of my life. If I think about it too much I’ll cry. I have a feeling on this I am not alone. Oh man, when Gleason blocked that kick the people above us starting shaking their beers and spraying it like champagne on NYE. It was a night I feel so lucky to have been a part of! (AND NOW THE NFC CHAMPIONSHIP TOO!!)
  19. I love board games. Any and all of them. Mark doesn’t really like playing them, but he’s willing to every now and again.
  20. I had a bad attitude toward the military b/c I knew it would be the reason I would have to leave New Orleans, but being a part of it has been so absolutely incredible that I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world. I am humbled every day by the number of young men and women who have chosen to sacrifice for our freedoms, especially at this time in our world. I go to the commissary at Parris Island (where all Marine recruits this side of the Mississippi train) every Sunday and not once have I left there without the overwhelming feelings of pride, humility, and gratitude.
  21. I have loved every second of our life in Beaufort. That coming from a girl from New Orleans speaks volumes of the community here. We have met the most amazing people here who I can’t wait to spend a lifetime knowing.
  22. I ride in a Mardi Gras parade – Muses. One day I’d like to be a float captain. I spend countless hours putting glitter and decorations on shoes to be handed to strangers on the street. It is the most amazing experience every year. It never gets old. I love the excitement and the sentimentality of the whole thing. You’re never too old at Mardi Gras! Growing up I thought Mardi Gras was a national holiday like Christmas. I never understood why others kids had school or why there weren’t re-runs on.
  23. I am very close to my family. And I am very protective of them. Say what you want about me, but say anything about them and I’ll never forget it.
  24. I have the best husband ever! We truly do have such a great life together, and I know I’m not the most easy going person in the world, so I think most of it is attributable to him. I am always so proud of him, but especially when a patient of his makes a point to tell me how wonderful of a doctor he is.
  25. I love New Orleans more than I can put into words. I truly believe that it is more of who I am than where I am from. The sound of a trumpet playing or a drum beating, the smell of butter and flour cooking together when you’re making a roux, the sight of flashing lights off in the distance that tell the parade is on its way. It’s not a place - it’s a feeling and an experience and a way of life. It’s unique and not easily understood but it’s ours and we will do anything and everything possible to appreciate it and to protect it. And all we ask is that you do the same.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Must See TV

We took a few short videos from the weekend, and I thought I'd share them with you.

This one is of the second line parade we took part in leading from the tailgate area to the Superdome.



This one is of our section and of me as the winning kick sailed through the uprights and we became the MFC Champions!



Thanks goodness for I phones. Since you can't bring in video cameras, it's nice to have some way to capture these moments forever!

Krewe of Muses - Two Weeks and Counting

Holy cow, I cannot believe our parade will be rolling down St. Charles in just two weeks!!!!!!!  This is the point of the preparation for the parade where I start obsessing over the things I cannot control.  For instance, I have begun my daily ritual of checking the 15 day forecast on accuweather.com.  Now, I know that it is probably wrong, and I know that even if it is right and t predicts rain, there is nothing I can do to stop it.  Yet, each and every morning for the next fifteen days, I will wake up and jet to the computer to check on the weather.  What's the outlook you might be wondering?  I can tell you - daytime temps in the high 60s, slight chance of a sprinkle, clearing in the evening with temps in the 50s.  Not too bad!
Next, I become frantic trying to plan for how I will get organized on the float.  What will our float be like?  Will there be enough hooks to hang everything?  What if they put my beads in the wrong place?  Will we even have enough space to stand?  Ahhh!!  Not one of those things can I answer, so I need to stop worrying, right!  You'd think I'd let these things go five years after my rookie ride, but I still freak out over them!

As the parade gets closer, we do learn more of the details which makes me feel a bit more relaxed.  For instance, the pre and post party will be held at the new Mardi Gras World!  How awesome is that!  Our boas, gloves, and sequin fanny packs will all be delivered by the end of the day, so that's one less thing to worry about.  Also, we have selected our riding beverage of choice.  I am riding with seven lovely ladies, including myself and we have decided that accompanying our main course of Popeye's chicken will be Francis Coppola's Sophia sparkling wine.  It comes in it's own red aluminum cans and little pink straws which matched our costume.  How bout that!
Francis Coppola's Sparkling Wine


Next week, I thought I'd share with you picture's of our signature throws (beads and trinkets) and also disclose my position on our float just in case any of you happen to be watching as we ride by!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Trendy Wednesday - Spanx for Swimwear

Although we've decided to stay in Beaufort for the Superbowl, the daydreams of spending next weekend in Miami had me thinking of swimsuits.  Ouch!  I'm not ready for swimsuit season, I can tell you that!  But things in that department are looking up.  For starters, my New Year's resolutions to exercise more and eat healthier have led to a four pound weight loss.  Yay!!!  In addition to that, Spanx has introduced a line of swimwear that looks as fashionable as it does slimming.  I thought I'd share a few of my favorite suits from their collection!

