April 29, 2012


J and I went to Blue Dot Donuts this morning for breakfast. Sooooo not healthy but we decided to splurge. Three police officers opened the donut shop here in Mid-City exactly a year ago in April 2011. And yes, you read that correctly, cops own the donut shop.  We ordered the...

Chocolate Iced w/ Chocolate Sprinkles
Dulce de Leche
Eclair Long John
Key Lime Crumb
Maple Bacon Long John
Peanut Butter & Jelly
Red Velvet w/ Cream Cheese

After trying a bite of each, J's favorite was the Key Lime Crumb and my favorite was the Maple Bacon Long John.  It was all yummy though.  The Iced Coffee drinks were really good too!  I don't want to make a habit of eating donuts all that often, but next time we're in the mood for a special treat, Blue Dot it is!

April 23, 2012


We had my sister-in-law Alisha's baby shower yesterday.  It was a cyber baby shower since Alisha and Benjamin are living the good life in Hawaii for the next few years.  They have friends and family all over the country.  All over the world really.  So a cyber baby shower seemed like a perfect fit.  Invitations were mailed to 16 different states and Germany!  Ashley Gatewood and I hosted the online get-together with the help of FreeConferenceCall.com (so people could talk and listen) and Justin.tv (so people could watch and listen).  And while she wants no credit, my Mom helped out immensely as well. Alisha had a great time and I'm so happy we were able to put something together for her despite the distance. Thank you so much to everyone who called in/logged in and participated. You helped make it an extra special day for Alisha!


My cookie wrap station.  I had 45 cookie favors to package and mail out!

Every guest got a bib, carriage, and rattle cookie.  These cookies are delicious by the way.  A local New Orleanian named Joan Farrell-Mathis made them for me.  People around town actually refer to her as the "cookie lady."  Hopefully all the cookies held up in shipping.

Alisha & Benjamin's cookies are ready to go!

This is what the finished favors looked like.  Although,  I'll be honest... a few hours in to it I stopped curling the ribbon.  My back was killing me and I could barely keep my eyes open.  1:00am was waaaay past my bedtime.  (My college self is rolling her eyes right now at the thought of going to bed before 3:00am)

The NOLA themed baby shower gift J and I got for Alisha.  Our future niece and nephew won't be born in Louisiana, but I always want them to feel like it's their home away from home :) 

Watching Benjamin & Alisha live during the shower.  Not only were invited guests watching the shower but random people as well.  Kind of creepy the more I think about it.  Most of the random people sent one sentence comments or questions but someone from Japan sent a lengthy message discussing their grandnephew and included 4 photographs!

Uncle J & Aunt K love you already babies!  We can't wait to meet you in July!

April 18, 2012


J's company threw a party last night at the Green Acres Country Club.  The IRS tax filing deadline for 2012 was yesterday so it was time for all the accountants to let loose! There was lots of yummy crawfish, catfish, shrimp, and cold beer.  They also had a photo booth.  What a fun idea!  J and I stepped in and took a few pics...

For all you procrastinators out there, the 2013 IRS tax filing deadline is Monday, April 15th.  Plan accordingly :)

April 17, 2012


I have always wanted to go to Picayune, Mississippi because of the name.  I love the name!  I especially love the name when people with thick southern accents say it aloud.  The town is only 50 miles northeast of New Orleans so not too far of a drive.  This past weekend was the 16th annual Picayune Street Fair so J and I went on Sunday after church.  It was not our cup of tea.  I actually felt really bad for dragging him out there.  J's time could have been better spent studying.  I was picturing more of a flea market atmosphere with lots of antiques and cheap prices.  I thought we'd find a really old farmhouse table or armoire that we could give some TLC and fix up.  Instead there were booths selling weight loss drugs and churches trying to recruit new members.  There were a few standouts every now and then.  We met a man who does woodworking and I really liked his alligator (picture below).  I thought we could put Bayou's dog bowls in it.  The man told us people also use the alligator as a planter and others to hold bowls of food during parties.  To sum it up, I was happy to finally step foot in Picayune but we won't be going back anytime soon.  Completely my fault for not understanding the difference between a street fair and a flea market.  I'll do more research before I drag J somewhere again...

April 12, 2012


Southern Living features a local NOLA designer, Karina Gentinetta, this month in the April 2012 issue. The article is about the rebuilding of Gentinetta's home post-Katrina. I believe the house is in Lakeview so I'll have to do a drive-by and check it out... Photos are below. I especially love the kitchen!

Check out Gentinetta's blog for more design inspiration!  And if you want the recipe for the Fresh Strawberry Meringue Cake featured on the cover of the magazine, look no further...

1 cup chopped pecans
Parchment paper
Masking tape
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar, divided
7 egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 (8-oz.) containers mascarpone cheese
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups whipping cream
4 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
Halved fresh strawberries


1.  Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 10 to 12 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Remove from oven, and cool completely (about 10 minutes). Reduce oven temperature to 250°.
2.  Cover 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Draw 2 (8-inch) circles on each piece of paper. Turn paper over; secure with masking tape.
3.  Process cornstarch, salt, toasted pecans, and 1/2 cup sugar in a food processor 40 to 45 seconds or until pecans are finely ground.
4.  Beat egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add 1 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp. at a time, beating at medium-high speed until mixture is glossy, stiff peaks form, and sugar dissolves (2 to 4 minutes; do not overbeat). Add half of pecan mixture to egg white mixture, gently folding just until blended. Repeat procedure with remaining pecan mixture.
5.  Gently spoon egg white mixture onto circles drawn on parchment paper (about 1 1/2 cups mixture per circle), spreading to cover each circle completely.
6.  Bake at 250° for 1 hour, turning baking sheets after 30 minutes. Turn oven off; let meringues stand in closed oven with light on 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until surface is dry and meringues can be lifted from paper without sticking to fingers.
7.  Just before assembling cake, stir together mascarpone cheese and vanilla in a large bowl just until blended.
8.  Beat whipping cream at low speed until foamy; increase speed to medium-high, and gradually add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. (Do not overbeat or cream will be grainy.) Gently fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture.
9.  Carefully remove 1 meringue from parchment paper; place on a serving plate. Spread one-fourth mascarpone mixture (about 2 cups) over meringue; top with 1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries. Repeat layers 2 times; top with remaining meringue, mascarpone mixture, and halved strawberries. Serve immediately, or chill up to 2 hours. Cut with a sharp, thin-bladed knife.

