NOLA

A few weeks back hubby and I got to go away, just the two of us!! It had been a few years since we were able to do such a thing, and boy did we enjoy it.  A company Joe works with flew us out to New Orleans for their annual conference.  We got to stay at this fancy hotel right in the French Quarter.

Pretty much as soon as we got there, we hit up Bourbon Street.  Disclaimer: If you take Bonine or Dramamine, I highly recommend not getting a Hurricane Drink.  I don’t do well on planes or with motion sickness in general, so I popped a Dramamine.  Oops.  I then didn’t really eat a whole lot because we traveled all day.  While I did chug a bunch of water, drinking this extra sugary beverage was not the best idea.  It was all fun in games until I came to a screeching halt! I survived, but didn’t enjoy Louisiana raw oysters….dem roast beef po boys though—mmm!

I felt much better after sleeping and the next morning we had breakfast at some funky little joint.  The french toast was to die for and of course I #putaneggonit

We went looking for my lifeline aka Starbucks, and stumbled onto the Mississippi River.  Haha typing that out reminds me of when my grandma used to make me spell it for her!

After our humbling experience at the Boone Hall Plantation last year, we definitely took note of the history here in New Orleans.

When we took a mini carriage ride/tour through the French Quarter, he shared with us the layouts of the homes.  There was usually a kitchen on the bottom, servants quarters above, small courtyard in between (to be like Versailles) and the owner’s home to the side or front?   Well, one night we were at a jazz bar and I went out back to use the bathroom, which I had to walk through a mini courtyard and when I opened the door to the ladies room this is what I saw!  How crazy, cool, weird and amazing was this?  The old ‘kitchen’ fireplace was still in tact.  Sure enough, there were a bunch of rooms above, which Joe and I thought gosh how hot it must have gotten in the servants areas!  I just loved seeing history like this.

On Tuesday we did a Food Tour with the whole group!  It was so cool.   I made sure to chug my water after my hurricane escapade the night before.

While we didn’t care for the raw oysters, these little guys were quite tasty!  Charbroiled, butter, lemon, wine, parm cheese & breadcrumbs–can’t go wrong there!!

Roast Beef Po’Boy.  So. Freaking. Good.  The French bread makes it!

We relaxed outside while waiting for the next round.

Fried Gator Bites!  It truly tasted just like chicken.  I’m wondering if this Remoulade sauce would taste like what we enjoyed down there.  I’ll have to ask my sister-in-law as she is from NOLA!

These shrimp were so tasty! I love dipping the bread in too…

Then as a dessert, we enjoyed Bread Pudding, which apparently you use the leftover French bread from the Po boys to make it.  I’ll need to find a recipe for this too! Any suggestions??

The owner of the company insisted we visit the Oldest Bar in America, Lafittes Blacksmith Shopso we basically had a giant happy hour here!

Wednesday was Joe’s 42nd birthday!! It was also the day where he had to speak on the panel.  Now, I don’t have to attend, but honestly I truly enjoy the keynote speaker and of course, I love supporting my husband.  I take credit in some of his success; he would not be able to get up and do all that he does, if I did not work 100% beside him doing all that I do.  We are a great team and if I can handle the behind the scenes stuff, then he can focus on his career.  Don’t get me wrong, I do work with our business too, but the main breadwinner is Joe.  Plus, I love getting all dolled up!

He actually won an award, I was so proud of him! He hates the extra attention, but he deserves all the applause.

Joe’s 42nd birthday, NOLA at a conference.

That evening we met for cocktails in hotel lounge and before we left for dinner, we stopped to admire my favorite –white roses!

The company pulled out all of the stops for their 20th Anniversary dinner.  We enjoyed French 75s at Arnauds as well as a spectacular dinner and conversations.

Our random table of new friends.  I was seated next to a Canadian foodie, but he’s not pictured.  We were going on and on about all the foods, drinks…he was a trip!

He was the one who ordered some fancy liquor and we toast to Joe, the company, life.

After celebrating into the night,  Joe had to wrap up the conference and by noon he was able to go grab lunch with me and see more.

That shrimp again!

This guy did me in, and I honestly think I’m still feeling its effects!!  Good old Buffalo sauce slathered on a fried oystery po boy.  #worthit

The one big #BUST of the trip was that for Joe’s birthday, I gifted him a really awesome racing experience, where he was to drive a Lambo around the NOLA race track.  Unfortunately, though it had not rained in 6 FREAKING WEEKS, it poured as we made our way 30 minutes there…thus resulting in no driving the Lambo.  I was crushed, pretty much in tears, and he was sad but not nearly as I!  I swear there will be a next time, maybe then my dad could drive and Bradley could watch.  Ugh, it totally sucked though, how cool would that have been??  He did sit and start it though… #lame.