I love the lines and the combination of the charcoal with the black in this piece. They way the pattern crosses at the waist is SOOO slimming.



I love the color of this red deep v one piece.  I think the deep v draws attention away from the waist, but is not so low where you feel too exposed!



You might not like the tan lines you'd get from this one shoulder suit wouldn't be it be just adorable with a big straw hat.  So ladylike!


Finally, I think this bubble skirt is just the most adorable cover-up I have seen in a while!




What do you think?  Do you like the newest line of products from Spanx?


Tasty Tuesdays: Roast Beef Po-Boys

Many of you are likely to be hosting or attending Superbowl parties in just a few days.  We have gone back and forth on whether or not to make the trip to Miami, but with the ridiculous price of tickets ($2500 a piece) we think we might instead host a Saints party like none that has ever been hosted before.  I have put together a little New Orleans Saints inspired menu that I thought would be a fun way to celebrate the night.  Click on the links to learn more about some of the items on the menu!!!
Fun right!  The staple of the menu are the Roast Beef Po-Boys.  We have one almost every time we get to New Orleans at our favorite place Parkway Bakery.  They are easy to make and absolutely delish!  In New Orleans, we order our sandwiches "dressed" which means topped with mayo, shredded lettuce, thinly sliced tomato, and sliced dill pickles.  Mmmm...

Roast Beef Po-Boys
2-3 lb Beef Roast  (any kind works)
2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 Cans Beef Consomme
Two Onions
Two Green Bell Peppers
Two Cartons Sliced Mushrooms
Four Garlic Cloves
Beef Boullion Cubes or Beef Demi Glace (2 tbsp)
Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning, to taste
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Shredded lettuce
Sliced Tomato
Sliced Dill Pickles
Mayo
French Bread

Place roast in a crock pot and season lightly with S&P.  In a food processor or blender, puree onions, mushrooms, garlic, and bell peppers.  Add to crock pot.  Add mushroom soup and consomme as well.  Set crock pot on 8 hour setting.  After completion the sauce should thicken and the beef should be tender enough to shred.  Shred beef and add back to gravy in crock pot.  Add Tony's to desired level of spice and salt.  Add boullion cubes or demi glace until the gravy is rich and flavorful, but not too salty!! Arrange Po-Boys by slicing French bread lengthwise and spread mayo on both sides of the bread.  Add dressing first and then top with roast beef.  Do not be put off by the mayo!!  Even those who hate mayo love these sandwiches!!!  And they are best served right away as they can get pretty soggy and messy!  A good roast beef po-boy should set you back several paper towels.

To learn more about po-boys go here...

Also, I think we going to have these items as party favors...

     Saints Fleur de Lis Beads                                                Black and Gold Masks


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Truly Saintsational

I have tried writing this post a few times, but I am finding it hard to put into words what this weekend in New Orleans was like.  I suppose if you blended Mardi Gras and football together to create this beautiful mix of joy and elation and pride that is what you would get.  From the minute we stepped off the plane on Saturday, it was clear we were entering the Who Dat Nation.  Everywhere you looked people were covered in black and gold.  I have never seen anything like it.  Or felt anything like it either.  The atmosphere in New Orleans was truly electric.  I had no idea what we were in for on Sunday if 24 hours before the game people were this excited.
Me dancing to the Ying Yang Twins, Halftime. "Here we come to get you..."
What a treat it was to be home for this experience.  We had brunch with my family and my roomie from college and her family at Mr. B's in the quarter.  The sounds of the jazz band that wandered from table to table as we nibbled on barbequed shrimp and toasted French bread made me realize that a day like this could only happen in New Orleans.  As we exited the restaurant onto Bourbon Street we were immediately swept away into the crouds of Saints fans dancing and celebrating.  There was not a step you could take for miles that wouldn't be accompanied by music.  Whether it was coming from the DJ at one of the many Bourbon St. nightclubs or the live bands at the jazz bars or simply from a brass band that had congregated in the street, music was everywhere. 

A view of the Second Line parade as we approached the entrance to the Dome.
We met up with the Saints Superfans to once again second line to the Dome, only this time instead of a few thousand fans following behind the band, we were joined by fans as far as the eye could see.  We danced our way to the Dome in such celebratory fashion so uniquely New Orleans that many of the Vikings fans looked on smiling and video taping the makeshift parade.  And that's when the tears started flowing, because I realized this is special.  This only happens here.  And as we made our way into the Dome, I tried to tell myself to stop overthinking this experience and just enjoy each moment. 

