Let’s play catch-up

A lot has happened since my last post and our trip to Iowa. I’ve been wanting to devote a couple of posts to everything that’s been going on, but I can’t seem to find the time. Image result for upset emoji So to kick off the New Year, I’ll play catch-up and share a few fun things that we did over the last few months of 2016! We did a lot, which means a lot of photos…You’ve been warned!

  • Girls trip to New Orleans 

Two weeks after we got back from Iowa, I was off for a long weekend in New Orleans for a bachelorette party. I’ve been to New Orleans for a girls trip once before, so I knew how much fun it would be. I loved exploring the city with the bride and her girlfriends. The bride and I are becoming fast friends and I felt like I was able to get some good quality time with her on this trip, which was a major plus! From eating yummy creole food, to dancing the night away, to beignets, to ghost tours. We had a great time celebrating the bride to be!

  • My first trip to Disney World!!!

Scott was signed up for a conference at the end of August through Labor Day weekend in Orlando Florida. We’ve talked about taking our nephew to Disney World a couple times and figured this would be the perfect opportunity, so we made a vacation out of it! Jude and I left for Disney on Friday September 2nd and met up with Scott on his last conference day. A trip to Disney honestly needs a whole post devoted to planning and all the details, but considering it’s taken this long to mention it, I’ll just share our itinerary with you. I did A LOT of research and surprising the trip went over seamlessly. Also, there are people that LIVE for planning Disney vacations and they will plan your trip for FREE. I definitely utilized that resource. You can not go to Disney without a plan. Anyways, we ended up spending 3 days at Disney, hitting Epcot, Hollywood Studies, and the Magic Kingdom, and then headed to Universal for our last day (day after Labor Day–A very slow day for park goers!) We ended up riding *almost* every ride at both parks, Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. Of course we had to check out the new side of Harry Potter World and yes, it was AMAZING! Our 8 year old nephew was a champ. It was so fun watching the magic unfold right in front of his eyes.

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  • Bruce and Cristina got married!

Such a fun wedding!!! The ceremony was held at St. Mary’s Cathedral on East 10th. It was gorgeous!!! We then headed over to the Omni for one hell of a reception. Good times with good friends!

  • Attended my cousin, Michael and Allyson’s wedding

They got married on October 9th at The Addison Grove. The ceremony was outside under the gorgeous oak grove. My sister in law and I were both asked to be a part of the ceremony and read two different readings. It was sweet of them to include me in the ceremony!

  • Our first Wurstfest!

Sausage and beer, what more is there to say?

  • Hosted our first Friendsgiving!

We hosted a couple of our friends on the Sunday after Thanksgiving for Friendsgiving. I loved having our besties over for a mini Thanksgiving. Each couple brought a traditional dish to share and we provided fried turkey. It was yummy! I can never get enough traditional Thanksgiving food. It’s my favorite holiday.
Of course we celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas with our families. It was a really low key Christmas for us. We opted out of buying gifts for each other and bought ourselves a new king size mattress and a new bed. We also hosted pajama New Years Eve party with 4 of our friends for low key celebration. It was the perfect (and safe) way to ring in the New Year.

I know this post is long overdo, but I felt that SO many notable things had happened this past fall/winter that I didn’t want to miss posting! My favorite posts to write (and look back on) are recaps of daily life. I’d really like to get back to posting more consistently. Maybe the new year will be a good starting point? Cheers!


Girls weekend in New Orleans!

A couple of girl friends and I have started ourselves a little tradition, girls weekend! Last year we kicked off our new tradition in Vegas and this year we picked New Orleans! It was the first time visiting for a few of us, so we were pretty pumped! After an 8 hour drive, we made it to NOLA, which is pretty good timing! The drive went by surprisingly quickly and we arrived at our first spot for a late lunch around 3… Now for the complete recap!

We read a bit about Willie Mae’s before heading into town, and it was recommended by a lot of people. It’s also been featured on the Food Network on multiple shows such as Anthony Bourdain-No Reservations and Divers, Drive-ins and Dives. Supposedly they are known for their “World Famous Legendary Fried Chicken.” That’s a pretty high claim and the girls and I all agreed that the fried chicken left a lot to be desired. The chicken was REALLY greasy and tasted like it had been sitting under a heat lamp for a long time. So, in conclusion, it was not world famous worthy in our books. I will say though, that the fried shrimp and mac n cheese were really good and I would definitely get that again!

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  • Where we stayed

We booked through Airbnb and stayed at an apartment just South of the French Quarter in the Warehouse District. We were pretty central and within walking distance to most things we wanted to see/do. It really was a charming little place. Exposed brick, natural light, high ceilings and the perfect size for the four of us. It was located in an old warehouse building that has been converted into condos. They were cute. But it was kind of weird renting out someones actual apartment that they live in most days out of the year.
NOLA map
New Orleans apartment

  •  Thunder From Down Under

As much as I wanted to leave this part of the recap out, I just can’t help mentioning it. If you have never gone to a thunder from down under show, you just won’t understand. You’ll have to trust me in that it’s a show us women all need to see! It’s cheesy, it’s fun, it’s totally innocent…for the most part. Imagine it as a shirtless Australian Nsync group with muscular bodies and no singing. Australian hotties synchronized dancing is probably the best thing ever! Scott’s reaction…”smh.” After the show we were pretty pumped up and ready to check out Nola night life.