We wandered around a little and I found William Faulkner’s house.  So cool!

We stuffed our faces, yet again with some po’boys.

One of my breakfasts was super yummy!  Loved this NOLA version of eggs benny…sweet potatoes yum!

We were at Café Beignet but didn’t try any.  #fail We did enjoy the view, live jazz music and some drinks…

Random old bar…

After our carriage ride/tour, we had to make sure we went back to the Oldest Bar in America for an authentic Hurricane.  According to our guide, he said these are the best on Bourbon St.  They use real juice, not a powder, so you don’t get all that nasty sugary taste/flavor and don’t feel sick afterwards!  It straight up tasted like juice, and I could see how very dangerous these could be!!

I was trying to have Joe take a photo of me in front of the bar/sign…this will do though! Haha.  It sums up the end of our getaway quite well:  Messy hair, crumbled red bull can/garbage…oh, Bourbon Street!

We attempted to rally that last night, but I could barely do dinner, I was beat.  My reflux/body had enough of the booze, the fried foods and all the things, so while I did enjoy a Muffalatta pizza, we were back in the hotel quite early.  I just couldn’t get into the whole drunken frat boy/puking scene happening on Bourbon.  BTW these shoes I bought specifically for NOLA and they did not disappoint! $20 and they were comfy, covered my toes from any–errr…grossness on Bourbon– and they seriously went with everything!

#ad

While we had so much fun and were so grateful for this experience, by Friday night/Saturday I was really missing my babies! We love traveling and it’s something that I want to do more of in years to come.  Rumor has it next year’s conference will be in Miami.  I haven’t been to South Beach since I was 20! Oh, I better prepare better for next time around!

9 Years

On 7.10.10 we celebrated 9 years of marriage!!

We were actually away this year, up in the mountains at Lake George.  It was so great to be able to hang out together all day!  Since my dad and step-mom came up for a few days, we hung out all day with them and my niece.  They stayed at a fun place right on the water with a beach, so we did a little beach day on the perfectly sunny day.

That night they took the kiddos to dinner so we could have a quiet fancy meal all to ourselves!  We tried out the The Club Grill at the Sagamore Golf course and OH MY GOODNESS!! It was so good.  We were originally going to just bring the kids, but we are so grateful my dad and step mom came up last minute!

Photo Op in the fantastic lit up mirror in our bathroom at the Holiday Inn!

It was such a quiet dining atmosphere and all would have been enjoyed in such sweet silence with a 4 and 6 year old! Don’t get me wrong, our kids love nice restaurants and good food, but it was a perfect give for us.  Even the butter had little squirts of honey in it!  I had surf and turf filet/lobster and Joe had a fancy fish dish.  We had dessert; it was divine!

Once our dinner was over, we headed back to the main part of town, hit up the arcade and played Guitar Hero like the good old days.  We found everyone and had a fun evening.  It was a happy anniversary and so nice to make new memories.

Looking back, year 8 certainly had its trials and just so much happened.  Joe was so sick with Crohn’s, we had some job changes, my mom got re-married (aka we all rode a plane!) our oldest went to Kindergarten, the youngest began pre-school, I decided to take on life coaching to better myself, and yet once again we became stronger and better than ever before.  Once again, communication remains key and get in as many date nights as possible!! I honestly believe the best is yet to come.

Cheers to year 9 and many many more!!

Loving July

Hello!

We just got back from our big family vacation to the ADK mountains, specifically Lake George!! I want to share tons of phots and experiences with everyone, but this thing called REAL LIFE has sucked me back!  All things real estate and of course the never ending laundry has literally taken every waking moment, other than what my two littles demand of course!

I decided to take a quick break and post before resuming all the fun chores and such.   That’s the thing I have noticed most lately…if I just take a few minutes here or there, and use that time WISELY (key word!) I feel so much better about getting back to the grind! I have to attribute my work with Lindsay Preston, my life coach for this.  It’s not selfish, and life actually goes so much better when you squeeze in time for you and what you love to do. {Remember you can still use code: JENN20 and save $20 and grab the Life Luvers course for just $77!!} Speaking of, I am prepping for my upcoming “Release” and will certainly be sharing more on that soon.

I did scoop up one thing on Amazon Prime Day.  I have had my eye on an Instant Pot FOREVER and the price was just too good to not pass up!  I believe I scored it for $66 and it’s back up to $88, which is still a good price though!

I did pick up two library books and our book club chose the next book to read as well.  I also just finished Before we Were Yours-–super sad, and yet so beautifully written. Yay for Summer reading!

Until I get another little stretch of time, I’ll be staying cool in this gorgeous hot Summer weather, detoxing from all the starchy white carbs, sugars, drinks and crazy fatty vacay foods!

