Monday, January 31, 2011

SAG Award Fashion Review

The 2011 SAG awards were filled with fabulous red carpet looks.  Here's a few that I loved!

Lea Michele in Oscar de la Renta
This dress truly sparkled!  It showed off Lea Michele's incredibly teeny waistline. I loved the gold belt paired with her gold platform pumps.

Jennifer Lawrence in Oscar de la Renta
I thought the color in this gown was spectacular!!!  And the draping is perfect!

Mila Kunis in Alexander McQueen Resort 2010
The hair, the makeup, the dress - gorgeous!

January Jones in Carolina Herrera
I love that January Jones is willing to take a fashion risk.  This dress is my favorite of her choices!

Annette Benning in Tony Ward Couture and Warren Beatty
They are truly Hollywood royalty!

Julianna Margulies in Yves Saint Laurent and Keith Lieberthal 
Julianna looks so amazing in this shade of red!!!  She deserved the SAG and the best dressed honors!

Hailee Steinfeld  in Prada
I loved her in True Grit, and I loved her on the red carpet!  This dress was perfectly age appropriate.  The color choice and pattern were adorable, and the mermaid skirt added such a sense of whimsy!

Who were your favorites?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Dinner Party!

Mark and I are all dressed up and getting ready to head over to Trish and Matt's for a dinner party!  I do love a dinner party - good food, lively music, bubbly, conversation.  All my favorite things!


Monday, January 24, 2011

Best Stuff Ever...

Moving back home four months ago has made dieting quite a challenge.  While I did recently sign up for a gym membership, I also discovered the MOST delicious ice cream ever made.  I've only tried the coffee and chicory, so I can't speak for the other flavors like praline crunch, Pontchatoula strawberry, and bananas foster, but I can honestly say it is the most flavorful, perfectly textured ice cream I have ever tasted.

Locally, I have found it at Rouses and Winn Dixie, but if you're in need of a taste of New Orleans, you can order it


Has anybody else discovered this tasty treat?  What's your favorite flavor?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

One year ago today

One year ago today, we waited with bated breath as the Saints took the NFC Championship game into overtime.  We waited as almost each and every play of that overtime drive was reviewed for accuracy.  We waited as Garrett Hartley took the field to attempt the most important kick in team history.  And we watched in awe as the football sailed through the uprights sending our New Orleans Saints to its first ever Superbowl.  

The joyous celebration in our section no. 631 was truly one of the most memorable moments of my life.  We were able to catch some of the excited on film...

Watching all of the coverage of the championship games this morning makes me very sentimental.  I would love to relive last season over again.  I imagine that with Drew Brees as our quarterback, we will have more opportunities to challenge for the NFC title and take the incredible trip that is the road to the Superbowl.  But the more I think about it, the more I realize that there will never be a season as special as last year's.  It was truly magical.  It was dreamlike.  It was destiny.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I'm loving...

Here are just a few things I am loving this week!

Coach Honora Wedges on HUGE SALE!!!!!  Aren't they to die for!  

These Betsey Johnson Bow Earrings  that are cute and classy!

