Monday, February 29, 2016

TWTW - the one in North Woods

Did you ever drive somewhere at night and it was so dark out it was like a void? After work on Friday Debbie and I headed up to Lori & Jack's. Lots of nonsense traffic, black as night, Mae would not stay in the back, we missed a turn and had to pull a u-ie near a haunted house, and a dog crapped a huge messy crap in the back seat. Standard Friday night.

Saturday included a long, lovely woods walks with the dogs minus Mae - Mae don't play in the cold. She stayed behind with Debbie and Jack to fangirl over the cats.
Saturday also included my favorite of Jack's breakfasts, and I love them all: bacon sugar butter toast. I cannot even describe how awesome it is. Lori, Debbie, and I hit the Dandy and a few local shops, I caught up on magazines and painted my nails, we relaxed and had a beer (I like big butts and I cannot lie), ate Lori's delicious lasagna, and watched HGTV. It was a wonderfully relaxing day.
Sunday morning we headed out for breakfast, then stopped by a scenic overlook where the Warrior Path is. An Indian path, the Warrior Path ran from New York to the Catawba country in the Carolinas. This part of the Warrior Path is next to the Susquehannah River along Route 6 in Wyalusing. It's still dead looking out there, but it felt like spring and we saw a turkey vulture. They don't come back until it's warm. Good sign.
Back at the house we took the dogs on a walk along the creek and Mae got to see both of her beloved cats up close. This is her and Dots/Todd. The dogs were totally exhausted on the way home so no shitting in the car. Thank the Lord.
I went to Target and ShopRite on Sunday afternoon, then to shake that fresh hell from my mind I drove home with the sunroof open blaring Quiet Riot and Wham. Very current, I know. I swore I wasn't going to do food prep, but I did make egg muffins with green onion and cheese for breakfasts; brown rice, poop soup, and baked sweet potatoes for the dogs; and grilled pork chops with veggies for dinner. Other dinners are leftovers and Jenn's baked tacos. Lunches are a little hodge podge-y: soup from the freezer, leftover spaghetti and Lori's lasagna, salad. Snacks are bananas, cucumbers, celery and peanut butter, and Cadbury Creme Eggs. Tis the season, mofos.
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We always have an awesome time at Lori & Jack's, and the dogs sleep hard all night and even into the next day. It allows me to eat in peace and pick up around the house without tripping over dogs.

Leap year Leap Day. Monday. Let's hope it's lucky. Is that a thing? Lucky Leap Day? It should be. 

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Linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston for Weekending

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - last in February

1. Reminder. Important.

2. I am not a self help book fan, and I don't worship at the altar of Glennon Doyle Melton although I do enjoy her and read things from her regularly that resonate with me. I like motivational things in short spurts, but get overwhelmed by it when it's always in my face. Yesterday morning I went to a talk with my coworker on presence and body language by Amy Cuddy of TED Talk fame. It was just the right length, so I enjoyed it. Particularly the idea that when we are not present, we approach situations with fear, execute with anxiety, and leave with regret; and when we are present, we approach situations with composure, execute with calm confidence, and leave with satisfaction. Our body language has a lot to do with that. I also found it really interesting that hunching over our phones is ruining both our posture and our moods...it takes away our power and makes us more stressed, anxious, and depressed and less productive, confident, and assured. Just underscoring the importance of living pieces of our lives device-free daily. Sit up straight. Chin up. Raise your arms up in the air for a few seconds. Don't you feel better than you did 10 seconds ago?

