Thursday, August 27, 2015


Happy Thursday :)

I hope everyone is enjoying their day so far.

This am I went for a quick 5 mile run and guess what?  Fall's a coming!  It was only about 65 degrees this am!  I walked out in a tank and shorts and almost turned right around to put on a long sleeved tee.

I'm secretly so excited for fall.  I have so many fun things on my fall bucket list and I can't wait to attack it!

Fall tea at Wegman's!

Yesterday was an awesome day!  My classroom is slowly but surely coming together.

The Hot Mess that is setting up your room
Getting There

Pre-construction Writing Island

Finished product…kinda

Yesterday was also awesome because it was Ra and my 6 year Friendaversary!  We met during Welcome Week at TCNJ and have been best friends since.

Freshmen babies!
Friday Exploring

I thought I was super cool in my Aeropostale fur hooded vest, BTW.

Ra and I lived together for 2/4 years at college and the other 2 years we practically lived together because we were always together.  She introduced me to The Office and I introduced her to the wonderful world of reality television--fair trade, no?  

Some of my best college memories involve our talks until 2 am, midnight drives to WaWa because we craved it, and playing pranks on our neighbors.  College definitely would not have been half as much fun without her.  

Last night we decided to meet up and celebrate our Friendaversary!  

Any guesses where we celebrated?

Beach sunsets are like no other
 We also saw ginormous seagulls and their babies aka the cutest things ever

Jersey Girls love our beach!

Perfect photo lighting

What doesn't scream 6 Year Friendaversary quite like a sunset beach picnic of vegetarian food followed by a sunset stroll at the shoreline?

We ended up going to Living on the Veg in Beach Haven.  I had never been before, but I'm always down for a good vegetarian meal.  I was not disappointed!  It was quite possibly one of the top 10 things I've ever eaten.  

Hooray for veggie food!

Ra's Mexicali salad and my corn and bean salad.

Chickenless salad sandwich with Vegan Mayo

Vegan brownie

I woke up dreaming about this meal.

Happy 6 Year Friendaversary, Ra!  Here's to a bajillion more!

Tonight is going to be a fab night because not only is it Pilates and barre, but it's a Thursday Girls' Day!  



Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Laissez les bon temps rollez part 3

Happy Hump Day!

Today is the last day of my NOLA recap.  I guess that means vacation is really over.

I'm skipping the traditional What I Ate Wednesday post because y'all have seen what I've been eating all week.

The agenda for today is pretty busy.

AM weight session followed by a 5 mile run.  After the run was a quick breakfast followed by working  in my room from 9-12.  Next is lunch followed by tutoring from 2-3.

I'm excited because dinner will be at Living on the Veg in Beach Haven with Ra.  I love a good midweek beach trip.  Maybe we'll picnic on the beach?  I also heard there's a green juice in my near future…

Back to NOLA…

Sunday was Day 3 in NOLA and it did NOT start with a  5 mile run.  We decided to sleep through the run and it turned out to be a great decision.  Nobody wants to be tired and grouchy when you have 5 hours on a plane in your near future.

The day started with brunch at Biscuits and Buns on Banks.  This restaurant has been on my radar since Zach sent me the spreadsheet of all the NOLA places to eat and explore.  This restaurant has Erin written all over it.

I love a good tongue in cheek restaurant name
Free cucumber water for waiting guests!
I may have had 3 glasses...
The menu…how cute is their logo?
All of the juices

This cute pic says Make Biscuits Not War!

Spinach and carrots juice!
Happy girl with her juice
Shrimp, goat cheese, greens, pistachios, and grapes!  With a side of fruit.
I'm going to be recreating this soon!  Maybe it will help me get back into the swing of things and school?

 After brunching, I grabbed another cucumber water for the road as we walked back to Zach's apartment.  We changed into kayaking clothes and headed back to City Park.  We went  to the New Orleans Museum of Art or the NOMA.

They had a beautiful exhibit on Antebellum Parlors and decor.  It was gorgeous.  Not really my style but I can appreciate the intricate detail.  They also had a little history synopsis of the owner of the parlor's furniture.  He actually is from Philadelphia and was a Quaker.  He got the land from the Spanish government.  He moved down to St. Francisville to run the plantation.  A Quaker who owned slaves?  Interesting...

 The pahlah…Does that text make me sound Southern?