Watching Americal Idol auditions live from New Orleans.  Did anybody else tear up when the music teacher made it through?  
Arcade Fire, Bon Jovi, Jimmy Buffett, Kid Rock, John Mellencamp, Wilco, Willie Nelson, The Strokes, Robert Plant, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Tom Jones, Jeff Beck, Sonny Rollins, John Legend & The Roots, The Avett Brothers, Cyndi Lauper, Wyclef Jean, Mumford & Sons, Alejandro Sanz, Jason Mraz, Maze feat. Frankie Beverly, Lupe Fiasco, Arlo Guthrie, Jamey Johnson, Fantasia, Kenny G, Michael Franti & Spearhead, The Decemberists, Gregg Allman Blues Band, Vickie Winans, Lucinda Williams, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Robert Cray, Bobby Blue Bland, Mighty Clouds of Joy, Edie Brickell, Keb’ Mo’, Rance Allen, Ahmad Jamal, FourplayRicky Skaggs, Amos Lee, Jesse Winchester, Michelle Shocked, Tabou Combo, RAM, and Boukman Eksperyans of Haiti, Punch Brothers, Ron Carter Trio, Fisk Jubilee Singers, Ivan Lins, Charlie Musselwhite, Maceo Parker with guest Pee Wee Ellis and more are all among the national and international guest artists scheduled to appear at the 42nd edition of the Jazz Fest.
Hundreds of Louisiana artists, the heart and soul of the Festival, are scheduled to appear, such as: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, The Neville Brothers, Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, Irma Thomas, Mystikal, Pete Fountain, Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers, Better Than Ezra, Rebirth Brass Band, Galactic, Tab Benoit, The Radiators, Cowboy Mouth,  Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, Marcia Ball, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Ellis Marsalis, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Sonny Landreth, Henry Butler, Papa Grows Funk, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, John Boutté, Terence Blanchard, Amanda Shaw, The New Orleans Bingo! Show, Jon Cleary, Partners N Crime with 5th Ward Weebie, Soul Rebels Brass Band, Joseph Zigaboo Modeliste, Glen David Andrews, Anders Osborne, Buckwheat Zydeco, George Porter, Jr. & Runnin’ Pardners, Big Freedia & Sissy Nobby, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes, MyNameIsJohnMichael, Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. & the Zydeco Twisters, Zachary Richard, Warren Storm - Willie Tee & Cypress, Honey Island Swamp Band, Bonerama, John Mooney & Bluesiana, Nicholas Payton, Irvin Mayfield & the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Jeremy Davenport, Deacon John, Donald Harrison, Astral Project, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Golden Eagles, Banu Gibson, Shamarr Allen, Pine Leaf Boys, Mia Borders, Hot 8, Mahogany, New Birth & Pinstripe Brass Bands, Roots of Music Marching Crusaders Band, The Creole Wild West Mardi Gras Indians plus many more.

The 2011 New Orleans Jazz Fest Schedule that was announce today!  It looks AMAZING!

That it's 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Krewe of Muses - SIX WEEKS AND COUNTING!!!!

I cannot tell you just how excited I am that my sixth ride with the Krewe of Muses is only SIX weeks away!  My float found out this week what our float theme is, and it is saucy!!  It's a secret until the ride, so mums the word.  I can't wait to share all the details with you when the time is right.

Our float has been working hard to organize all of the activities for parade day.  We have reserved two party buses that will take us on a fun tour of the Quarter from around ten am until it's time for our annual luncheon at Galatoire's.  We will have a fabulous and very festive lunch before heading off to the Krewe's pre-party.  Before we know it, we will be loading the floats!!!!  The closer it gets the more excited I become!  I'm starting to get butterflies in my tummy!!!!

I was a shoe decorating fool last Saturday.  I finished ten shoes!  That's 16 total which makes me halfway there!  We are allowed to bring 30 shoes on the float, but I usually make one for my parents, one for my sister, one for Mark and me, and one extra just in case.

Here's a few pictures of last Saturday's batch...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tasty Tuesdays: S'mores Brownie Bars

Photo Courtesy of My Baking Addiction

So I was catching up on last night's episode of The Bachelor, and I am loving Emily.  She is just precious!!!  I thought her date with Brad was perfect for her.  Classy and fun-filled.  When she opened her eyes and saw how beautifully lit the barn was, she seemed so touched.  The slow going fire pit made me hungry for s'mores!  So I started doing a little searching for recipes that didn't require large flames and coat hangers.

And that's how I cam across this fabulous blog
My Baking Addiction!  This recipe sounds INCREDIBLE!!!!!  I'm trying so hard to eat healthier, but these sound too good to pass up!

S’mores Brownie Bars

Yields 16 servings
For the crust:
1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons unsalted butter; melted
2 tablespoons sugar

For the brownie layer:
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

For the topping:
20 large marshmallows; cut in half

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch-square metal baking pan with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, 6 tablespoons of melted butter in a bowl and mix until the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom of the pan and bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes. Allow crust to cool on wire rack.
3. Turn the oven temperature up to 400 degrees and prepare the brownie layer.
4. In top of a double boiler set over barely simmering water, or on low power in a microwave, melt butter and chocolate together. Stir often, and remove from heat when a few lumps remain. Stir until smooth.
5. Stir in sugar, vanilla and salt. Stir in eggs one at a time, followed by flour. Stir until very smooth, about 1 minute, until mixture pulls away from sides of bowl. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake for 18 minutes.
6. Let cool completely, then lift out using the foil and place brownies onto a broiler safe pan. Move your oven rack about 6 inches from your broiler and preheat your broiler to low.
7. Layer marshmallows (sticky side down) across the top and toast under the broiler until golden, (watch this like you have never watched anything before…it can burn QUICK), about 2 minutes. Cool and cut into 16 (two inch) squares.