A view from our seats as Garret Hartley lined up to make the game winning field goal
After the longest and most agonizing three hours of Saints football I have ever seen, our Superbowl hopes were put on the shoulders of our kicker, Garret Hartley.  In many ways I do not envy the role our dear boys have taken on.  They are carrying the hopes and dreams of an entire region on their shoulders.  After the storm, they took on the burden of being the team that would carry us out of darkness and into the light.  I cannot imagine for one second what the weight of that must feel like.  I tried not to close my eyes as Garret lined up to kick.  I was squeezing Mark's hand so tightly I am surprised it wasn't broken.  And from the second the ball left his foot you could see it was sailing right between the uprights.  In that moment, we knew the Saints were going to the Superbowl.  We jumped up an down, we hugged our neighboring ticketholders, we watched as grown men cried as they hugged their fathers and their sons.  It was truly the greatest experience of my life, aside from my wedding.  I have never felt such joy as I felt Sunday night.

It's good.  The kick is good!  We're going to Miami!!!!!
As we exited the stadium, people were singing and cheering, hugging complete strangers, honking their horns in celebration.  Fireworks were going off near us and off in the distance, and in that moment you knew that the celebration was all around you.  Pure joy is all I can say.

I am so proud to be have been a part of that number when the Saints went marching in!!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

It's a beautiful day!!!

 Who Dat!! Our flight has been delayed two and a half hours which would under normal circumStances ruin my day, but nothing could ruin this day! there are moments where I literally feel like maybe it was all just a dream, but it is actually just a dream come true!!! The New Orleans Saints are going to the Superbowl!!!!!!!!!!  more to come later when I'm at a real computer'

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Saints are Coming

As I sit here knowing I should be trying to sleep before we leave tomorrow to head to New Orleans for a game I thought I'd only dream about, I cannot but remember that amazing night on September 25, 2006 when the Saints quite literally brought this city back to life.  Now, four and a half years later, the pulse of our city has never been stronger, and neither has our team.  I truly believe with all of my heart that they play more for us than they do for themselves.  Never have I seen a team more closely touch the lives of their fans than this team.  There was an article recently asking fans if they would be man enough to admit that they would cry if we win on Sunday, and I will be woman enough to admit I cried reading the responses.  My favorite response came from a man who said that while he was a proud, grown man he could not help but weep at the memory of watching the Saints games with his father who would not be with us in the Superdome on Sunday, but who would instead be watching from the Golden Dome of Heaven as the boys of the black and gold marched on.  He along with all of the many Saints who have gone before him will watch on as their team takes the field on Sunday.

Will I cry?  Heck, I am crying now at the thought of just having the privilege to see this game.  There was a time when I thought we'd never see the Saints play in the Dome again.  And here they are, getting ready to play the most important game in franchise history in a dome so loud that the Vikings have had special earplugs crafted to block out the crowd noise.  Welcome to New Orleans, home of the Who Dat Nation.  Where we never give up the ship!

Here's quite possibly the second greatest moment of my life, after our wedding of course!!

Fridays Five Favorites: 2010 Golden Globes

I have always loved award shows.  When I was living in New Orleans, my mom and I would watch Oscar coverage on E! starting at noon.  We could tell you what was in the gift bags, the names of the auditors that verified the vote, what diet tips they suggest when trying to get into your gown.  I love it!  And while I certainly watch for the speeches and touching thank yous, let's be honest, it's the fashion that makes these nights worth waiting for!  So without further ado, I present my five favorite looks from the 2010 Golden Globes...

I thought Amy Adams and her baby bump looked beautiful in this dark green Carolina Herrera dress.  The choice of the amber color as an accent was genious!


Maybe it's just that I am obsessed with all things Mad Men, but I really liked January Jones in this Lanvin piece.  I thought her hair was playful and a nod to her character, and I loved the asymmetrical ruffle.


Olivia Wilde would have a hard time not looking beautiful, but I thought she sparkled in this Gucci gown. 


Kate Hudson might have won my best all-around award.  Her make-up was stunning, I am drooling over her earrings, and what can you say about that Marchesa dress.  She knocked it out of the park (sorry for the bad reference to her ex, A-Rod).  Truly a stunning look.


And the wild card award winner is Diane Kruger.  She certainly took a risk in this Christian Lacroix Haute Couture gown, but I really love it.  I love the color, and the detail of the neckline is amazing.  It may not be everyone's choice, but I admire her for going for it!