Next we went to visit the Katrina exhibit.  It was a little disappointing because it wasn't fully about Katrina.  It was about death and reconstruction and natural disasters around the country.  They did have a cool water display.  Displays of plexiglass with embedded digital water photos were placed around the museum with varying heights depicting the water levels post Katrina.  It was really moving to see the water levels that were well above our heads.  The artist said she wanted to create a display that showed the level of fear/discomfort/drowning that was the people of New Orleans' reality 10 years ago.

A break from all the seriousness…

We found a really cool exhibit on American Captialism and decadence.  It was a golden Abrahama Lincoln log cabin.  The interior was full of gilded symbols of capitalism--gold bullets, gold gas caps, gold candy, and other cool items.

I think Abe would like his upgraded cabin

Inside the cabin
You can see the gold bullets to the left of Zach's head
Gold gas caps to the right of Zach's head

Gold roof

We ended our museum tour in the gift shop.

This sponge dish said, Sponge worthy.  Fab!

Zach also found a mug that once you added hot liquid Van Gogh's ear disappeared and was replaced with a rag to show that it had been cut off.  HIIIIILARIOUS!  

Next, it was off to kayaking.


Super Siblings take on the Lake!

We didn't crash and we didn't get attacked by any ducks, birds, drones (yup we saw a drone that followed us around for a while).  We also think we could begin training for the 2020 Olympics in kayaking.  

AFter kayaking it was a quick shower and packing.  We headed to the airport, said goodbye and then it was time go through security.  NOLA's airport is great because it's very separated--each airline has it's own security line so everything moves pretty quickly.  I was checked in and through security within 15 minutes.  Unheard of in Philly!  

I completed my airport cardio and munched a Subway turkey/provolone/spinach/lettuce/tomato/pickles/vinaigrette on 9 grain Honey Oat bread.  

Surprisingly, it hit the spot.  Usually I'm not a sandwich girl, but this was goooooooooood!

Surprisingly amazingly delicious 

The flight home was pretty good.  We had a singing flight attendant who made everyone crack up.  We also had a rowdy bunch of partiers who clearly didn't want the NOLA party to end.  They quieted down a little bit as the flight progressed.  

My connector in Atlanta was a stay on the plane connector which was kind of a bummer because I LOVE the Atlanta airport.  I did move to the front of the airplane so I could deplane (a great word, BTW) earlier.  

I knew within 8 minutes of people boarding that the tickets may say destination Philadelphia, but the deal destination was Struggle City, USA.  No matter what--without fail--every time--I end up sitting next to a smelly guy and a man who has no sense of personal space.  This one guy ended up hogging the arm rest and moving into my space.  I was scrunched up to the window in 1/3 of my seat for 90% of the ride.  Also, so many people couldn't fit their bags in the overhead compartment.  So much insanity!   If you can't lift the bag, you can't pack the bag.  

At least I got to eat another bag of honey roasted peanuts…

I was sad that my trip was over, but I was happy to see my family again.  

I hope you all have a great Hump Day!  

I'll see y'all tomorrow :)


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rollez Part two

Happy Tuesday!!

I'm actually writing this on Sunday night from the airplane.
I'm so artsy with that reflection, no?  Just Kidding

I'm shocking myself by writing this so early!  Maybe it's a sign of a productive week ahead? 

Today is Day 2 of my Back To Reality Tour. The agenda today includes 11 miles of running (gotta catch up from my missed long run on Sunday), working in my classroom from 9-12, then tutoring then lifting some heavy things and putting them back down. Finally I get to cap my night off with some Pilates and Barre. 

I'm also going to nightcap with Real Housewives of NYC's Reunion.  Should be a good one. I'm also trying to catch up on my DVR from this weekend. Don't tell me what happened on Manzo'd Worh Children and/or Don't Be Tardy or DCC. 

Last nights dinner was a home run if I may say so myself. I made turkey and quinoa stuffed peppers and they were oh so tasty. Thank you Crock Pot!

Here's the recipe if you want to give it a go. P.S. This is a great one to help you create a covert ops style invasion of healthy foods if you live with unhealthy eaters. 

Back to NOLA. 

Saturday was started at 5:30 with a 6 mile run. It was 79 degrees out with 86% humidity. That's hot y'all!  I guess it's good prep for my upcoming Disney Wine and Dine half?  Hopefully it will be cooler in November...

After running we came back and got ready for our brunch. I thought the Philly/Jersey area had brunch on lock, but we have nothing on Nola. They even have a Jazz Brunch!  We haven't tried that...maybe next year. 