Note: The brownie recipe is adapted from Alice Medrich
Are you watching this season of The Bachelor?  Who are you pulling for?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pink and Green Thursday: Behind the Mask

At this exact time exactly seven weeks from now, I will be on a float rolling down St. Charles Ave.!  Float 19 to be exact!!!  We won't know our exact riding positions for a few more weeks, but I'll gladly pass that info along once I know it!  

There is really nothing I love more than Mardi Gras.  I love the excitement and the pomp and circumstance of it all.  I love the history and the tradition.  The sounds of marching bands and revelers.  There is simply nothing like it.  

And it's finally almost here!

Click on the photos for credits...

Trish is back to posting Pink and Green Thursdays.  You can click HERE for other entries!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tasty Tuesdays: Brown Sugar and Chipotle Baked Butternut Squash

Photo from

A few days ago, I mentioned that I went to the Hollygrove Market and Farm this weekend.  Aside from the wonderful basket of produce, I also bought two beautiful butternut squash. When roasted it happens to be my very favorite veggie!  If cooked just right, it is tender and sweet and perfectly caramelized.  I am a slightly impatient roaster, so I have a tendency to remove the squash before the flesh has a chance to brown fully, but I have promised myself that tomorrow I really will leave it in the oven for 45 minutes!!!  It just starts to smell so delicious.  I love the blend of the spiciness and smokiness of the chipotle pepper with the sweet flavor of the brown sugar.  We will be pairing this with a roasted prok tenderloin.  Yum!

PS - I found this recipe HERE!  Veggie Belly features some awesome recipes.  You should head over there and check it out.  I always love finding new recipe sources!

Brown Sugar and Chipotle Baked or Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe
serves about 2 as a side dish
1 small butternut squash, about 3/4 lb
1 teaspoon olive oil or butter
3 tablespoons light brown sugar, more or less depending on how sweet you like it
1/4 tea spoon chipotle powder, or according to taste

Pre heat oven to 350 f
Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Place the squash, cut side up, in an oven proof dish or baking tray that has been lined with foil. Brush olive oil or butter over the cut surfaces and insides of the squash. Sprinkle brown sugar, chipotle, and salt on the squash. I like to sprinkle just a little on top and put most the brown sugar mixture in the cavity of the squash.
Bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes or till the squash is soft and sugar is bubbly but not burnt. Check on it periodically while baking, because sugar will burn easily.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Muses Shoes 2011 - Just Getting Started

Many of you know, from my posts last year, that I ride in a Mardi Gras parade.  I am a member of the Krewe of Muses, a group of spirited and creative ladies that composes one Carnival's newest and certainly most popular parades.  Each and every year I wonder if I will have the same level of excitement about riding as I did the year before.  And each year the answer is - HECK YES!!!!

While all of our throws ( a little term we use to refer to the variety of items we toss into the crowd) are FABULOUS, there is none more popular than our hand crafted shoes.  For miles along the route, we can hear  revelers calling for "a shoe, a shoe!"  I typically start decorating my shoes over Labor Day and continuing to decorate them while watching college football on Saturdays.  However, this year with all of the commotion of the move, I  never did make time for crafting.  With less than two months left until we ride, I finally sat down yesterday armed with a glue gun, glitter, and more bolts of trim that a fabric store.  I was able to complete six shoes which leaves me about 28 more to go.  

Here's a few pictures of what I've got so far...

Hail Muses!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

It Was the Perfect Saturday, Until...

I had quite possibly the perfect start to a Saturday.  Mark went to play golf with one of our friends, so my dad joined Beignet and me on a walk through our neighborhood and around Audubon Park while my mom went to Italian class.  It was a cold and crisp day but the sun was shining so brightly.  The park looked beautiful!!  So beautiful, in fact, that a movie production company chose it as the spot to set up base camp for a film they are filming here. I didn't spy and celebs, but it was fun to try!

The view of this fountain is my absolute favorite!

After our walk, my dad and I dropped Beignet off and went to the Hollygrove Market and Farm.  Please read more about it HERE!!!  It is a special place.  
There website says that "Since 2008, Hollygrove Market & Farm has worked to increase access of fresh, local produce to Hollygrove and the surrounding neighborhoods. Through our twice weekly produce market, community gardens, and mentor farmers we are able to provide residents with an affordable option for fresh, local produce as well as resources and space to cultivate their knowledge of growing healthy food."

I fell in love with the farm and market immediately, as did my dad.  He is an avid gardener, and I imagine the community garden being something he could take part in when he retires.  
At the market you have the option of buying process, herbs, dairy products, and meat individually, but you can also purchase a basket of pre-determined products for just $25.    Below is what came in this week's basket.

-Organic Grapefruit (1) (English Turn, LA)  

 -Satsumas (3) 
(Braithwaite, LA)

Green Onions (1 bunch) (Hungarian Stlmt., LA) 

-Strawberries (1.5 pints) (Hungarian Stlmt., LA)

-Cabbage (1 head) (Ponchatoula, LA)

-Broccoli (1 head) (Hungarian Stlmt., LA) 

-Shiitake Mushrooms (1 bag) (MS)

-Large Purple Top Turnips (2) (Ponchatoula, LA)

-Mustard Greens (1 bunch) (Garyville, LA)  

-Brown Jasmine Rice (1 bag) (Kinder, LA)

-Tomatoes (2) (Ponchatoula, LA)

-Organic LA Sweets (2) (English Turn, LA)

It was amazing to walk away from the market with a basket of beautiful produce grown just miles from the city.  I loved knowing that the food we would using this week was grown right here by our local farmers!

Of course, soon after we finished our shopping, we were ready to get to the most important part of our day - the Saints game.  And that's where things took a turn for the worse.  As you may know, our Saints failed to beat the Seattle Seahawks in their bid for a spot in the divisional round of the playoffs.  I can't say I wasn't disappointed.  Of course I was.  But for some reason, it also made me realize just how very lucky we were to experience last season.  There will never be another season like it.  It was truly a season of destiny.  I am not ready for our reign to be over, but I will also never forget how amazing it has been to be the World Champion New Orleans Saints!  

Bless You Boys!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

NY Resolution: Get Back to Blogging & Mardi Gras Party Photos

I have missed my daily routine of reading about is going on in your worlds and telling you a little about mine.  I had no idea how all consuming it would be to get settled after our move home.  We have been back a little over three months and living in our new house for two, and I think this is the first weekend that I have really felt "at home." We've been adjusting to new jobs, and new friends, and new commitments, and I think we're finally in a place where life is normal.  Which means - more blogging!!!!  YAY!!!

I thought I'd catch you up on a very fun party we had this week. This past Thursday, January 6th, Mark and I hosted a King Cakes and Kegerator party.  Why?  Because January 6th, or the Feast of the Epiphany, is the official start to the Carnival season.  Last year I posted all about the significance of this special day (read more HERE).   We had about 25 friends and family members over where we ate roast beef po-boys, various types of King Cakes (we had a Randazzo's plain, a Winn Dixie cream cheese filled, and a Rouses  strawberry cream cheese).  Mmmmm!  We also got to sample cold draft beer from Mark's new Krups Kegerator (which makes an AWESOME present!!!)!!!

Here's a few photos of our house all dressed up for Mardi Gras!

I'm proudly flying my Krewe of Muses flag!!!  We roll March 3rd!  You can read about my experience riding in the parade HERE!

Christmas wreath - down.  Purple, green, and gold Mardi Gras wreath - UP!!!!

Our Mardi Gras Tablescape - all supplies were purchased from Accent Annex

I love how the sprays SPARKLE!!!

And I thought this fun purple, green, and gold tinsel made the perfect vase filler.  Notice the lovely Ladies Ducal Pin at the center of the bow.  It features the crest of the Krewe that Mark has joined.  He rides the night after I do!  It's going to be a crazy Mardi Gras in our house!

Mardi Gras plates, knives, spoons, and forks!  How festive!!!

For the lucky few who "got the baby" in their slice of the King Cake, they went home with a new pair of Mardi Gras socks.  

We had such a great time welcoming in the 2011 Carnival season.  There's no time for the post-Christmas blues here when there's so much to do to get ready for another amazing Mardi Gras.  I am so excited, I can hardly stand it!

It's good to be home, and even better to feel settled.  I can't wait to catch up on what all of you have been up to in the New Year.

I'm off to gear up for the Saints game.  Four hours to kickoff!  WHO DAT!!!!!!!!!!!


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