I know I know, if you weren’t shaming me before, you definitely are now… We pretended we were back in college again and checked out Bourbon Street. I’ve partied on dirty 6th Street plenty of times, which is basically Austin’s version of Bourbon street, but I felt like a visit to New Orleans wouldn’t be complete without a trip to iconic Bourbon street. We went to the infamous Pat O’s for a hurricane, Fritzel’s for some live jazz music and stopped off at a few other bars along the main strip. Around 12:30, Amy and Laura headed back to the apartment while Jen and I stayed out until 3:30 getting our dance on. Bourbon Heat night club was our favorite.
bourbon street
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Ok, so I can’t actually vouch that I ate here, because I didn’t. Saturday morning was very hazy for a few of us, but we managed to get out the door and walk over to the Ruby Slipper. There was a 45 min wait, but the place had really great reviews so we hunkered down and waited. About 30 min into the wait, Jen and I had to bail… We knew what kind of day was ahead of us and figured we better get some more rest while we can. We were hurting pretty bad to say the least. Amy and Laura were able to enjoy the food and they said it was really great. Laura get her mimosa so she was a happy camper. Apparently they have a great milk punch too and I’m sad that I missed out on that. Next time!

ruby slipper

We signed up for the Complete Crescent Tour that took us all over New Orleans! We rolled through the French Quarter, Faubourg Marigny, Esplanade Ave, St. Louis Cemetery No. 3, City park, Bayou St. John, Faubourg Treme, and Louis Armstrong Park & Congo Square. We saw one of the earliest neighborhoods in Nola, lots of cute houses and a lot of diverse neighborhoods. I loved getting to see the history of the city, and see how the culture and people have shaped it. Oh and if you read my Boston recap, you would remember I don’t have the best luck with weather and tours… This tour was no different. Shortly into our ride there was a HUGE storm that blew over. Pouring rain and thunder filled the sky. We had to pull off for a little bit, but all in all we were able to finish the tour. We were a little bit wet, but thankfully it dried up towards the end.
bike tour
around town

Palace Cafe was recommended to us from our weekend host and we thought it would be the perfect dinner spot to cap off our trip. I was able to book our reservation on OpenTable earlier that week, which made things really easy for us. There were 4 time slots to pick from. I simply logged in and made our reservation, and didn’t have to worry about arriving early or waiting in line when dinner time rolled around. Palace Cafe is right in the middle of everything. It’s located on one of the main street in Nola, Canal street. Their food is a classic New Orleans style with an ambiance of a restaurant/cafe feel, specializing in traditional Creole dishes. I loved my main course, which was the andouille crusted fish. It was soooo good! Everyone else was pleased with their dishes too.

After dinner we went out for a couple of drinks at the neatest bar! A carousel bar! We were all wondering how the heck they pulled off a carousel bar, but we soon found out that it was a round bar with bar stools around it, connected to a moving platform. So you actually are rotating around the bar while sipping on your drinks. It only took us one time to go around for us all to get seats together. After that we ventured over to the oh so popular Cafe Du Monde for some dessert. Oh beignets… why are you so warm, fluffy, and amazing?! It was my first time trying them and they did not disappoint. So good!
I was shocked when my scale at home told me I hadn’t gained any weight on this trip. All of the food is so amazing! There are a couple of ways I can describe New Orleans…. Culture and Creole history, amazing food, partying, and… partying. What a great long weekend visit with my ladies. I think 2 days is the perfect amount of time for a little girls weekend getaway!

Jonathan and Leslie’s backyard wedding

We road tripped up to North Texas over the weekend with my in-laws to attend a wedding for one of Scott’s best friends!
Jonathan and his new wife Leslie were married in Granbury, TX on Leslie’s parents land. It turned out so beautifully. Granbury is such a cute place! Especially during this time of year. Everything is very green and lush which made for really pretty pictures. Her parents have one heck of a setup too, almost like they should be hosing weddings on the regular. Major props to Leslie’s parents and Jonathan and Leslie for putting this whole wedding together in just under a month<<–amazing!!! Everything went seamlessly. Congrats to the handsome groom and beautiful bride!!! We love y’all!

Our little buddies that are all grown up!
  • The Ceremony

They poured dirt from their different homes into a plant which I thought was a cool alternative to mixing sand or lighting a candle.
Jonathan brought Audryn up during the ceremony and vowed to her as well… :’) happy tears

infamous kiss
Exchanging vows with each other and the infamous kiss

And they’re married!!!
Audryn showing off her ring after the ceremony… Pure joy on her face.

  • The reception

The rest of the night was spent taking pictures, dinner, toasting, cake, dancing, visiting with friends and sending the couple off!

wedding events
Milo giving a prayer before dinner//their first dance//Scott’s toast
…yes I initiated shot gunning a beer at a wedding #classy

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send off
We left a little early, considering there was a huge storm coming in. My brother was texting me live weather updates throughout the wedding and got me pretty worried. I convinced the crew to head out, and I’m glad we left when we did. When we arrived back at our hotel, it was pouring, the power had gone out and then it started to hail about golf ball size hail. Pretty crazy huh?!
All in all, it was a great time celebrating the new bride and groom, with good friends, dancing, and love. Congrats again to Jonny and Leslie!!!