Are you an award show addict too?  And what was your favorite look from the Golden Globes?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Krewe of Muses - Three Weeks and Counting

I thought this very short (3.5 minutes) video documentary of our 2009 parade would be a great way for yall to see and hear the sounds of a Muses parade!  It just made me even more excited that we'll be riding in three weeks!  I hope you enjoy it.  And look for me - I announce the Larry Craig themed float "The Guy Who Loved Me."


Pretty cool, right?!?!  Can you see what all the fuss is about?  It is such an amazing thing to experience Mardi Gras like this with these amazing women! 

PS - the Krewe just announced that the B-52s will be playing at Amusement Party following the parade!!!  Love Shack, Baby!!!!!

I'd love to hear from you about what you thought about the video.  Is that what you thought the parade would look like?  Did you picture it differently??

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Trendy Wednesday- What to Wear with Leggings/Tights

     After last week's post, I had two friends ask about suggestions for what to pair with leggings or tights.  Good question!  They asked that the suggested looks do two things - keep them from looking preggo and cover their bottoms. 
     First, I think it should be pointed out that you have a little more wiggle room in terms of the length of the tunic/top if you are wearing jeggings (jean leggings) or leggings that have a true waistband, zipper, and pockets.  They appear more like real pants and don't require a top that completely covers your bum.  I have had great success with these Citizen Avedon jeggings.  Drawback - they are pricey.  Added bonus - they eliminate muffin top completely! 
    So my search began. What I found was that there are two ways to approach this look.  The first is a tunic/short dress look and the second is a layered look (think loose tank, cardigan, etc.)  I tend to lean more toward the first because I am as square from my shoulder as I am at my waist so bulkiness and large belts do nothing to enhance my figure.  But for those that can wear a multi-layer look synched in with a belt, I have a few of those options too...

I love this ruffled silk tunic from Nordstom.  It is so soft and feminine and would pair nicely with leggings and great black ballet flats.



This ruffle front plaid tunic is adorable and would be a perfect match for those jeggings I mentioned earlier and these brown Dolce Vita booties (that are currently 50% off).




Have you had an overload of ruffles yet?  There's more.  These two adorable tunics from Anthropologie are too cute to pass up.  The Lean Lines Tunic is nicely tied at the waist providing you a great legging look that won't have anyone thinking you're hiding a baby bump.  The Ruffles Everywhere Tunic is something I saw that I just loved too much not to share.



Now for layering, I would start by checking out Anthropologie's layering basics section.  Great finds!

Then I would head to their outfits link.  It is a great way to navigate through putting together all of the pieces of a head-to-toe outfit.  Here I found this look featuring their City Garden Cardigan.


This outfit would be such a great casual weekend look...


I hope this helped.  I am no expert, so if any of you readers have suggestions on legging looks, please share!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tasty Tuesdays: Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soul



Do you ever have those days where you just wake up feeling a little blue?  Well, I had had one of those days.  And then, this evening I talked to one of my greatest friends, Jaime.  And I started feeling better.  It's amazing what catching up with a good friend can do for your soul.  And it was funny, because Jaime was making chicken soup for her family, and I thought how perfect that was. Good chats with good friends and chicken soup have the same effect on me - they make me feel better when I'm not feeling my best.  So I thought I'd share this recipe with you just in case you need a little pick me up from time to time...

Ingredients

  • 2  teaspoons  olive oil
  • 1  cup  chopped onion
  • 1  cup  diced carrots
  • 1  cup  sliced celery
  • 1  garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 1/2  teaspoon  dried oregano
  • 1/4  teaspoon  dried thyme
  • 1/4  teaspoon  poultry seasoning
  • 6  cups  low-salt chicken broth
  • 4  cups  diced peeled baking potato
  • 1  teaspoon  salt
  • 2  cups  diced leftover roasted chicken
  • 1  cup  evaporated skim milk
  • 4  ounces  (2 cups) uncooked wide egg noodles
  • Fresh thyme (optional)

Preparation

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add chopped onion, carrots, celery, and garlic clove; sauté 5 minutes. Sprinkle flour, oregano, thyme, and poultry seasoning over vegetables, and cook 1 minute. Stir in broth, potato, and salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, 25 minutes or until potato is tender. Add roasted chicken, milk, and noodles, and cook 10 minutes or until noodles are tender. Garnish with fresh thyme, if desired.

Nutritional Information

Calories:
215 (19% from fat)
Fat:
4.6g (sat 0.9g,mono 1.6g,poly 0.8g)
Protein:
14.9g
Fiber:                       2.6g


I Heart S.P.


