Wednesday, August 3, 2016

What Wednesday

What Wednesday is where I talk about what I'm reading, watching, listening to, and experiencing. I write these posts late at night while simultaneously watching Bravo, taking Snapchats of my snoring husband, and making to do lists of everything I was supposed to do and didn't do that day and likely won't do the next day either. Or the day after that.

What I'm Reading>> With election day 98 days away, Refinery29  will be releasing a challenge a day to keep you informed, involved, and excited. Yesterday, the challenge was to register to vote. Today, the respective VP candidates are highlighted, because we unfortunately cannot elect Selina Meyer. And while you're at it, watch this montage of the best Veep insults.

What I'm Watching>> Vice Principals is just in it's third episode on HBO, but it is HILARIOUS...and this is shocking coming from someone who loathes all scripted television, including but not limited to Friends, Gilmore Girls, Modern Family and all other shows I'm supposed to love, but despise.  The plot line goes something like this: two V.P.'s in an epic power struggle for the coveted school principal top spot. It was also filmed in Charleston, so that's neat. It takes a lot for me to laugh out loud at television show, and this one does the trick.

What I'm Listening To>> Willie Geist is always on my guest list when playing the "If you could invite anyone to your dinner party" icebreaker game. I imagine we would drink bourbon neat and bond over our shared admiration for Tamron Hall...I digress...he recently shared his summer playlist. A couple of my favorites...

What has my Soul Singing>> Two of my closest friends recently got engaged - there is nothing better than seeing your best friends glow with pure joy. Knowing there are weddings to look forward to helps cure my post-wedding nostalgia that seems to be at an all time high lately. 
The Olympics opening ceremony starts this Friday! Take me back to 2008 when it was socially acceptable & encouraged to listen to "Party in the USA", have pitcher races while wearing an American flag as a cape, all which was considered patriotism. 
Also, the #NSale is almost over which means bloggers will stop shamelessly plugging the same flannel shirt and riding boots.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

What Wednesday

In full transparency, I totally stole this idea from Justin, who is actually a writer, and not a semi-average online diary author like myself.

What I'm Reading >> Have you heard of the 4-7-8 breathing technique? It seems so simple yet but apparently very effective. Also, how can something that puts you to sleep also work at making you more focused? Must be magic.

What I'm Watching >> The summer solstice might technically kickoff the season, but we all know that it's not officially here until Big Brother premieres. How has this show been on for eighteen seasons? Also, how do they still come up with these challenges (3! just in night one!?). Then there are the multiple twists Julie Chen lays on us and suddenly I'm laying in bed with more anxiety than I have waking up from that reoccurring dream where I forget to drop a college class and don't realize it until the day of the final exam. Did you follow that last part?

What I'm Eating >> Essentially nothing. A group of friends and I started Weight Watchers last week, including a 4-week weight loss competition with a pot of money going to the winner. Come on, big money!

What I'm Doing >> Having feet comparable to a babies seems to be all the rage these days. I ordered my Baby Foot on Amazon Prime Day and was giddy when it arrived. I started the process on Saturday evening and can't wait to keep you all posted "As the Ped Peels"

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Helgy's Geaux to NOLA - Part III

Sunday morning started at The Ruby Slipper Cafe for breakfast. Matt's uncle actually lives (on a house boat!) in New Orleans, so he met us for some Bloody Mary's and breakfast.

Next we hopped on the Street Car. There are three different lines which all originate downtown but take you to different parts of the city. We chose to take the St. Charles line which is the oldest continuously operating street car in the world! The route is 13.2-miles and goes through the oldest and most majestic section of uptown New Orleans. Swaying along St. Charles Avenue through a tunnel Live Oaks, the streetcar passes dozens of antebellum mansions (rumored the Manning family and Drew Brees live here), Loyola and Tulane universities, the sweeping grounds of the Audubon Zoological Gardens, shopping centers, fine restaurants and hotels.

Halfway back, we hopped off the street car and stopped at the most adorable inn, the Column Hotel. This was recommended to us by Matt's uncle and probably something we would have never stumbled upon on our own.

The interiors of the Column Inn were exquisite and radiated southern charm. We chose to have a 19th Hole (Dirty Arnold Palmer) because sweet tea and lemonade seemed like the natural choice when sitting on a large antebellum porch. 

We spent a few hours just relaxing on the porch and chatting. It was the perfect place for a stop and we are so glad we added this into our day. 

Once we got back into town we headed back to Jackson Square and grabbed a beer at the rooftop bar at the Jackson Brewery. 

By the time the sun set we were all hungry again. The one thing left on our list to eat was a muffaletta and a po boy for Matt's dad. Luckily we were able to check those off the list at The Market Cafe.

