Thursday, March 10, 2011

N'Awlins y'all

That's right, we're headed to NOLA this weekend!  So excited to spend the weekend with my husband and I'm ready to have some fun!  We're driving, so I'm looking forward to good conversation and listening to our own unique blend of music favorites.  Between Michael and me, it tends to be quite an eclectic mix, but it works! 

Some of Michael's favorites:  Of course, Widespread Panic.  He also likes Grateful Dead, Kings of Leon, Radiohead, and James Taylor.  He's also been known to listen to some John Denver, Garth Brooks, Dave Matthews, Phish, Pearl Jam, and some occasional country and easy listening.  He's really a fan of jam bands, and loves him some festivals!  He can still bounce like you wouldn't believe!

Some of my favorites, lately, include Zac Brown Band, Ray LaMontagne, The Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, Miley Cyrus, Pink, All American Rejects, Kings of Leon, Smashing Pumpkins, Darius Rucker, Amy Winehouse, Adele, Billy Currington, Dave Matthews Band.  It's completely random, I know, but I go through phases and it's a strange mixture.  It's usually a random shuffle on my iPod. 

And, disclaimer:  The only Miley Cyrus song I like (and know) is the Party in the USA song...  It has a fun beat, and I sing along in the car.  Don't judge...  It's kind of like my Hanson phase in high school.  We won't go there...  Mmmm bop!

I've asked several friends to offer some recommendations of must-dos, and must-eats, and words of wisdom while we're in New Orleans.  Here are a few of their suggestions:

  • Cafe du Monde,, for beignets and chickory coffee.  I already checked, they are open 24 hours a day - so it might be a late night snack :)
  • Restaurant August,  Kinda fancy but sure to be a treat.
  • Domenica, located in the Roosevelt hotel,
  • Who is this John Besh guy, anyway?  I keep seeing his name.  He must be pretty decent, and have some pretty decent grub in those parts.  Check out his website,
  • Emeril's on Tchoupitoulas
  • Irene's in the French Quarter
  • The Columns on St. Charles to get a fun drink
  • The Court of Two Sisters for brunch
  • Acme Oyster House
  • Burger and baked potato from Port O'Cal
  • The Bombay club
  • Hotel Montleone - famous carousel bar - fun to get a drink
  • Don't underestimate the Hand Grenades at Tropical Isle
  • Gallatoire's for lunch
  • O'Brien's for a hurricane (I've had the Cancun version, and oy!)
  • It's humid there so maybe some good hair products!
  • Huge Ass Beer store
  • Tipitina's is supposed to have some of the best live music
  • House of Blues
  • Mothers for Po Boys
  • Clancy's (uptown) 6100 Annunciation Street, New Orleans - (504) 895-1111 (casual, great food)
  • Bayona's (little $$ but worth the treat), 430 Dauphine Street, New Orleans - (504) 525-4455
  • Mothers has a great bloody mary!
  • Coop's for Fried Chicken and Jambalaya. It's in the quarter by the market.
  • Mr. B's Bistro is Fabulous and a New Orleans must. the BBQ shrimp is their signature- and amazing
  • Jaquesimo's is highly recommended but it's way uptown and unless you have a party of 5, they don't take reservations and you will wait 2.5 hours
  • NOLA or Emeril's are both Emeril's restaurants and good safe picks
  • Luke - John Besh restaurant - great food
  • Cochon - my new favorite. Warehouse district. Lots of Pork. Great little wine bar around the corner. I can't say enough good things about this meal.
  • Walk OFF of bourbon (bourbon is gross).  Neat little stores, take a horse drawn carriage ride to get some of the history.
  • Street car uptown - ride up to Tulane area, walk around Audobon park.
  • Washington cemetery - neat old cemetery in the Garden District. Beautiful old New Orleans homes around this area.
  • Magazine Street - Great eclectic shopping. Are you an Orient Expressed kids clothes fan? Their store is on the 5000 block I think. Great bars and restaurants all down this street for miles.
We'll only be there Friday through Sunday, so we'll do our best to check out some of these recommendations! 

P.S. I will be packing diuretics, Spanx, and some heartburn medicine.  Wish me luck!

Where do I put my napkin?

From another blog I follow.  I thought this was great!