There are many reasons I love the Saints coach Sean Payton, but none more so than because of the extraordinary gesture he made this past Friday.  Here is Sports Illustrated's Peter King describing the events that unfolded in the Saints locker room Friday just before practice:

    I believe one of the reasons the Saints play for Sean Payton was illustrated well Friday morning. Payton starts his team meetings with the news of the day usually, and on Friday he had some team business to discuss. "We've placed Rodney Leisle, defensive tackle, on injured-reserve,'' Payton said, very businesslike. "Signed Deuce McAllister, running back, Ole Miss.'' Stunned, the players erupted in cheers.

     Payton smells the coffee. He knows how beloved McAllister is in his locker room and in the city of New Orleans, and he knew how much it would mean for McAllister to be involved with the team he had labored with for so long -- and he also knew he had 52 healthy players on his roster and wouldn't need the roster spot for this game, at least. Why not give the city and the player a boost.
    "I appreciate moments like this,'' he told me. "I realize how precious these moments are, and how quickly they go by. With players, you know, they have a schedule and itinerary in high school, then every day in college, then every day in the NFL, and then they wake up one day and it's gone. I just want to make sure Deuce knows how much we appreciate everything he's done for this franchise.''
    "Deuce McAllister has always embodied the spirit of the New Orleans Saints and the city of New Orleans," Payton said. "We're excited to have him back with the team and to have him lead us out on to the field."    "I"m speechless," McAllister said. "I don't know that there are words to describe this feeling. I do know that we have unfinished business that we starteed a few years ago and we want to finish the deal."

Deuce McAllister set almost every franchise record a running back could set for his team while playing for the Saints.  He single handedly carried the Saints to victory in the 2006 Divisional playoff game versus Philly.  And I truly believe he played for us, the City of New Orleans, that night more than he played for himself.  For that we should always be grateful.  And yes that is a part of why he remains so beloved by this team and this region, but it is not the whole story.  He is most beloved because of the man he is.  Because in a day where you almost give up hope that an athlete can be a role model, he provides you assurance that they can be.  He committed himself to being a part of making New Orleans better long before the Brad Pitts of the world made it cool to do so.  And he never did it for publicity or attention.  He did it because he loves this city.  And in turn, we love him.  To see him run through that tunnel Saturday was a moment I thought I'd never see again.  I'm sure he felt the same way.  For Sean Payton to acknowledge all that Deuce has done for us in this way was truly remarkable.

It makes me proud to be a Saints fan and even more proud to be a Deuce fan.  Deeeuuucceee!!!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

We'll March On

Right into the NFC Championship!!  For the first time in franchise history, the Saints and the Louisiana Superdome will host the NFC Championship.  I truly could not be more excited than I am right now.  I have tried to think of a million different ways to express what I am feeling, but I don't think I can.  I have had people ask me "when did you become a Saints fan?" and for the life of me I have tried to find an answer to that question.  But the thing is, I don't think I became a Saints fan, I think I was born a Saints fan.  For as long as I can remember, I would spend Sundays with my dad watching the Boys of the Black and Gold.  He taught me everything I know about football and there is nothing I want more than for him to see this team go to the Superbowl.  One more win.  Just one more win and we're in!!

Weekend recap...
So there were many signs that led me to feel good about the Saints chances against the Cardinals.  First, all of my flights got in on time.  That is a miracle in itself!  Then I got my contacts in on the very first try.  That never happens!  Then, it was supposed to pour all day, and it didn't rain one drop.  It was a little dreary but you'd have never known it from the excitement that filled the streets around the Dome!!!

The majorette boots were a huge success (and we think the Saints good luck charm!!)


Sarah and me tailgating early in the am. 


Mmmmm...  Brees Brew does a body good.


One of the many Saints Superfan mascots, Da Pope, leading us in our second line to the Dome.  May I say this might be my favorite pre-game memory of all time!!!  Literally thousands of fans had their umbrellas out and danced their way to the Dome.  I get chills thinking about it!
 

One more win and we're in!!!!!  PS - aren't those Fleur de Lis headbands my siter made fab??


Final score: Your New Orleans Saints 45, Cardinals 14


And when we were celebrating at our regular post-game spot, Lucy's, I ran into one of my favorite bloggers, LSU Melanie!  It was so great to meet her and her hubby!!!



We head home for the game on Saturday morning, and I am already so excited I can't stand it!  WHO DAT!

Friday, January 15, 2010

I've got my ticket in my hand...


I'm gonna go to New Orleans...

Professor Longhair didn't know how right he was when he wrote those lyrics all those years ago.  Here I am sitting at my desk trying as hard as I can to focus before this long day begins but thinking about nothing more than getting on that plane and landing in New Orleans, LA home of your 2009/2010 NFC #1 seed playoff contenders.  Oh my goodnessssssss!!!!  Can you feel my excitement???  I am so sleepy from a week's worth of restless nights leading up to this game.  I don't know how the players do it.  I would be an insomniac if my job had this kind of excitement and anticipation involved!!!