3. Tuesday night I tried that turd of a shaving cream I made this weekend. Some people were all it doesn't matter if it's ugly as long as it works and I was all yeah, that's right! Well. It's ugly AND it doesn't work. It clogs up your razor. And it makes the tub so slippery you feel like you are wearing roller skates on an ice rink, grabbing at the air like it can save you and praying life does not make this a hard fall. Moral of the story: it's funny when you are telling people how crappy it turned out but otherwise no, I wouldn't try to make your own shaving cream at home.
4. Have I told you guys Jana has masterminded a podcast in which her and I talk about books and things associated with books and also go off on irrelevant tangents because we are who we are and we can't help it? Seriously, we record at night and sometimes it's a brain dead time and who the hell knows what is even coming out of my mouth. ANYWAY Jana hopes to have it up and running for the next Show Us Your Books, which is Tuesday, March 8, and we hope you might want to listen to two friends talk about books. We are not professionals. Repeat. We are not professionals. But we do have a professional amount of fun doing this. Jana is doing all the tech stuff and answering my numerous texts every week asking what we're talking about and when because I forget to write it down the week before. I'm like a small child who needs a handler on this project.
5. Just a few more days of Wallet Watch. Spoiler alert: I've gone down the poop shoot a little bit the last week. For those of you playing along, remember to share your posts next Friday, March 4. 

6. I made my way back to zumba classes this week. Tuesday night I left my house in the cold rain to go. I was rewarded by the presence of someone who was not the instructor in head to toe zumba gear: tank, pants, shoes, bracelet, headband, scarf. The sheer amount of zumba items on her person made me think she was the instructor, so I introduced myself to her since we had texted on Saturday but had not met in person. She's like oh no, I'm not the instructor. Oh. LOLOL

7. The leak in the basement was actually coming from the pipe under the kitchen sink. It's been patched but it has to be replaced. Like the entire pipe. Involving multiple ceilings throughout the basement. Shit continues to be in disarray. Good thing clean out and repurpose entire basement is already on my to do list. This will certainly be the kick in the ass to make it happen.

8. So Debbie and I are heading up to visit Lori and Jack this weekend. When I get home Sunday, I'm not going to jump into food prep like I normally would. I'm going to attempt to shift my weekly food prep to Monday night this week AND still attend zumba. This would mimic how it'll go down when I'm at the shore on weekends this summer. I actually think I need to do a combo of having meals in the freezer, cutting up fruits & veg on the weekend, and finishing up food prep Monday night. We'll see.

9. Whenever I'm peeling and cutting kiwi, I look down and see my Mom Mom's hands doing the same thing. It's always comforting.

10. E-card of the week...

That's what it's all about right now. Your Thursday thoughts? 

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Linking up with Kristin and Joey for Stuff & Things and Kristen and Gretch for What's New With You?

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What's New With You

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

And I drove out of there with no one behind me...feeling funny and free

It's 17 years ago this May, but the day I drove away from my house on Madison and off of the University of Delaware campus, leaving my footloose and fancy free college self behind, is still crystal clear to me.

I had a mix CD in my car, and I heard Reunion by the Indigo Girls and Wildflowers by Tom Petty before I got on 95 to head north towards home. Looking in the rear view mirror, it seemed like it had all already slipped away even though it was still in view. It passed in the blink of an eye.

In true egocentric early 20s fashion, I was overly dramatic about the end of this college era. I felt bereft, ripped from the familiar, thrust forward before I was ready to witness the death of some less responsible, more carefree versions of myself. I had bills in college and I had worked beginning at 16, so the work and bills aspect of real life weren't exactly new concepts to me. My parents didn't go to college. I knew it was a privilege for me to go - did I do it right? What if I didn't? More than the mundane details of adult life, I think I was afraid that leaving meant a turning point I couldn't cross through again. I felt like I was closing the door on endless possibility.

While I've absolutely done things on a whim and felt freedom in the years between college and now, it's never been in quite the same way because I've never been as open to possibility as I was then. That day I feel like I could've stood in the middle of a great plain full of possibilities and gone whichever way the wind blew me. In years since, I've learned to tame the wind.

When I think about it now and how hard it felt then, I know it wasn't the huge deal I made it out to be. Life went on, quickly. I adapted to being back home. I found a job and stayed there for three years, and what I did there put me on a trajectory career-wise that I'm still on today. I'd never go back to my 20s, or to any previous age. But when I think about it I still feel little threads of melancholy over that state of being young in a time of timelessness.