Brunch was at Lüke, a Jim Besh restaurant which featured a giant menu of delicious options. 

Inside Lüke. I was drooling over the floors.

Pate oh yay!
Zach ordered some pate for the tablet he board came with pickled watermelon (delish), jalepaño jelly (amazing), relish, and pickles. Two types of spicy mustard rounded out the board. I smacked on some crusty bread with jalepaño jelly, mustards, and pickled watermelon. I died and went to foodgasm heaven. I tried some pate, but I'm not really a fan.

Brunch mocktail of cranberry and pineapple juices.

My salad and fruit cup. Look at those shrimpies.

I caved to the mimosa!  I regret nothing.

Dessert at brunch? I think so!

It was a delightful meringue cookie with a lemony topping underneath raspberry sorbet!  All of this laid on top of a bed of fresh fruit with a berry sauce. 

Brunch buddies!

Post brunch we ended up picking up Zach's sister for a trip to Mardi Gras World. MGW was having a half way to Carnival Celebration and admission was free, parking was only $5, free SNOCONES, and free tours of the magical land that creates Mardi Gras!  It seriously is like Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory but full of Mardi Gras floats, sculptures, and art. It's insanely cool!

We ended up taking the tour which featured a quick video on the history of Mardi Gras and how it is celebrated in New Orleans.

After the video we got a slice of King's Cake!  I've had King's Cake before when I was in high school. I was in French Club and we always ordered one for our Mardi Gras Celebration!

Delish!  It tastes like a Danish.

Hey Marilyn!

The props are all left here to be revitalized, displayed, or recycled every year.

It's Breesus y'all!

Satchmo himself!  
Hey, George…sup?
We're off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of OZ!

All hail the queen

The workshop
View of the Mississippi from MGW
We have Aladdin, Belle, and Abe…what a crew!  

Crews are the name for the different groups that perform and parade on Mardi Gras.  Every crew is responsible for their own design, but then the people at Mardi Gras World create, sculpt, and paint the floats.

Some of the supplies

We took a tour of MGW and learned that they use plexiglass, styrofoam, and papier mache to create the props and floats.

Our tour guide who literally couldn't even.  
She was in the mood for nothing!  She wasn't very interesting or exciting, but she knew a lot.

After the tour we got FREEEEEEE SNOCONES!  

ice cream flavor--AMAZING!
My lactose intolerant self was ecstatic to have some ice cream goodness in my life sans allergic reaction!  It tasted like ice cream/birthday cake mix!  Face was rocked.

Maybe a new addition to my classroom's bookshelf?
Kind of a spin on The Gingerbread Man…maybe I will work this into my multicultural fairy tale unit?

On the way home we passed by a cute and colorful house!  I love all of the interesting architecture and colors that are used in the city.  It truly brings out a unique quality that is indigenous to the city. 

Yellow and blue house and peach and blue house!

Everything looks like a Barbie Dream House and I couldn't be more excited about it.

After MGW, we went back home to change for dinner.  Dinner was at Superior Seafood and it was fantastic!  There is not a shortage of delicious food here in New Orleans.

Raw oyster smothered in cocktail sauce…yummmmmm

I stole that oyster from Zach.

Grilled drum with asparagus
This was the first time I've ever had drum and I'm a fan.  I actually googled what the heck drum was and it turns out it's a white fish that has a little more thickness than tilapia.  In short, I have a new fave fish.

After dinner, we went to Angelo Brocato for dessert.  It's a cute Italian dessert house that has been around for over 100 years.  After the mouthwatering desserts, I can see why it's a beloved New Orleans hot spot.  

There is actually a full time cop that stands in front of the bakery/gelato heaven to keep the line in check.  Now that's a dessert place I can get behind.  

20 minutes later we were inside the bakery and here's a pic of the damage done.

Zach got the chocolate cannoli and spumoni, and I got the pecan and chocolate chip cookie.  Choosing a dessert may have been one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.  

I sampled Zach's desserts and they were insanely tasty!

After dessert, Zach, his sister, his friend, and I went to a drag show.  It was so much fun.  I have been to college drag shows at TCNJ and they're always fun!  Who doesn't love costumes, big hair, big makeup, and lip syncing to the biggest party jams of all time?

Token Dolly Diva!
I sang along to the Dolly drag queen.  She sang 9-5 and my heart was so excited.


Obviously, I jammed to Whit Whit, too.  Jersey Girls gotta represent!

It was a great night and we all danced and had so much fun!  

I hope you all have a great day!