It looks like we should be in for a very rainy day tomorrow.  Good thing that New Orleanians favorite dance, the Second Line, requires the use of an umbrella.  I just read that the Saints Superfans along with one of our city's many amazing brass bands will lead a second line parade from the South Rampart side of Allegro's Bar to the Superdome at 2:15.  The Saints Superfans will be throwing koozies and beads to get the parade season off on the right foot.  You can believe I will be in that number when the Saints Superfans go marching in (to the Dome).
A Traditional Second Line

I all can say at this point is WHO DAT!!!!  Who dat, Who dat, Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints.  Who Dat!!!!!

My sister and me right after the Saints beat Philly in the last divisional playoff we hosted.


If you're going to the game, what are your plans before and after? 

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Krewe of Muses - Four Weeks and Counting

I will admit, the parade has sort of taken a back burner position for me since ALL I can think about is the Saints home playoff game Saturday afternoon!!!  It is going to be a very rainy day, so I preemtively ordered clear plastic boots covers for our spectacular majorette boots.  My friend and fellow Saints fanatic Sarah will be picking me up for breakfast at 9:30 at Cafe Adelaide.  Yum!  Then we plan to spend the whole day dodging rain showers at her brother's tailgate spot.  I seriously cannot explain how excited I am.  I think I'm going to have to take Nyquil to get to sleep tonight and tomorrow night!
    As for the parade, this week has been a week of logistical planning.  There's a lot that goes into that day, so we riders have to be ready for everything.  We fly in Wednesday night in time to get some rest for the big ride.  Thursday morning, we will head to the grocery and get salty snacks (which keep you from having to potty on the float) and beer for the float's cooler.  Then we'll head over to the parade's den, which is the warehouse where the floats are stored, to load my glitter shoes, any extra beads I ordered (the main package I order is pre-loaded and labeled by type of bead), my warm weather clothes, and my food and drinks.  We always take a few minutes to look around and admire the humor and beauty of the floats.  In another life, I'd like to come back as a float designer!!!

A picture of my sister and me loading beads and shoes on to the float.


   Once things are settled in the float, I am ready to start my day with the ladies!  We meet at a friend's house where we will have our makeup done - picture tons of glitter and fake eyelashes.  Together we head to my float's annual luncheon at Galatoire's.  Galatoire's in the quintessential Mardi Gras restaurant where people wait in line for hours to get their favorite table, and it such an amazing place to start our Muses celebration. 
By the end of our meal, we are more excited than can be put into words to head to our next event - the Krewe of Muses pre-parade party!!
   The pre-party is held at the Contemporary Arts Center and is exclusive to riders only.  There are tables of food and well stocked bars, there are decorations galore, and a huge dance floor!!  There is a table for every float where you gather with your fellow riders and chat the day away.  At the pre-party, the winner of the headdress contest is named.  This is a huge honor for the float that wins as you get to ride in the very first float of the following year's parade.  We spend hours catching up with friends and dancing and singing the Krewe's annual theme song.  Then around 4:15 comes the sound of what seems like one thousand sirens as the motorcylce unit of the NOPD arrives to announce that we are ready to board our floats and start the long drive along the river.  About forty minutes after boarding, we will get to the starting point of the parade and wait for a while until the two parades that precede us have sent their last float rolling toward St. Charles Ave.  And somewhere between 7:30 pm and 8:00 pm, we will begin to hear whispers that we are ready to roll.  Before too long, we will be riding along the grandest street in the city tossing treasured trinkets to strangers and friends alike.  It is truly a magical experience and one I cannot wait to a part of again this year!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Trendy Wednesday - Its Raining, Its Pouring




Does it feel to you like when it isn't absolutely freezing outside, it is pouring sheets of rain upon us?  I know that's how it feels in Beaufort.  It must be that way in NYC too, because last night I received an email request from my friend Jen asking me to post about rain boots.  Her favorite pair of Steve Madden rain boots have seen better days, and with all of the rainy walks she takes in Manhattan to get from here to there, she is in desperate need of a new pair.  She mentioned seeing a ton of girls walking in the city with some very stylish rain boots that have a label on the top front of the boots.  I have done a little searching and found a few cute pairs that range in price and style.  I'm hoping that one of them will be the perfect pair to spend a little rainy day money on.

This adorable fleur de lis pair can be found at Target and are a great value.  