Just another things I think about post, like last Wednesday's 90/10 post. I write these whenever they come to mind but don't always publish them. I've been trying to be better about that - to push publish on random writings that don't feel finished to me and are unrelated to anything in my life at the time they're written. I mean, if I wait to write about something until my thoughts on a subject are complete or until I can connect it to something that's happening currently, I'll be waiting forever. And I do hate waiting. So thanks for indulging me.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Great Makeup on a Budget

I've been like 0 for six or sometimes even 7 days a week on wearing makeup, so naturally it's been a minute since anything beauty-related has been on this blog. I love makeup posts so I'm bringing in the big guns, my great friend Jill. She's my go-to makeup guru and did my makeup for my wedding. Anyone in the southern NJ/PA area who needs a makeup artist for a wedding or special event, get in touch with Jill! She does an awesome job and is really knowledgeable about makeup and application. She does her research on products and knows her shit! I usually confer with her before I buy things if I'm hemming and hawing over it. Be sure to follow her on Instagram!
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Hi everyone! My name is Jill and I am so excited to be guest blogging for Steph today. I am a professional makeup artist and cosmetology educator at PB Beauty School in NJ. Beauty is my passion and this is such a great opportunity to share it with all of you! 
Instagram: @kicksandlipsticks
As a professional makeup artist, I am constantly buying makeup. It is basically part of my job to shop and stock up on beauty products. I often times find myself looking around for duplicates or "dupes " of some of the high end products I love. I am a beauty addict so I will buy any makeup product from Dior to Cover girl. If I like it and it is a good product the label doesn't matter to me. I would prefer to get more bang for my buck and I'm sure most of you feel the same. I have found so many that I love and want to share them with all of you!

1. Smashbox VS. NYX
How many of you wear foundation? If you're wearing it, are you priming your skin first? Here's my tip: if you wear a foundation daily you should be using a primer. It is going to do several things for you. First, it's going to make your makeup stay on longer and second, it's also going to allow your makeup to go on smoother. My favorite primer is Smashbox Photo Finish. It is great for all skin types. However it has a pretty steep price tag at $36.00 and for an item that should be used everyday you can burn through it pretty quickly.
Here is my suggestion as a perfect dupe- NYX Photo Loving Primer. At $12.99 you can grab this baby at your local CVS or Ulta. This is a great product and is equally as good.

2. Benefit VS. NYX
In addition to a primer a lot of people ask me about pore fillers, some primers work as a pore filler but often times in areas such as the nose a pore filler is needed to help minimize the size of the pore.
One of the most popular ones on the market is POREfessional by Benefit Cosmetics. Although it is a great product why pay $31 when you can buy a product that will do the same thing for $13.99?
NYX Pore Filler does the job just fine. I use this product on my cheeks almost everyday! This can be used with a primer like the Photo Loving one from above or alone as a primer and pore filler.

3. Anastasia VS. NYX
Let's talk brows for a second. To me eyebrows are the most important accessory. A good brow can make your everyday look seem like it's right off the red carpet. I swear by the Anastasia Beverly Hills brow products but recently tried a great substitute. I have always used the Anastasia Highlighting Duo Pencil which is $23. I would line around my brow and it would brighten up the whole area and really help to define my brows.
BUT, even though Anastasia will always have my loyalty, I have to spread the word about the NYX Eyebrow Push-Up Bra. This product has a built-in brow pencil as well as a highlight stick. It can be used to shade and shape but on the flipside it can conceal and highlight. The best is the price:  it is only $9.99.

4. MAC lipstick VS Drugstore Brands
My last dupe I want to share with you is one that I found on Pinterest. I have personally bought every one of the suggested "dupes" and have been pleasantly surprised by them. I LOVE MAC lipsticks and thought there was no way I would ever find a lipstick that had the same awesome color quality and a decent texture with long lasting wear. I am so glad I tried these because the price difference is so worth it.
(image via INDULGY )

I hope you guys have enjoyed reading about my favorite "dupes."Be sure to let us know if you try any of them!

