I like to collect Nora Roberts novels whenever I am at library book sales or used book stores.  I completed a couple of series thanks to a book stall in a market in New Orleans, and actually read a series while road tripping all summer.

Nora’s Bride Quartet has been a favorite of mine since their publication in 2009 (missing in the picture above is Vision in White, the first in the series).  It is a modern series following life long friends who go into business together planning weddings.  I think I love it so much because it reminds me of a grown up baby sitters club, even taking the time to describe what all of the characters is wearing.

This series is peak romance, and perfect for long road trips.  But only if you are into sugary-sweet romance!

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!

WKND: Des Moines

WKND: Des Moines


Here are some highlights from my fun filled trip to Des Moines, Iowa!

The Library!


The library, of course!!  I try to see the main library of every new city that I visit, this is my artsy shot of the central library in downtown Des Moines.  So many things that I love about this place.  It was new (built in 2006) and obviously had a modern library mindset when designing the space.  New books were attractively displayed right by the checkout stations for a quick visit.  Meaning, how do people use the library today?  The main collections were organized in an intuitive way.  The kid space was fabulous.  Displays were lowered to a child’s level and there were other activities for children to explore during their visit (legos, audiobooks, toys for babies).  I also really loved how they set up their picture books: IMG_0519

The programming at the library was great too! I took a lot of flyers for ideas later.  Sarah, Maya and I went to a storytime so that I could take notes for my upcoming preschool storytime at school! We had a blast!


Our Wanderings!

After breakfast we spent the mornings wandering around Des Moines.  The first day we went to the Central Library and the neighboring Sculpture Park.  The next day we stopped by the weekly downtown farmer’s market (a great spot to people watch and eat delicious cookies) and shopping in the East Village district which I highly recommend if you are looking for a great neighborhood to explore!



So many great coffee places in Des Moines.  I liked the brand new coffee shop, Horizon Line, which gave me nice Brooklyn vibes.  The menu was limited but the iced coffee was on point.

I also loved Ritual Cafe, which reminded me of college and had been blessed by Buffalo, NY goddess, Wendie Malick.



Whenever Sarah and I get together, we craft.  I started working on my loom and Sarah worked on her Cacti while we watched Pretty Little Liars on Netflix.

Art Terrarium!

IMG_0555I want to plug my favorite shop of the trip, Art Terrarium.  It is a combination plant shop and art gallery and I wanted to buy everything in it.  It got me thinking about what kind of store I would have if I took two things that I love and combined them.  The answer I came up with was Magazines and Ice Cream!



Oh man, I love these guys so much that I got teary towards the end of the trip!  I can’t wait to visit Des Moines again!