There are these Hunter Original Classic Glossy Rain Boots.  I'm wondering if these might be the mystery pair!!  They come in an array of colors like green, yellow, fuchsia, and camel.  I love the buckle detail and the height of these boots.


I am loving the feminine detail to these Kate Spade Randi Rain Boots.  Between the bow and the stacked heel I think you could wear these to work on a rainy day and feel as stylish as you would with a perfect pair of pumps on.


Of course, there is the classic Burberry Rain Boot for those of you who might be interested in a rainy day splurge.  Imagine how cute these would look with skinny jeans and a camel colored trench coat!!



My ultimate pastime is shopping for friends when they need help finding something they're looking for.  If you ever have an idea for a trendy Wednesday or are looking for something in particular, let me know.  I'd love to help!!!

Tasty Tuesday - Turkey Curry



   At the start of this new year, I began working out again with my personal trainer Bojan (thank you Christmas bonus!).  I get to a point each year, usually right after the holidays, where I finally have that moment of feeling ready to commit to being healthier.  Bojan helps with this as he is very strict about exercise and diet, but he is also very encouraging.  I need positive affirmations that I am doing well and am on the path towards reaching my goal, and having recognized this in me, I can tell he goes out of his way to push me but also to praise my successes.
   My first session with Bojan was last Tuesday, and I could tell he took it a little easier on me than he wanted to, but I was pooped halfway through.  I ran for 25 minutes Wednesday (15 minutes straight, five minute walking break, ten minutes running) for a personal best.  Yay!  I met with Bojan again on Friday, and this time he was no Mr. Nice Guy.  As tired as I was after our session, I also felt great.  I met with him again yesterday, and in six days I have lost 1.8 pounds!!!  I was hoping for nine pounds in six weeks, so with any luck and some hard work I'll get there. 
  Bojan is very big on eating your veggies.  He actually reccomends two days a week where you eat only fruits, veggies, and beans.  Hmmm...  That part is where I fall short sometimes.  This next recipe could certainly be adapted to fit this criteria, though, and it would have all the flavor in the world without the fat.  When trying to prepare healthier meals, I often head to the international recipes on myrecipes.com because they are so filled with flavor.  This one is no exception.  We made this for dinner on Sunday and substituted cubed chicken for turkey, and we also added snap peas.  They added a nice crispness and a coolness to the dish that balance out the heat from the cayenne pepper I threw in.  You could easily pass on the turkey completely and add chickpeas and two cups of spinach to this and it would be wonderful!  Bojan would like that!!

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup turkey mixture and 1 1/2 teaspoons cilantro)

Ingredients

2 tablespoons canola oil  ( I used cooking spray)
1 1/2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large onion)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3 cups chopped cooked turkey (about 1 pound)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation

1. Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 4 minutes. Add flour and curry powder; sauté 1 minute. Stir in chicken broth; bring to a boil. Stir in turkey and salt. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until thickened. Sprinkle with cilantro.
For a creamy texture, you could add a dash of Greek yogurt, which is devine and fat free!!

Nutritional Information
Calories:229 (31% from fat)
Fat:7.9g (sat 0.8g,mono 4.3g,poly 2.3g)
Fiber:1.4g

How's everybody else's new year fitness routines coming along?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Kickoff to Carnival Party



This Saturday we decided to have a Kickoff to Carnival party at our house.  The kickoff part to celebrate the start of the NFL playoffs and the Carnival part because it is officially Mardi Gras season.  I made my specialty - roast beef po-boys.  I also made that Mam Papaul's King Cake I mentioned here.  I absolutely love this boxed mix.  It comes with everything you need to make the cake including the dough mix, the praline filling mix, the icing mix, a baby, and purple/green/gold sprinkles.  Perfection in a box!!  I do however make one adjustment, and that is to make my own cinnamon buttercream icing.  I prefer it over the mix that comes in the box for its texture and additional flavor.

Cinnamon Buttercream Icing
Box Powdered Sugar
Stick of Softened Butter
Teaspoon Vanilla
Teaspoon and a Half Ground Cinnamon
Milk

Cream butter in a mixer on medium.  Turn to low and add powdered sugar.  Add in both cinnamon and vanilla.  Blend in milk until icing is thin enough to pour off of a spoon.  Chill.

After removing the cake from the oven, I pour on the icing immediately so that it melts over the cake.  Repeat this step a second time to ensure a nice layer of frosting.  It helps keep the cake moist.  Add sprinkles while frosting is still warm so they stick.

You will have plenty of frosting left over, and it would be perfect on pancakes or banana bread muffins.

Thanks for everyone who came and helped us start the Mardi Gras season off on the right foot - with a party!!

Nervous Nelly Here...

