Tag Archives: new orleans

Seasonal Colors…Mardi Gras

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During the heart of the winter when the landscape is greyed out and white washed with snow and ice, you are hard pressed to find color of any kind.  That may be why we find ourselves mesmerized by a clear blue sky or the stark contrast of a red cardinal against the bare branches of a tree.

But if you hold on to hope as I do, a day will come between late January and mid March…a day splashed with the colors of the season. Colors that will bring a smile to your face and put a song in your heart. The season I know as Mardi Gras! The colors are found in the decorations, trinkets, food and jewelry.  The colors are always the same…Purple! Gold! Green!

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If you are not from the city of New Orleans you may find yourself a little put off by the brash color combination…but the colors are symbolic and are embedded in the tradition of Mardi Gras.  Have you ever wondered what the colors represent? The color purple represents Justice.  The color green represents Faith. The color Gold represents Power.

If I were home in the Crescent City, I would be attending an afternoon party enjoying a King Cake from one of the local bakeries.  Friends and family would be gathered around the kitchen table enjoying a cup of coffee and a slice of cake waiting to see who will get the surprise hidden inside. Yes every King cake made in the traditional fashion will have a plastic baby hidden in the cake.

Today, the baby symbolizes luck and prosperity to whoever finds it in his/her slice of cake. In some traditions, the finder of the baby is designated “king” or “queen” for the evening. That person is also responsible for purchasing next year’s cake, or for throwing the next Mardi Gras party. 20160130_134258.jpg

However, I do not live in the Crescent City. I live H-Town! So this year I am enjoying sweets made by my own personal baker Sweet n Lowe…Ms. D. has a way of capturing special moments in the form of cookies, cakes and sweet treats. I have to say that Devon’s cookies capture the spirit of Mardi Gras better than any I have seen.

 

The colors are spot on…the Mardi Gras mask and the Fluer de Lis capture the spirit of New Orleans.

 

20160130_134303.jpgThank you Sweet n Lowe for helping this Nolagirl enjoy the colors of the season.

Laissez les bon temps rouller!!!

Do you have a colorful tradition you enjoy?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under 2016, Life

O’ Christmas Tree…Do you have a favorite ornament?

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I love the Christmas Trees that all of the bloggers and businesses I follow are sharing.  I especially love the ones decorated with a monochromatic color pallet.  I love the ones that every inch of the tree is covered with decorations.  I love the whimsical trees. I love the ones covered with homemade ornaments. But I love our tree the most…

Our tree is a beautiful eclectic mix of travel ornaments, burlap ribbon, woodland animals, bird houses with a touch of glitter and crystal sparkles!  Here are a few of my favorites from Christmas’ past and our many travels...

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

DSC03561A beautiful mix of ornaments we’ve collected throughout our travels…DSC03562A touch of glass and glitter and a splash of color…DSC03565Softened by burlap garland and glittery branches…DSC03566The cutest collection of owls nestled in with the ornaments from Louisiana and Italy…DSC03567There is our ornament from San Francisco….DSC03568A special memory from my home town…Christmas Eve at St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans.DSC03569A collection of all things Texas

DSC03571Have you heard of the Terlingua Chili Cook Off?DSC03574 I spy an ornament from the Cayman Islands and a few handmade paper covered eggs…DSC03576Then there are the ornaments from our trips to Santa Fe and Taos, New MexicoDSC03581 DSC03582May you have Peace this Christmas SeasonDSC03585Even birds are welcome in our treeDSC03573May your Christmas be merry and bright…

 

 

 

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Filed under Christmas Traditions

January Photo A Day 2013: Surprise

Day 12. Surprise: I love when I stumble across coins when I’m walking. It’s a lovely surprise. That would be a lucky photo for me. Can you think of a way to capture surprise?

Surprise!!!  There’s a baby in my cake!!!

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In the southern United States, the tradition was brought to the area by colonists from France and Spain and is associated with Carnival (also known as Mardi Gras). Celebrated across the Gulf Coast region from the Florida Panhandle to East Texas, it originated in French Louisiana and King cake parties in New Orleans are documented back to the eighteenth century.

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The king cake of the New Orleans tradition comes in a number of styles. The most simple and the most traditional, is a ring of twisted bread similar to that used in brioche topped with icing or sugar, usually colored purple, green, and gold (the traditional Mardi Gras colors) with food coloring. In 1972, a small bakery in Picayune, Mississippi, Paul’s Pastry, started adding fillings

DSC00396 Also, some bakers have now taken the liberty to offer king cakes for other holidays that immediately surround Mardi Gras season, such as green and red-icing king cakes for Christmas, red and pink-icing cakes for Valentine’s Day, and green and white-icing cakes for St. Patrick’s Day. Others have gone a step further and produce specialty king cakes from the beginning of football season for Louisiana State University and New Orleans Saints tailgate parties, then for Halloween, then Thanksgiving – and do not cease until after Mardi Gras season with an Easter holiday king cake.  It has become customary in the Southern culture that whoever finds the trinket must provide the next king cake or host the next Mardi Gras party.

Surprise...a history lesson wrapped in a pastry!  Some information gathered from Wikepedia and of course personal first hand knowledge.

What do the prompts mean?

There are no rules when playing along with photo a day, you can be creative as you like! Interpret the prompt as you please. For those that need a little help, some more suggested details about each prompt are below.

13. Circle: Look as you go about today for things shaped in circles. Is it the tyres on a bus? A big sign? Or something else?
14. Something yellow: Find something yellow in your travels today and take a photo.

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Filed under All Things Foodie, Blogging Challenges, Holiday's, NOLA, Photo a Day Challenge

A-Z Archive: N! Challenge…NOLA, New Orleans!

This week’s topic for our “A-Z Archive” photo challenge: the “N” archive: introduce one photo of your archive with a “N” Keyword. – I’m sure you’ll find a picture: tag with “A-Z Archive” and put a link on your page to FrizzText, so we’ll get a trackback-list including your post!

This picture was taken on a weekend trip to NOLA in August of 2011.  We were standing on Royal Street looking East towards the Business District located on Canal Street.  It is a great contrast of the 1800’s Spanish influenced architecture and modern New Orleans

Some of my favorite things about NOLA are the balconies,

the alleyways

and the courtyards…not to mention all of the great live music and delicious food!

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Filed under A-Z Archive Challenge, Blogging Challenges, NOLA, Weekend Getaways and Vacation Spots, Weekly Photo Challenge

Music Moves Me…Louisiana Christmas Day

Music Moves Me…Louisiana Christmas Day Video is as close as this nolagirlatheart will get to being home for Christmas.  This song is sung by Aaron Neville a native of New Orleans, Louisiana.  I thought the pictures chosen by LaLeroux captured the essence of a New Orleans Christmas; the St.Charles Streetcar, The Balconies, The Horse Drawn Carriage, The River Road Bonfires, The Alligator Santa Clause and Mr. Bingle the Maison Blanche department store icon and the St. Louis Cathedral.   It all reminds me of my beloved NOLA.

Joyeux Noel de Cajun!!!

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Filed under Christmas Traditions, NOLA, postaweek2011

Louisiana Christmas Tradition…Lighting of the Bonfires

I have so many wonderful Christmas memories from my childhood in Louisiana…however, this particular memory is not specific to me or my family alone.  This memory is shared with thousands of South Louisiana Families.  It is the lighting of the Christmas Eve Levee Bonfires

Once few in number, the local bonfires were originally a neighborhood or family oriented activity. Now they line the levee for miles and attract thousands of visitors.  The event has had local and national television coverage and has been featured in metropolitan newspapers and magazinesThrough the years, there has been an intermingling of facts and fantasies concerning the origin of the bonfire tradition.

One of the more recent and increasingly popular explanations is that the bonfires were a “Cajun tradition”, first used to light the way for “Papa Noel”, the Cajun version of Santa Claus. This charming version, although improbable, has been depicted annually in front of a Paulina, LA business establishment where a levee scene shows “Papa Noel” with his pirogue drawn by alligators named Gaston, Ninette, “Te-Boy”, Celeste, Suzette, etc.

The building of the each bonfire takes dozens of individuals and weeks to assemble.  There is an official announcement made around 7pm on Christmas Eve giving the go ahead to light the bonfires which happens simultaneously.  The bonfires light up the Mississippi River and burn for hours and some will burn into the wee hours of Christmas morning.  Friends and family gather together to wait and watch for Papa Noel to make his way along the river making his deliveries to all of the good little children. 

I hope this YouTube video will give you a glimpse into the Louisiana Christmas Tradition…Lighting of the Bonfires!  Joyeux Noel!!!

Information gathered from St James Parish home page.

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Filed under Christmas Traditions, family, NOLA, postaweek2011

2011 Christmas Home Tour…Welcome to our Home

Welcome to our Home!

It’s time for the 2011 Christmas Home Tour and I am as ready as I am going to be.  Come on in…make yourself at home.  This is our Texas Hill Country home located much closer to the Texas Gulf Coast than it is to the hill country.  I am a NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana) girl at heart but I got to Texas as quick as I could…

This is my first year to join the Christmas Home Tour…and I am already blown away by everyone’s Christmas decorations.  Thanks for sharing your beautiful home and thanks for stopping by our home.

The hubs and I really love everything about the Christmas season.  We love decorating our home inside and out.  We enjoy shopping for gifts for our family.  We split up the list and my husband buys the gifts for the guys and I take care of the girls.  We both take care of our own wrapping.  My husband is always the first one to put gifts under the tree.

We have been married for over 20 years and it wasn’t until this past year that we had a place big enough to host our family Christmas Eve gathering.  We are hosting again this year and we are looking forward to the whole family being together in our home for all of the Christmas Festivities!

This is where all of the fun will happen…everyone buys for the kids and the adults participate in a Dirty Santa gift exchange.  It gets loud and competitive with alliances being forged all for the sake of a AMEX gift card or a spotters scope.  It is the most fun I have ever had a Family Christmas party.

We have a fireplace but no mantle…its a long story which I will save for another day.  I like the clean contemporary look of our fireplace sans mantle…well that is until Christmas rolls around.  This is our second Christmas in our new home and I am still looking for the perfect architectural piece to hang over the fireplace.  Therefore, in place of decorating a mantle I focused on our dining room sideboard.

This little space will be one of our dessert tables during our holiday parties…The baking begins tomorrow.

In the short amount of time we have lived in our home we have hosted about a dozen gatherings.  We are finally getting a feel for how things flow best…we typically will set up a variety of food and drink areas throughout the kitchen space.  We want our friends and family to leave their worries at the door and relax while they are hanging out in the country.

Our Christmas tree is a forever tree…we have had it for over 10 years and it looks great in our new home. I don’t know what it is about photographing a Christmas tree that is so difficult.  Flash…no flash…it just never seems to look as pretty in pictures as it does in person.  So after trying numerous settings on my camera I decided the best pictures were the ones without the flash and up close…

One of my absolute favorite features in our new home are the custom-built-ins.  I am a collector of things…I do not collect one particular thing but lots of different things.  Our built ins make it easy to highlight my small collections in little vignettes.  The shelves hold a mixture of crocks, frankoma pottery, glass jars, antique locks and vintage spools of thread mixed in and amongst our family photos and my sons artwork not to mention a collection of books that have pink covers.

In years past our home has been an explosion of Christmas decorations…this year I tried to reign myself in a bit.  Just a little bit of Christmas in each room of the house.  Well at least that was the original plan.  My sons room has been deemed off-limits to Christmas decor…but no one had any objections to me sprucing up the guest room.

There are so many things I still plan to do..I still have to finish up our bedroom as well as the front and back porch area.  I will also be painting our fall pumpkins to look like snowmen, I will be dipping the bottoms of our everyday wine glasses in chalkboard paint and I have a yard sale table begging for a fresh coat of paint.  Today I purchased all of the ingredients for my baking needs.  I will be making peanut butter clusters, white chocolate dipped oatmeal cranberry cookies, almond toffee and pretzels rolled in white chocolate and crushed peppermint.  I hope you will check back over the next couple of weeks and see how things have progressed.

Here’s wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas from our Texas home and a nola girl at heart!!!

I am linking up with 2011 Chrismtas Home Tour at The Inspired Room

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Filed under Christmas Traditions, family, Home Sweet Home, postaweek2011

Small Business Saturday…saving America one brick at a time…

Re-post from January 26, 2011
Invest in America, support the local brick and mortar businesses that our country was built on.  Investing in the  independently owned businesses in our neighborhoods helps our local economy.  These businesses employ our neighbors and strengthen our community.

The Local

I have a passion for locally owned businesses.  Not because I am a small business owner but because I appreciate the time and energy and the financial commitment local business owners bring to the game.  Small business owners are dreamers and risk takers.  They are passionate about what they do!

I have been a supporter of locally owned businesses for years.  I will always choose to shop, eat or use a service company that is locally owned over a big chain business.  Always!

The Patio @ The Local

I have posted about my favorite neighborhood businesses as well as local businesses I have discovered on weekend getaways.  My husband and I always gravitate to “the local” whenever and wherever we travel.  We had a couple of weekend getaways last summer; Galveston and New Orleans where we supported many locally owned businesses.  We supported the local restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, antique stores, and a couple of art galleries.  We met wonderful people who love what they do and we were treated like old friends.

Star Drug Store

A few of my local favs that I frequent at least once a month are; The Local Restaurant, Browse Aroun’ Antiques and  the Something Unique Gift Shop.  My #1 favorite local lunch spot, The Pear Tree Tea Room, closed it’s doors just before Christmas.  They had a great location, loyal following and delicious food.  I know things are difficult at best in this economy so the local businesses need all the support you can give them.

Acme Oyster House

Recently I began to follow the blog over at The Red Door Antiques.  While surfing through the blog site I noticed a button; the 3/50 Project, saving the brick and mortars our nation is built on.  My interest was piqued.  I clicked on the button and was directed to a website filled with some very interesting information.  I would like to share some of what I read;

3    What three independently owned businesses would you miss if they disappeared?

50   If half the employed population spent $50 each month in locally owned independent businesses, it would generate over $42 billion dollars in revenue.

The folks at the project say that  for every $100 spent in an independent locally owned business $68 returns to the community in payroll, taxes and other expenditures.  If that $100 is spent in a national chain $43 comes back to the community.  Shop on-line and $0 comes back to the community.  Check out the movement to save our bricks and mortar companies, they are what built this country.

Mosquito Cafe

What’s your favorite local independently owned business?  Have you supported them this month?  How would life in your community be different if you lost one of these businesses?

Make Time to Support your Independent Locally Owned Businesses

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Filed under Made in America, My Local Recommendations, postaweek2011

Healthy Eating…Oven Fried Chicken

My husband has been talking about fried chicken for a couple of months.  We spent a few days in New Orleans and all he talked about eating was  fried chicken.  You are probably thinking New Orleans is known for its wonderful creole seafood.  Yes it is!  It is also the home of a little restaurant known for its fried chicken.  Unfortunately time did not allow for us to make our way to this gem of a place.  So my husbands craving for fried chicken continued. 

You may also be wondering why he doesn’t just go and buy a bucket of chicken from one of those greasy fast food places or stop into a diner an order up.  Well recently we decided to make healthier eating choices

My husband and I embarked on a healthier eating lifestyle in June.  We gave up foods with processed sugars, pre-packaged foods, bread and pasta and yes fried foods!   The most difficult part has been finding healthy versions of our favorite foods.  

The Ingredients for oven fried chicken

My husband is a thinker and a planner.  He shares his thoughts and plans with me from the minute he wakes up in the morning until he heads off to bed.  So if he has something on his mind, he shares it.  He continues to talk and share until whatever it is becomes a reality.   He knows how to make me smile and even roll my eyes from time to time. 

Cornflake & Flour Oven Fried Chicken Coating

Because he has been talking incessantly about Fried Chicken I decided to give him the healthy version in hopes that it would ease his fried chicken cravings.   The basis for this recipe comes from the Weight Watchers cookbook but there is also a version on the side of the box of Cornflakes. 

Oven Fried Chicken right out of the oven

There isn’t much he doesn’t like when it come to food.  He used to be less adventurous but not so much anymore.  He is willing to try just about anything, once!

I can tell when he likes what I have cooked because he stops talking.  And then the true test…he goes back for seconds.  Mission accomplished!

My plate of oven fried chicken!

I also made oven baked sweet potato fries and herbed quinoa for our sides.  The sweet potato fries were tasty but not crispy.  Come to think of it I don’t think I have ever had a crispy sweet potato fry.  Hmmmm?  The herbed quinoa was also a recipe I found in the WW cookbook.  It was interesting…I think quinoa is one of those foods that will take sometime getting used to the consistency.  I will keep trying different versions before scratching it off of my list of pantry items.

Just between me and you…I was needing my own fried chicken fix…I am looking forward to having leftover oven fried chicken for lunch!

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Filed under Eat to Live, postaweek2011

Wordless Wednesday…NOLA Balcony Scene 2

This balcony sits over Santa’s Quarters in the heart of the French Quarter .

Wonderful Wordless Wednesday Wonders:

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Filed under NOLA, postaweek2011, Weekly Photo Challenge