Thanks so much to Jill for beautying up this place. Look for more guest blogs from her in the future!

Do you have a dupe you swear by?

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Monday, February 22, 2016

TWTW - the one with the verbs

Painted my nails and did a self-pedicure even though I hate doing that with the fire of a 10,000 suns. Wallet watch and all. Nails are Zoya Sia and toes are Zoya Bijou. I adore the Perfectly Posh Schwanky & Soft foot lotion and would not do any nails ever without Sally Hansen cuticle remover. 
Enjoyed time with Lori, or as the dogs call her, Treat Lady.
Handled an asshole shopping cart...and a new fudge croissant donut from DD. I handled the second much better than the first, trust.
Attempted to make my own shaving cream. It did not come out anywhere close to the original photo. It came out looking like a sad turd burglar cousin.
Played Cards Against Humanity and caught up with our good friends Jill & Frank. Jill wrote a great makeup dupe guest blog post for me, look out for that tomorrow.
Stared at my dogs. And they stared at me. It's a thing we do. Did you see Steph's post on what to keep on hand for your pet, like first aid kit stuff? If not, check it out.
Prepared food for the week: egg muffins with ham and cheese for breakfast; fruit and veggies for snacks; oatmeal and poop soup for the dogs; honey soy chicken drumsticks for dinners to be served with broccoli. Other dinner - pasta with turkey meatballs and red sauce. Lunch is surprise soup out of the freezer. Like surprise! You didn't label this. You get what you get.
Saw my precious perfect niece and had Chinese food with her parents and my Dad & Carol

Dealt with a pipe leak in the basement...and by dealt I mean said oh fuck as I watched MFD rip the ceiling out in the utility room and then went upstairs thinking I'll move the rest of this shit tomorrow.

Watched some episodes of Luther.

Cleaned and organized my kitchen cabinets and the coat closet.

Napped for two hours Sunday, and was reminded why I never nap...I wake up cranky.

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I got less accomplished than I wanted to this weekend, but read and relaxed more than I planned. Totally calling that a win. 

How was yours?

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Linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston for Weekending

Friday, February 19, 2016

Things that are the Devil in Disguise

Strapless bras

Protesters from Westboro Baptist Church

Self-sabotaging behavior
Fireball

That itch on your back that you can't reach no matter how you approach it

McDonald's non-decaying food

The comments section of Internet articles

Funny memes you're dying to share that have grammatical errors or misspellings

Oil stains on clothes that you only see post-wash

People who say "just kidding" after they realize everyone is pissed off at them

Shoes that rub your pinky toes

Ignorance

Black ice

Personal space invaders

Under the skin hurty zits

The snooze button

Those who play things with sound from phones or tablets in public spaces without using headphones

Carts with shitty wheels 

Amazing shows that are available to binge watch, sucking up any free time

Tangled necklaces 

What are some of your devils in disguise?


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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Currently...February


R E A D I N G ... Just finished an advanced reader copy of Dodgers by Bill Beverly courtesy of Netgalley and loved it. I started Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver yesterday. The next Show Us Your Books is Tuesday, March 8.

L O V I N G ... that we are so close to opening the shore house again. Just a few more weeks.

B U Y I N G ... Nothing. I'm halfway through Wallet watch. Well I did buy a few souvenirs in New Orleans but that was expected. One of those was a tie dye dress. I cannot quit tie dye and I won't quit it and if you pass by me when I am an old lady in a tie dye muumuu, just nod hello and carry on. 

A N N O Y E D ... That some shit is blue and I can't fix it even though I went through the HTML.

A P P R E C I A T I N G ... That the series of unfortunate events of Monday is over - MFD's car did not want to start after sitting for several days in the frozen tundra / snow all day and really slippery sidewalks left me in an unintentional lunge position in front of coworkers on the sidewalk / no scraper to be found in MFD's car, had to remove snow and ice with a fucking scarf / dog poop in the basement. The End. To be continued Tuesday morning when I slipped on black ice trying to take the trash out, put my hand out to avoid falling into the central air unit, knocked over a huge bin of recycles, and landed on the wet ground and had to change clothes. Geege is so caring, he was crying and licking my face. Gus was slip sliding around concerned with Gus, and Mae was at the back door like let me in bitches be crazy.

W O N D E R I N G ... If any of you bloggers would be interested in joining me and Sarah from My Journey of Doing in a seasonal goal link up, the spring one would likely be on Friday, March 18...non-bloggers, you'd just share some of your seasonal goals via comment or tweet or post to FB that day. Thoughts? Any interest?

L I S T E N I N G ... to San Francisco Days San Francisco Nights by Chris Isaak. It was playing in the car in The Affair and Helen was all I love this song. So do I.



F E E L I N G ... gross. I need to eat lettuce and air for a while. Just kidding but I really have to slow my roll. 

FA I L I N G ... to understand people's thinking on the workings of our government. The current President is in the last year of his term, not the last five minutes. He has about 336 days left. The longest the Supreme Court has been without nine Justices is 340 days. If this goes into the next President, that record will be beat. Everyone - President, Congress, all of you - do your fucking jobs and function as the government should function. Vet and nominate a Justice and act in the best interest of this country in receiving the nomination - do not vow to shoot down anyone who is nominated. That is fucking insane and you should be fired for it. And if you support that line of thinking, I question you too. Do you want inefficiency and for things to slowly grind to a halt? Are you okay with people sitting in an elected office acting like toddlers? Are you okay when they cause a government shut down over anything? I'm not. I don't give a good shit what side of the party line you're on. Grow up and work. All of this shit makes my eyelid twitch. PLUS...as the very awesome Rachel Maddow brought up, if this election goes the way of Gore/Bush and has to go to the court, what if the vote comes down to 4 - 4 ? Anyone who went to school knows there are three branches of government to provide a checks and balances system. I do not understand how staunchly proclaimed protectors of the Constitution or you lovers of it would advocate a party that refuses to entertain nominees. I'm standing with Harry Reid on this one.

K E E P I N G ... up with my 40/40 even though I failed Monday and Tuesday. I walked for many hours on Saturday and Sunday, so I banked some time. I meant to try a new zumba class at 8:30 on Tuesday night but I have to be real with myself - that time will always be too late for me.

W R I T I N G ... up little short blogs about past events, trying to capture what I felt in the moment. I'm not sure if they'll be published, but some might be.

P L A N N I N G ... to make my own shaving cream this weekend. I said this last month too. Now I'm really out and I'm doing it. I'll report back.

Fill me in...what's going on with you this month?

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Linking up with Kristin and Joey

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

90/10

Sometimes I think there's a perception that people who have it together and enjoy life have had it easy. 

We can't compare who has had it easier or harder than us. We're all on our own journey. It's important to have perspective, sure. I think someone always has it worse than me and someone probably has it better, too. I'm not the only person in the world who has an issue I'm struggling with. 

Suffering and struggle are part of the human condition. No one gets off scott free and not one of us is a special snowflake unique and alone in our suffering. We are never the only one suffering, and out of the many people on this earth someone else has likely gone through the same thing. Part of growing up is figuring out a way to deal with life in general. People close to us will die or get sick, we will fail people around us, we will fuck something up, we will get in accidents, we will battle ourselves. The world doesn't stop. 

I think we like to use you don't understand as an insulator to ensure we are alone in our suffering or as an excuse to prolong it. People understand more than we'd like them to.

I operate by the 90/10 rule, which works best given my personality and how I overcome things and keeps me from being two things I hate: the martyr or the victim. I believe life is 10 percent of what happens to me and 90 percent of how I react to it. The path I take out of the dark place depends on my attitude. Sometimes it takes me longer to find the path out but the fact remains that my attitude is always my choice and no one else's. For a time, I might be able to blame circumstance for things that are wrong, but eventually I will need to see my own part in it: my choice of attitude. I can't lay that on anyone else. 

I should note that I'm not in any great struggle or period of suffering...this is just something I think about.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

TWTW - the one in New Orleans

Some people are like Sweet Brown, ain't got no time for trip or weekend recaps so for you, I'll shotgun my New Orleans feelings here: I did not have one thing to eat that I didn't like - the food is crazy in this town. Music surrounded me everywhere and I loved that. The city felt shrouded in mystery and made me think a lot about vampires and voodoo, of things we glimpse on the edge of our vision, of what we can learn from looking in nooks and crannies. I loved the alleys, courtyards, gates, wrought iron, balconies, buildings, colors, weather... I loved the funky shops and the artists and psychics in Jackson Square. I loved staying on Chartres Street close to the action but not right in it. I loved wandering the French Market and talking to local artists on Sunday morning. I loved the grand old homes in the Garden District and the raised cemeteries rising like small cities of the dead. I loved the walkability of the city and the spirit of its people. I disliked the stench of Bourbon and Royal Streets (Jana was correct in describing it as every type of excretion imaginable mixed together) and drunk people who must have thought they were filming their own personal girls gone wild video bumping into me beginning at noon and continuing on through the day, so I largely avoided both of those streets except in the morning. I expect that at night but in the early afternoon? Let me live.
And now the details and eleventy billion photos.

Friday afternoon found us sprinting through the airport to make a 3:30 flight to New Orleans (MFD loves to push his airport limits), and a few hours later we were aghast at the amount of people in the line for taxis. As in, over 150 people. Not one to let my time pass me by, we made the executive decision to go for the pumped up Uber fare ($75, taxi flat rate is $36) and we were heading into the Crescent City within minutes.

Friday night dinner at the Gumbo Shop on the recommendation of Gwen was the perfect introduction to New Orleans: a little spicy and in no great hurry. My tried and true Northeasterner self struggles with the pace of the South every time. I had crawfish and pasta in tasso cream and MFD had a creole combo so I sampled his seafood okra gumbo, jambalaya, and macque choux corn. I had a huge ass piece of pecan pie that was fabulous to top off the meal.
The Gumbo Shop was perfectly situated for our plan to see one of the three nightly shows at Preservation Hall. This was number one on my To Do list in New Orleans. Unless you buy advanced tickets (sold out when I tried), it's standing room only for the 45 minute show. I ended up sitting out on one of the old ass seats in the hall in lieu of behind the mystery farter in the room.The sound was just as good. MFD stood in the doorway and watched the whole thing with better views than he would have otherwise. It was awesome and absolutely worth the $20 each to get in. There are no frills, no refreshments, no bathroom, nothing pretty about the place except for the music and the music is enough. I'm still singing oh Eliza, little Liza Jane on repeat.
I got a beer and MFD got a red bull and we lasted about two blocks on Bourbon Street before taking refuge in the quieter streets behind St. Louis Cathedral, which has a statue throwing off awesome shadows. The quiet sign made me laugh. It was quietER. That'll do.
Of course we hit Cafe du Monde, both Saturday and Sunday mornings. I like their coffee and MFD loves his sweets.
We spent early Saturday morning in Louis Armstrong Park in the Treme neighborhood dedicated to one of the city's most celebrated native sons. A bust of Sidney Bechet, another NOLA music king, as well as other art is dotted around the park.
Saturday Jazz Brunch at the Court of the Two Sisters on the recommendation of Colleen K - we sat in the courtyard even though it was a little chilly. The setting was really lovely with brick and vines and burbling fountains. The jazz was a nice background, service was friendly, and I have never in my life had better sweet potatoes. Ever. Like I could have sat there all day and eaten 12 pounds of those sweet potatoes and I've already sussed out the recipe on the internets.
MFD headed off to his conference and I took the Saint Charles Streetcar to the Garden District, where I rambled around its torn up sidewalks under huge old trees, peeking at the grand houses on the wide streets. It was peaceful and quiet, a world away from the bustle of the French Quarter, if only about 20 minutes by streetcar. A note about the streetcar transport: cheap as hell (day pass for $3, go anywhere, use the RTA app on your phone and you don't even need cash) but operating on whatever schedule they want and passing you by if they're full. I waited a half hour on the way there with two passing me and 50 minutes on the way back with three passing me. And that was with walking down and getting on the car earlier in the line in lieu of at the popular Washington Avenue stop. I also perused Magazine Street and had some sweet sustenance at Sucre, taking some macarons to go.
Of course no visit to the Garden District is complete without a peek behind the walls of Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, one of the oldest cemeteries in the city. The tombs are raised and wall vaults line the perimeter. Well shaded by Magnolia trees and gothic feeling, it takes up an entire city block. It was first active in 1833 and still has burials occurring.
Saturday evening dinner at Tujague's on Decatur, a recommendation from my coworker. This joint opened in 1856 under a different name but has been Tujague's for the past 70-some years and has adopted many of the original traditions, including serving hot coffee in rocks glasses. The service was impeccable and the food was amazing. MFD had oysters in brochette and I had fried green tomatoes with crabmeat ravigote to start, then a meh caesar that I didn't even need anyway, and filet Tujagues - a filet with creole seasonings accompanied by gulf fried oysters and a Crystal Hot Sauce bearnaise reduction (I got it on the side). The crust on this steak was unbelievable. MFD actually told the waiter he'd bathe in it. So the waiter got a little taste of Shit MFD Said and he liked it. 
I had walked one billion miles that day and had the blisters on my toes to prove it so I was done done done. MFD went and heard some jazz on Frenchmen Street in the Faubourg Marigny section and enjoyed it a lot. 

Sunday began with another morning walk in the French Quarter:
Jackson Square, which was truly magnificent with the cathedral in the back and ringed with artists and performers throughout most of the day:
After MFD was off to his conference, I strolled the French Market, talked to some merchants, enjoyed the sunny skies and warm breezes, sipped some coffee, and stepped into some galleries and shops. Perfect Sunday morning, right? I am a statue lover and this town did not disappoint. 
I walked along the mighty Mississippi for a bit, watching the Natchez steamboat take off with its wheel paddling furiously in the muddy river and listening to a joyful trombone player for a while. 
MFD and I had our au revoir lunch at Felix's, a recommendation from Angie, and hot damn it was good. We split chargrilled oysters that were incredible and I had a fried oyster po boy I swore I had no room for but finished. We even ate the delicious bread with the oysters even though I swear I have never had more bread in my life than I had this weekend. Allll the french bread. 
I know, I know, STFU with the food. Just two more for you: Spitfire Coffee (excellent iced coffee and very unique mole cortada that was great), they have tip jars and you place your vote for the day in them. MFD placed his dollar in science and I placed mine in magic. And Central Grocery for the muffuletta. Just do it. I could only eat half of a half but I'm glad I at least tasted the magic.
We stayed at the Hotel Provincial and I loved it. Really nice staff and a great location on Chartres tucked out of the way of the insanity. I also considered the Cornstalk. That was really cool looking from the outside and in a good location as well. If you do decide to stay at Hotel Provincial, ask for a room off a balcony. We didn't and wish we did. We stayed in building five, which is a restoration of the original 1875 structure that was at one time a Civil War military hospital. 
I'll just leave a few videos here of some music for those that like that sort of jazz...get it? I'm going to start with the one where the guy is playing a Kora African Bass Harp, an instrument that originates in West Africa. He built this one himself. I thought the sound was unique and I liked sitting and listening to him in Jackson Square on my way back to the hotel to leave for the airport.



Entertaining the people in line at Cafe du Monde on Sunday:



Royal Street


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On the way to the airport, I rode by a Second Line party in Treme on the way out of town and that was a fine sendoff. My brother picked me up and I got home around 11:15 and to bed a little before 1 after many lovely greetings from the dogs. Thanks to our friends Catie & Joe for watching the grumble this weekend while we were gone!

I worked yesterday as there are no bank holidays off here. Thus you get TWTW on Tuesday. 

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Linking up with Biana at B Loved Boston for Weekending

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