Since we had a bye this weekend, I found myself pretty relaxed going into this round of the playoffs.  I enjoyed watching the three games that led up to the final game last night.  Then the clock struck 4:30 yesterday and we started watching the Packers and the Cardinals play and I began to feel a wave of anxiety rush over me.  Literally, I felt my tummy turning and I had all of this jittery energy.  You see,  the winner of that game would end being our opponent in 6 days!!!  After an amazing display of offenses, we now know that we will be playing the high flying Cardinals this Saturday at 3:30 pm in the Louisiana Superdome. 
And I can tell you that my tummy hasn't stopped turning.  How will I get through this week!!  I go through an array of emotions every minute.  From excitement to fear, anxiety to complete and utter confidence, I have felt every degree of emotion you feel when you're beloved team will be competing for a spot in the biggest game of them all.

I leave this Friday after work to head down to New Orleans.  Mark is on call and can't go to this round (he's holding out for the NFC championship game), so my sister will going to the game with me.  I'll have my Drew Brees jersey on and she'll have her Marques Colston jersey on, so the offense will be well represented.  What we have to hope is that our defense shows up and plays lights out!

If Drew Brees (our should have been named the MVP quarterback) needed any bulletin board material to psych himself up for Saturday's game, Arizona's safety Antrel Rolle sure gave him some when he said, “Let me tell you something – that dude is scary,” Arizona free safety Antrel Rolle said of Rodgers. “We have a great defense, and we were up on him and ready to pounce, and he found ways to tear us apart.  “I don’t ever want to face him again in my life. I am dead serious. I’ll face Drew Brees any day of the week before I face him again.”


Be careful what you wish for, Antrel.  You'll get to play Drew Saturday!!!

WHO DAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Steals and Deals @ Anthropologie

I have since the very first time I stepped foot in an Anthropologie (in Santa Monica) been in love with everything about their clothes and home goods, except the too high price tags!  One of my favorite pastimes is looking through their sale items online.  You can always find some really great deals if you're patient enough to wait for things to hit the sale racks.  Yesterday I put in an order for the following things...


This sweet little faux fur swing jacket.  I love the color and the length.  



This beautiful satin tank that will look so pretty under the jacket above.  I also recently got this black velvet blazer from the Banana Republic outlet (for $40), and I think it would look lovely paired with this top.


Finally, I found this beautiful faux wrap ponte knit black skirt.  You can never have enough black pencil skirts!!




Have you found any good deals recently??

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I'm wishing for...

A morning snowfall!  We have the very tiniest chance of seeing one tomorrow!!


It's not snowing yet, but it sure is cold.  It's a good I am now the happy owner of this beautiful scarf (in the prettiest robin's egg blue) from my buddies over at threerightsandaleft!



What are you doing to stay warm??



Krewe of Muses - Five Weeks and Counting

With only five weeks left until the Krewe of Muses takes to the street of New Orleans, I have been making list after list detailing all of the items required when one rides in the grandest parade of all.  Our costume is provided by the krewe and changes colors annually (this year it is red with pink trim).  Also provided by the krewe are our masks, which are required by city ordinance to worn by all riders at all times.  Of course, no costume would be complete without an array of accessories!

This is where the lists come in!  You see, growing up in New Orleans I came to assume that in every town and city in this country existed five or six costume shops containing all of the things a girl could ever need.  So, our first year living in Beaufort, I let time slip through my hands and realized the week before we were leaving to go home for the parade that I had not yet run by our local costume shop to pick up my accessories.  Hmmm...  per yellowpages.com, there did not seem to be a listing for a costume shop.  That couldn't be right.  I just knew my friend, Jaime, would most certainly know where the Beaufort costume shop was located.  So I call her to ask where I could find things like boas, satin gloves, red fishnets, legwarmers, etc.  And with a sweet giggle she informed me that no shop like that existed here.  What??  Was I the crazy one?  Was I seriously the only one who had an urgent need for the tackiest of tacky?  The thing is, until I realized that noone else had a need for these things on a regular basis, I didn't even consider them tacky! 

So that's where the list comes in!  Now I plan ahead!!!  My goal for this week is to have all of my accessories ordered.  So here's a recap of what I need...

A pink sequin fanny pack to store my phone, camera, ids, money, keys.  Once a girl put her stuff in a Muses parade bag and someone accidentally through it to a parade-goer.  That is my greatest fear.  So, the fanny pack ensures that all my stuff stays with me! Hot right!

A set of pink satin gloves, a fluffy pink boa (you wouldn't believe how warm these keep you) and a pair of pink leg warmers.


Done, done, done, and done!  Here's a picture of us in all our finest from last year...



Can't wait to show you a picture from this year!!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails