NOLA Bonus! All the stuff I ate

NOLA Bonus! All the stuff I ate

Trent caught me in states of carb fueled bliss a few times during our trips.  Here are some of my favorite shots:


Staring off lovingly at the incoming shrimp at Arnaud’s. (Birthplace of my fave cocktail, the French 75!)

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Smiling at a baby (or was it my almond croissant?) at French Truck Coffee.


I think I was just lovingly looking at a glass of bourbon here…at d.b.a. Fun fact, I forgot my regular glasses that night so spent the night dancing in my prescription sunglasses like I was in the blues brothers!


Lingering in the Gumbo shop.  It wasn’t my favorite place, but the company was great 🙂

NOLA-Part Two

NOLA-Part Two

sunset on Canal St. img by trent!


My favorite part of both of my trips to New Orleans this summer were the long leisurely strolls.    Yesterday I talked about finding great coffee and museums, today it is all about my favorite FREE institutions, public parks and public libraries!


I was able to get a glimpse of City Park when I visited the art museum.  But I spent more time in Audubon park.  The park is 350 acres in Uptown New Orleans, filled with joggers (how you run in 100 degree heat is beyond me!) cyclists and families.  It is home to the most photogenic trees I have ever seen as well as a Zoo, Aquarium, and Butterfly garden!  Parking is tricky but we arrived after 6PM when it was a little cooler and more spots open by the entrance.  I can imagine it would be a bit harder to park when school is in session (Audubon park is very close to Tulane University and Loyola University, across the street really) but it is worth the hassle.  My only regret is not getting a picture of Trent dominating the plyo boxes!  Next time!

The Library!


I thought we wouldn’t be able to visit a public library but, we were able to squeeze in a visit to Uptown’s branch before it closed on our last day in town!

The Milton H. Latter memorial library started as just another giant house for a wealthy family in the early 20th century.  It changed hands a couple times, first it was the home of a family that owned a big New Orleans department store, then it was sold to an aviation pioneer and his silent film star wife.  If was eventually purchased by the Latter family who wished to build a public library to honor their son, Milton, who died fighting in WWII.

The library was so beautiful, I mean, look at one of the reading rooms!!



The children’s room was warm and inviting and featured Drew Brees and his favorite book, (the itsy bitsy spider, lol).   The adult stacks were small but made great use of the space.  Trent and I had a lot of fun looking through the books that the library had to offer.  It was an inspiring visit, I took all of their flyers for future programming inspiration!

And finally….DANCE PARTY


It is not difficult to find a dance party in New Orleans.  In fact you can be having dinner and one will pop up across the street!


Trent and I took a cab to Frenchmen Street and popped in and out of bars, dancing to brass band music.  My favorite spots were d.b.a. and Blue Nile.  Oh, and Praline Connection for dinner!

So there you have it! Just a tiny bit of the New Orleans experience!  Every time I go, there is more to see and do, I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of visiting!

NOLA: Part One

NOLA: Part One

Jackson Square
  1. Get Coffee
  2. Go to a museum
  3. Go to a park
  4. Find a local library
  5. Dance Party

These are the 5 things I try to do on every trip I take!  I don’t always get to it, and sometimes my dance party is bouncing around with my friend’s baby in her living room (just as fun!) but I keep these goals in mind when I’m planning a trip.

So here is my attempt to get through my check list in New Orleans!

First, the coffee!


It was blazing hot at 10 in the morning in NOLA so it makes sense that their iced coffee game is on point! My favorite iced coffee was at District Doughnuts in the Lower Garden District. The baked goods were out of control too.


We also spent some time at French Truck Coffee on Chartres Street in the French Quarter.  They have other locations in the city and Memphis.  The coffee was really good, and we split an out of this world almond croissant.  Loved finding a quiet place to read and relax in the French Quarter!

We  filled up on regular coffee at The Grill in the French Quarter.  This is THE place to go, especially after a night out!  The omelettes are enormous and can keep you full till dinner.  Just make sure you know what you want right away, waiters are not fans on indecisive people!

Oh, and Cafe Du Monde’s iced chicory coffee is a must!!  (While getting at least two orders of beignets obviously!)

Next, museums!