Don’t you just love July?  It’s by far my absolute favorite.

Have a beautiful day sweet friends!

 

Toronto Trip

We go up to Toronto every few years and always have such a great time!  We were so excited to bring the kids and they did great! It did rain pretty much the whole weekend, but we still made the best of it.  We tried to get photos, but it’s not easy with two littles and living in the moment.  Memories were made and that was the most important!

We left on Thursday afternoon and made it to about 40 minutes outside of the city before we were all starving.  We stopped at a Japanese restaurant and ordered sushi and noodles.

We arrived at the hotel a little after 8 and the kids were blown away at how beautiful it was.

Our view from one of the windows.

The first thing I did was slip on that amazing Ritz Carlton robe and made myself some tea!

Brooke loved the robes too!!

Bradley took this photo!

I took a video and some blurry photos of the kids enjoying some warm cookies and milk delivered for them!

The man who delivered them told the kids to dunk them in the milk.  They loved it!

Friday morning I scheduled a Hydrafacial (another post coming on that!) so hubby ran and got me a quick Starbucks breakfast and of course a Matcha Latte–Canadian soy milk tastes so different! This drink is not sweet at all up here.  I still loved it.  I also took a few minutes to work on my coaching!

Although it rained, the kids and Joe had a ball exploring a bit!

The kids could see the CN tower out of their side of the suite which was pretty cool.

Joe ordered an Uber and the kids had their first experience riding in one.  They found a really yummy breakfast place (so good we went back all together on Saturday!)

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Mama was still hungry since I didn’t eat anything for lunch, so we walked the wind and rain to this little restaurant/bar Gabby’s.  I had a yummy goat cheese salad and Joe loved their wings.

Bradley is really getting into his selfies haha!

After our mini walk in the rain, we came back to chill in the hotel until our dinner.  I stopped at the hotel bar and grabbed a glass of delicious rosé, threw on my robe and relaxed in bed. It was glorious!

We put on our fancy clothes and I was determined to get a family photo of the kiddos looking so adorable.  The hotel had this beautiful Easter egg display that the kids loved.  We were heading to dinner at East Thirty-Six.

I mean, come on!! I know I made them, but how cute?!

Always let them take a silly photo too!

They’re something else.

Saturday we went back to Cafe Landwer so that I could experience it!

The kids had pizza and it was really really good!

I went with an Eggs Benny Florentine—yum!

Nutella Hot Chocolate = bomb!

The boys had homemade vanilla ice cream

The kids & Joe loved the daily candy bar!

My little shopping spree at the mall consisted of a fun new black coat, sunnies, earrings and some skincare products. After shopping we did go swimming in the pool.  Brooke loved it but Bradley wasn’t a huge fan…hoping to change that by the next vacation!

Brookie and the CN tower.

For dinner Saturday night we returned to Rodney’s.  This place RUINED us for oysters the last time we were in Toronto!  They were so fresh and never once do you get a shell.

We were proud that the kids at some butter noodles with scallops.

Joe enjoyed a Bloody Mary and a lobster roll. I had some really tasty Thai seafood soup.

On the walk back, Bradley cried because he wanted to Uber (LOL!) and we stopped so they could get a little mango ice cream which helped ease the crying a bit.

Sunday was Easter morning and the bunny sent Joe a photo text saying he hid the baskets at home, but the kids had a few eggs and some ears in the hotel waiting for them.

We went to Fran’s for breakfast–it’s right by the mall and super tasty!

Little rabbit ready for the ride home.

Once we got home they found their goodies and played a bit, before we hit up a restaurant for a quick dinner.

We didn’t end up at the Aquarium or the CN Tower, mostly because we didn’t have a ton of time up there, we wanted to relax a bit and enjoy our hotel, and it takes a long time to eat out at restaurants! We figured we will return again soon (maybe later this Summer or early Fall?!)

Overall it was just so nice to escape the everyday life, not have to cook every day, and most importantly spend some great quality time with just us four. Brooke and Bradley both loved the big city, the different foods, the fancy dinners and hotel.  We can’t wait to explore many more places with them.

Quick Hello

I hope all of you had a lovely Easter weekend! We spent our up north in Canada! I’ll do a bit of a recap later on, but I wanted to at least say hello!

It was a bit of a rainy weekend, but we had so much fun dining out eating some amazing foods, did some shopping, family time and enjoyed being all together.

I’m staring at an incredibly messy home, and I have thousands of things on my to do list, but thanks to my life coaching, I’m just b-r-e-a-t-h-i-n-g in the chaos and doing all things in a calm manner.  It’s funny how just a quick jaunt away can reset the mind, body, and soul.

If you too are feeling overwhelmed, just take a few minutes to pause and breathe.  It will all get done, everything will be okay and life will go on.

Namaste.