20-40-60 Etiquette:  Where do I put my napkin?

QUESTION: I observed some pretty bad habits at the dinner table this year and so I decided to write and ask you all about napkins.
Do napkins stay in your lap during the entire meal? When do you unfold them and put them in your lap?   Where does it go if you need to leave the table?
Can you use them to blow your nose if necessary?

CALLIE’S ANSWER: Etiquette 101: When you sit down put your napkin in your lap! Napkins should stay in your lap during the entire meal unless you get up from you are seated. When you do get up, put the napkin in the chair.
Really? Blowing your nose at the dinner table…Gross! Excuse yourself.

LILLIE-BETH’S ANSWER: I was always taught that the napkin goes in your lap as soon as you sit down and stays there unless you need to use it to wipe your mouth. You can also use it to discreetly spit out some bone or gristle found in your meal, but that’s an answer for another time. I don’t think you should use it to blow your nose unless it’s an emergency sneeze that you can’t fight quietly.
If you need to leave the table, you put it back on the table neatly by the silverware, only to return it to your lap once you sit back down.

HELEN’S ANSWER:  When you are at dinner with a host, wait for him to unfold his napkin before you unfold yours and then it goes directly on your lap. When you are at a restaurant, place your napkin in your lap as soon as you sit down. If you leave the table, place your napkin to the left of your plate so it is easy to get to when you sit back down.
No nose blowing at the table. Excuse yourself and use a Kleenex or handkerchief. Napkins are for discreetly wiping the mouth and for protecting your lap from food spills.

GUEST’S ANSWER: Mary McReynolds, Author: I’ve always been taught to unfold and place the dinner napkin in my lap when I’m seated and leave it in situ until the absolute end of the meal. I place the used napkin to the right of my plate.  Blowing one’s nose into a dinner napkin entails a rather trumpeting effect and defeats the purpose of dabbing one’s mouth with it during the meal.
Tissues and handkerchiefs are designed for blowing of the nose issues. As a side note, one doesn’t wave the dinner napkin as a flag or devise entertaining folding games with it. Laps are always the proper places for the dinner napkin.

Callie Gordon, a college junior,  was an Oklahoma City 2009 debutante. Lillie-Beth Brinkman is a former  debutante and currently the assistant features editor for The Oklahoman. Helen Wallace has written a social column for The Oklahoman for many years and has been on various local Ball committees. Guest is Mary McReynolds, Book author.

Ask a specific etiquette question and you will get three answers…Then you decide for yourself how you would handle the situation. The answers have information for every age range….Callie is 20-ish; Lillie-Beth is 40-something, and Helen is 60-plus.This group does not always agree (via age differences), but they ALL see the need for proper behavior.

Paint your Art out

Last Thursday, our incoming JLOC Board of Directors was treated to a team building exercise at Paint Your Art Out.  We were asked to go to before our gathering to find out what "color" best describes our personality.  It was fun to see how similar our results were.  It was interesting to learn about each of our respective communications styles/personality types. 

Please take the test and know what "Color" you are!  It's only 5 quick questions.

My results:  Gold.  Pretty right on if you ask me!

Gold is the body's natural perceptions. It represents a need to be responsible, to fulfill duties and obligations, to organize and structure our life and that of others. Those with Gold as a Primary Color value being practical and sensible. They believe that people should earn their way in life through work and service to others.  Gold reflects a need to belong through carrying a share of the load in all areas of living. It represents stability, maintenance of the culture and the organization, efficiency, and dependability. It embraces the concepts of home and family with fierce loyalty and faithfulness.

Here is a picture of our incoming board, pre-paintings:

We ate some Hideaway, drank a glass of wine, and then we dressed in our smocks and sat down to paint.  We were each given a blank canvas with a stenciled Fleur-de-lis design.  Here are a few photos from the night.  You will be quite impressed with my skills - I know I was!! 

Here I am discussing colors with a fellow board member, I'm so serious...

Hard at work in this picture:

A group picture of the finished products, all so different:

And, a close up of my painting.  I really am so proud:

This just gets me even more excited for our upcoming trip to New Orleans!  I'm not a Kappa, but this Fleur-de-lis is now hanging proudly in my house.  I do have dear Kappa friends, though, so this can be a reminder of them :)

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