Our Easter weekend celebration!

We got to celebrate Easter over the weekend with both Scott’s side of the family and my side of the family which was FUN! We decided a few years ago that visiting two different families in one day was just too much. It worked out well this year because Scott’s sister Renee was hosting Easter on the Saturday and we were able to see my family on Sunday.

Saturday

Saturday morning was spent cleaning up the house and working on the boat before it was time to head down to Canyon Lake to visit with Scott’s family. Renee hosted my in-laws, my sister-in-law and her husband and their two little kids and Scott and me for an early Easter dinner. It was great to visit with everyone and see all the kiddos. Jude even brought out his bunnies for me to hold. He’s been raising them for about 1.5 years now and you could tell he was really proud of them. We’re up to 3 nephews and 2 twin nieces. Lots of love to go around in the Hamilton family.

Nephew Rudy, cutest baby EVER!


Sunday 

Our neighbors invited us to Easter service at their church, The Church at Lake Travis. I’ve gone a couple of times but this was Scott’s first time trying it out. We’ve been looking for a church in the area so I was glad he was finally able to join me on Sunday. By the way, I’m really enjoying this church. Sunday kicked off a new series called Believe, which will cover hard questions about faith, God, scripture, etc. I’m really looking forward to it.

From there we drove out to my Aunt Kim’s house in Liberty Hill. She has a huge property with a couple of horses and 3 dogs. I loved getting to catch up with everyone and spend some quality time with family I don’t get to see as often as I’d like. We had a huge lunch followed by some snuggles with my newest nephew, Callen. Some adults went outside to hide the Easter eggs while all of the kids anxiously waited inside. It’s always so fun to watch the excitement unfold as the kids hunt for hidden Easter eggs.



After we got home from Aunt Kim’s house, we had about 2 hours to spare before going over to our neighbors house for ribs. I got in a quickie 40 min workout while Scott finished working on the boat. We headed over to Chris and Maggies house around 6 and had a low key night, which was a perfect way to end our Easter weekend!

Labor Day weekend

This is how I feel on Tuesday after Labor Day.
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Melvin can’t even.

What a glorious and much needed 3 day weekend we had. We used the extra time to our advantage and ended up being very productive. A few things we did with our extra time this weekend…

  • Visited with our Aunt Connie who was in town for our nieces baptism. She brought over two fall pumpkins for us. I can’t wait to break out all of my fall decor.

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  • Finished painting our TV stand and hutch. We moved them inside and got our entertainment area all squared away.

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  • Finished the fence and gate.
  • Scott got rid of trash and scrap material left over from the fence build.
  • Attended our twin nieces baptism in San Antonio. I got lots of time holding and feeding one of the 8lb baby girls. It was sweet.

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  • Drafted our teams for fantasy football! #Sundaysareforfootball
  • Watched the first UT game of the season with family.
  • Spent time with friends(and drank too much wine) on Sunday night eating dinner and playing the hat game.
  • Celebrated Mac’s 9th Birthday!
  • Bought a new couch!
  • Shopped for decorations for the guest bedroom and the gallery wall.

It was a productive weekend, but not the stressful kind that leaves you exhausted afterwards. Spending time with friends and family is so refreshing and rejuvenating for my soul. Weekends are even better when you get to see your family/friends and still have time to check stuff of your ToDo list!

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.
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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.
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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.
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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!

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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.
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around town
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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.
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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!
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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!