April 10, 2012


Matthew 28: 1-10

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.  There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.  His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.  The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.  The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.  Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”  So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.  Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.  Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

J and I celebrated Easter with his family in Tennessee.  We drove up Friday and came back Monday.  It would have been nice to fly instead of drive 8 hours each way but then Billie Lu Bayou couldn't have come too.  I downloaded the Instagram app on J's iPhone the morning we left.  Hence all the photos below...

On our way to see Mr. Terry, Mrs. Lynette, & Jacqueline... 

Are we there yet?

Finally!  The exit to J's hometown.

J's parent's backyard looking towards the neighbor's barn.

This creek runs through the backyard.  Isn't it beautiful?

Bayou joined in on the exploration.

J and I went to downtown Columbia while we were there.  The 11th President of the United States, James Knox Polk, was born in North Carolina but lived in this house in Columbia, Tennessee before his presidency. It is his only private residence still standing.  Recognized as the president who made the United States a coast-to-coast nation, Polk increased the United States landmass by a third.

The Maury County Courthouse on the square in downtown Columbia.

More of the square...

Lots of cute stores on the square.  We didn't get anything from Pie Sensations but my mouth is watering just thinking about a slice of their Lemon Chess pie or Reese's Peanut Butter pie.  Guess I'll have to wait until next time...

Square Market & Cafe has a yummy Rebel Reuben sandwich.  J always opts for the Tennessee Hot Brown (Sliced Ham, Turkey & Bacon on White Toast, topped with White Sauce & Cheddar Cheese).  I'm not positive but I think J was friends with the owner's son in high school.  Something Lovell.  I'll have to check with him later.  Anyway, definitely stop in and grab a bite to eat at the Square Market & Cafe next time you're in Columbia :)

J and I also drove to Taft, Tennessee where our farm was to grab things we had been storing in one of the barns.  This is Mitch & Cathy.  They are renting the farm right now and putting it to good use.  Finally an actual working farm!  My Grandpa will be so pleased next time he goes to visit.

This is one of Mitch & Cathy's goats.

One of the beautiful horses they have on the property.

Lots of German beef cows.

Mitch & Cathy also have chickens and gave us some gorgeous farm fresh eggs to take back to J's parent's house.  I say gorgeous because they were all different colors.  It's hard to tell in the photograph because of the lighting but we had blue, green, brown, and cream colored eggs.  Mitch & Cathy were so kind and we had a nice visit with them as we gathered our things.

Dying Easter eggs with J's family.

J with his Nana & Papa on Easter Sunday.

The Sullivan Family on their front porch.  J, his Dad Terry, his Mom Lynette, and his sister Jacqueline.  For some reason this picture reminds me of CD cover.  Pretty soon Jacqueline will be a Tingle instead of a Sullivan.  She and Chris are getting married on June 9th! 

After one last jump in the pool, it was time to come home to NOLA.  Bayou spent the majority of her weekend in the water.  She is always so worn out after our Tennessee trips thanks to all the swimming and sunshine.

April 3, 2012


My Mom has the base of an old Singer sewing table. She's had it for as long as I can remember. When we lived in Maryland the table was in our living room and had a cream base topped with a thick piece of dark brown wood. When we lived in Alabama the table made it's way up to my room. The base was painted a bright white and the wood top had been painted with a blue multspec effect. Most recently, when my parents moved to Illinois, the table got another makeover. My parents had leftover marble from the fireplace surround and had a rectangle cut out to replace the wood top. J and I happened to be visiting as the project was taking place so I snapped some photos. I think the finished product turned out beautifully.

J's parents got me an old Singer sewing table for Christmas last year.  They made the purchase at an auction.  I was so excited when they told me!  And my table still has the original top and sewing machine with it!  I don't have any pictures and can't take any since it's all the way in Tennessee.  As I've mentioned before, J and I have hardly any room in our tiny one bedroom shotgun.  So until we move into a larger place, in Tennessee the table will stay.  We're just appreciative that J's parents have room to keep so much of our stuff.  I'm not sure how I want to transform my table yet.  I'll have to keep searching Google images for inspiration...

Bathroom Sink & Vanity perhaps?

Or maybe I'll use it as a desk.

April 2, 2012


J and some of his coworkers took part in an amateur cook off yesterday in City Park called the New Orleans Bar & Grille.  Read above for more info.  Our good friends Lauren and Avery drove down from Baton Rouge to support J and his company Bourgeois Bennett.  We biked over to City Park to let the eating begin!  Shame on me for not taking any food pictures.  Not a single one.  Are you shocked?  That is sooo not like me.  Guess I was too busy enjoying all the amazing food... bacon wrapped duck, deep fried mac and cheese balls, soft-shell crab po'boys, J's crawfish rangoons... I could go on and on.  I did take a few people pictures though.

The event was so much fun and hopefully successful fundraiser wise.  Count me in again for next year!