We went to two different museums.  The first was the Historic New Orleans Collection in the French Quarter.  I like this one because it is free!  I didn’t take any picture though, I think it was because the docents there are VERY helpful and if they saw me slow down and look at something they would come over. Which is nice!  I know!  But I was in the “quick browsing” mood.  So, its very nice.  Nice people work there, really interesting stuff about the history on NOLA and it has a great gift shop.

I did get my camera out at the New Orleans Museum of Art 


The museum is located at the edge of NOLA’s City Park, which would be really fun to explore, I think, if it weren’t over 100 degrees outside.  There is also a free sculpture garden outside of the museum that we will have to check out the next time we are there. Admission to the museum was 12 dollars.

Here was a piece that was especially inspiring!


This is quilted!  Amazing!

Tomorrow I will get into the rest of my check list!

well, hello!

well, hello!


I just can’t believe it has been almost a month since I last wrote!!  I have been doing some summer travel, first to New Orleans, then to Buffalo, and then….New Orleans again!  Phew!  I am pretty tried but also very inspired with new reading lists, library and craft projects, and life goals (baking Italian cookies, anyone?)

But I’m back at it, reading some great books and planning on some new projects!  See you online!

one pot cooking

one pot cooking

Our cookbook project brought us to a shelf that held mostly baking books (641.8) which would have been tough for our dinner project.  Luckily the shelf was also the start of the section with one pot recipe cookbooks! (641.82)


One pot recipes are so popular because of the promise of a quick clean up.  Since washing dishes is usually my job in the house, I was down to take this on.  And while the recipe we chose only used one pot (a wok to be more specific) I didn’t have much of a break in the dish-washing department.  We decided on a stir-fry which involves a lot of prep before hand since the actual cooking happens so fast which means lots of tiny bowls.


It also requires a lot of reading and re-reading before you actually get started.  In this project, Trent does the prep work and I try to actually cook.  It was pretty successful this time, although he had to jump in and take over during a few key (chicken cooking) moments.  I am not as speedy as I need to be on the wok!  And you need to be or everything will taste terrible!


Some takeaways:

  • Trent already knows how to make amazing stir-frys (my opinion not his) so he had to ignore his own cooking impulses when making this dish.
  • Stylish One-Dish Dinners is good, but not worth buying
  • Fish sauce smells terrible and makes you think dinner will be terrible but is actually pretty good!
  • The recipe, Chicken Walnut Stir-Fry was okay, the main takeaway for us is that it inspired us to use more Napa Cabbage in stir-frys.


Until next time!

BKLST: Books about Reading!

BKLST: Books about Reading!

Here are some of my favorite picture books that are all about reading picture books!

Lola Loves Stories is about how a book can inspire your imagination!  Lola reads a book with her mom or dad and the next day she pretends to be the characters in the books that she loves!  My favorite part is when she reads a book about friendship and then meet up with her friend Ben for cappuccinos!

How to Read a Story is a step by step guide on how to enjoy a great story.  The book covers important steps like finding a great book, a perfect reading spot and someone to read with!

Duncan the Story Dragon is a great book written by a local author, who has visited my school library! Duncan is a dragon that loves to read, so much that his excitement causes him to breathe fire which as you can imagine is terrible for books! I read this one as an introduction to taking care of books.

The Book With No Pictures  has truth in advertising, there are no pictures and shows kids a book can be just as entertaining without illustrations.  Preschoolers often request this one because of the hilarious things that it makes the reader say!



So what have I been up to?? Well I watched Glow this weekend.  My prediction is a bunch of wrestling workout classes popping up in NYC and LA in the next few months!  I also had a feast at Monnik on Friday with my friend Anne.  I like this spot because you can get a tiny sample of beer instead of a full pint, that is the amount of beer that I want to drink.  Any more and my drink-nursing habits leaves beer too warm!  We also split three dishes (fries were a major component of this meal) and drinks and it only came to 15 bucks each!  I love a great and cheap meal.

I read a lot this weekend as well.  A great book for kids called The Wild Robot by picture book author Peter Brown and a YA (but could easily be for middle grade) book Jordan Sonnenblick called Falling over Sideways that made me burst out in tears in the middle of Heine Bros! (this happens more often than I’d care to admit!)

So all in all a very relaxing weekend!  This week I am planning to do some work in my library, take a couple walks, and then head out on my second road trip of the summer!