In true tradition, we headed back to Pat O'Brien's for our final night. We got a table right beside the piano and listened for over three hours! It was so entertaining and one of my favorite parts is when the entire crowd gets into the song - singing and dancing loudly.

No 2am night in New Orleans is complete without a slice of pizza the size of your head and one more Huge Ass Beer.

I cannot thank my in-laws enough for planning such a meaningful trip. They surprised us with this trip and went out of their way to make sure we did, saw and ate everything on our lists. They were extremely generous and thoughtful. This was my first family trip as a "Helgy" and I am so grateful for the way they have embraced me into their family. They aren't a family of four with a daughter-in-law. I am their daughter now.

Family is like jambalaya. Each one of us a different ingredient with our own flavor. Individually - we are ok, but we are at our best when we're together.

Friday, June 3, 2016

The Helgy's Geaux to NOLA - Part II

Any proper morning in New Orleans begins at Cafe Du Monde - home of the famous beignet. Beign-yay's (as I like to call them) are fried dough covered in powdered sugar. This place was BOOMING - we waited in line for close to an hour, and the to-go line was just as long. The cool thing about this place is it serves two things: beignet's and coffee. Nothing else. There is no extensive menu or anything fancy about it. It's open 24 hours (drunk snack, hollaaa) and the entire floor is coated in white residue. I feel bad for whoever's job it is to sweep at the end of the day.

To walk off the 50 lbs that we gained at breakfast, we walked around and explored the French Quarter, Mississippi River and the French Market. 

We stopped at the Gazebo Cafe for drinks and live music. We saw black clouds rolling in, so we quickly snagged a table under the awning. It was the ideal spot to wait out the storm and enjoy some crawfish.  

I wasn't lucky enough to meet Matt's grandpa, Pop, but wish I had known him. One story I always here is how he would rest his beer on his belly, often times walking away with a sweat ring on the front of his shirt. Pop loved New Orleans. In his honor, Matt and his Dad sat in one of Pop's favorite spots and recreated the beer-on-the-belly look. Fortunately for both, they have very little belly.

Once the storm ended, we set out to explore more. 

While on Royal Street, we were lucky enough to experience a "Second Line". For those of you who don't know what that, it's essentially a street parade.The "main line" or "first line" is the main section of the parade, as well as the brass band. Those who follow the band just to enjoy the music are called the "second line." The second line's style of traditional dance, in which participants walk and sometimes twirl a parasol or handkerchief in the air, is called "second lining."  In this particular case, the bride and groom and brass band were considered the "first line" and the rest of the wedding part was the "second line". The couple hires police to escort them and actually shut down streets. It was one of the coolest things I experienced and I had chills as I watched them pass. Matt and I incorporated a "Second Line" into our wedding exit, but this might have been a tad cooler.

One of the must-do's in New Orleans is Acme Oyster House. As most of the popular places, Acme had a long wait outside too. But it was well worth it. I recommend raw because don't be a wimp and Gulf Oysters are so so good. We got an order of the raw and an order of the grilled - which tasted like an amazing Italian dinner - and we couldn't pass on the Oyster Shooters, because why not?

We had been in workout clothes the entire day so we headed back to the hotel to get changed for the evening. Bourbon Street is one place I highly recommend showering after visiting. The adventure started on Bourbon Street with a couple of stops. 

First on the list of to-drink's was a Hand Grenade. It comes in an obnoxious, tall, lime green cup, but of course it does. It's topped with a plastic grenade, because again, why wouldn't it?

Next on the list was getting a Huge Ass Beer. Believe it or not...this size is actually the small.

Towards the end of Bourbon Street you will find Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop and Bar, home of the Purple Drank. Also known as being the oldest bar in the US. There is no electricity in the bar and it's very dark and old and cool with only having candle light inside.

Matt's parents honeymooned in New Orleans 34 years ago. We visited Pat O'Brien's and tried to recreate a picture they took on their honeymoon. We also went by the Bourbon Orleans, the hotel they stayed in.

We decided to walk to Frenchmen Street - it is removed from the glitzy neon lights and blaring music from Bourbon Street. Frenchmen Street is just walking distance away from Bourbon and the French Quarter. Its most popular section is a two-block stretch in the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood, which is known for its wide variety of live music on any given night of the week! We ended up at a place called 30/90 and luckily for us they had a fabulous band playing. There was no room inside, but the place had an awesome patio which included a large, movie screen where you could watch the band inside, but still here them playing live. 

Matt's parents caught the dancing bug and decided to go inside to dance. It was fun to spy watch them from the courtyard.

The final stop of the night was at Harrah's Casino. We reluctantly dragged Matt's parents with us too. There was no real reason to go to the casino at 1am, but there was also no good reason not to go. We blew through our 'allowance' in less than 30 minutes and left with a voucher good for $0.30. #notwinning