Sunday, March 30, 2014

Snapshots From The Road, Memphis to New Orleans // Days 1 & 2 // March 2014

KC and I are making our way across the country trip by trip. We have each essentially made a diagonal stripe from Kansas up to the New York state and down into Arizona. He has also been to the South and partway up the East coast... but we have a lot of overlapping states. This year we decided we wanted to take another road trip and New Orleans seemed like the perfect place to go. Such a lively and cultural city and only 14 hours away. 

We packed our bags and headed south!

Day 1:

We drove from KC down to Memphis (because we were, 'stoppin' in Memphis... ;) ). About 9 hours and got some rest. Tennessee was my first new state of the trip! :) 

Not much going on here... but we did get to see the gorgeous Memphis Skyline at night!& A little light graffiti for you... 

Day 2: 

We woke up, checked out and drove downtown to the Trolley Stop Market for a little breakfast! The place had a decidedly funky yet homey vibe, lots of shelves with treats and crafts to buy, and cute little tables with oilcloth covering them. 

The place was pretty dead when we got there, but other people joined later. The waitress was very nice, the waiter working was a self-declared alternative music authority... and pretty cocky. The waitress seemed not to mind though, which is good. 



We ordered a breakfast plate that included; a biscuit, scrambled eggs, sausage patties and homemade hash brown casserole. It was really good!

Along the way I found out that Mississippi is really pretty! Check out the view from the highway!




Gorgeous right?!?

After that we hit the road again until we made it to Jackson Mississippi (my second new state!)  for lunch at Sal & Mookie's New York Pizza & Ice Cream Joint. It sounds like the strangest thing to eat in Mississippi but it was delicious! We shared a regular Empire State pizza. It had caramelized onions, basil pesto and sun-dried tomatoes.. Yum! :) 

Then we got some Starbucks... of course before driving the rest of the way to New Orleans. 

Driving through Louisiana (my third new state!) was so fun, because I got to see marshy, swampy land for the first time. It was so neat! Sort of like seeing the desert for the first time. I was trying to spot an alligator from the highway, but sadly did not. Haha. 

We made it to New Orleans (aka one-way street capital of the country...) right at rush hour. 

But found our hotel, checked in and walked the mile out to the French Quarter. 


It felt so good to stretch our legs, and the city was gorgeous! We sort of underestimated the fact that St. Patrick's day was so close to a weekend this year, which meant there were tons of people. It was fun though, so much to take in! Especially since the last few years in Texas & New Mexico we nearly forgot it was Saint Patrick's day, and no one around us was celebrating!


We walked through and around Jackson Square, which is gorgeous! 

The park was lovely and we were lucky that the weather was nice and the sun was still up to see it on our first night! We even got some pretty decent photos which is great! 

We also made it a goal to take more pictures of each other and together on our trip because we usually forget to do that.. and it's all location pictures. Haha. So here you have it! (can you tell it's super humid in NOLA? ;))


We definitely enjoyed the warm weather and green grass and trees! It was a nice change from the gray cold up in Kansas. Plus all of the trees were so grand and beautiful!

We made it out to Bourbon Street and the party had started early! 

We stumbled upon the Musical Legends Park and found that a restaurant Cafe Beignet was located inside. 

It was lovely. An outdoor park and patio under big strings of lights with a live band playing old fashioned love songs. We ordered a basket of beignets to share, Kyle got a fried shrimp platter and I got jambalaya. The jambalaya was a bit spicy (to be expected) but really really good! 
The beignets were heaven! So much better than I ever could have imagined! We made a joke that we might be getting them every time we walk by a place that sells them like we did on the cruise with ice cream cones... haha! And we did! :) We got a hurricane there in a huge trumpet shaped cup because we thought that my sister and law (who plays the trumpet) would get a kick out of it! It tasted like koolaid and we shared it and walked back to our hotel still drinking in the city. 



It was a great first day out and about, but we were SO exhausted! We called it a night and rested up for the next day!

Have you ever been to New Orleans??

What did you think?

For more travel posts (including Maritime Canada, New Mexico, Arizona, Boston, Texas, Minneapolis, and many more!) click on the links or the passport tab above!

Stay tuned for more New Orleans posts coming soon! :) Read about Day 3 here.

Thank You for Reading! 

Alexandra

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Many Days, Many Ways Link Up: Hot Pink Jeans

I never in a million years thought that I would buy hot pink jeans. 

I did and I wore them until they were really beat up. I got a new pair over Christmas break (for just $15!) ... and I've been wearing them even more frequently!

So for my very first link up participation I am doing a many days, many ways post for... .you guessed it! My hot pink jeans. :) 


I have so many more outfits that I haven't photographed.. ... but you get the idea! Colored denim can become so accessible! 

Thanks to Danielle (here) and Nicole (here) for hosting this link up! :) 

Until Next Time,

Alexandra 

Want to join in?



Back from New Orleans!

Hi everyone! I hope that you have been having a lovely week! 
We took a little road trip down to New Orleans and are getting back into the swing of things here. 

Lovely NOLA posts coming soon, in the meantime you can visit my Instagram for photos here.

Laissez bon temps rouler!

Alexandra 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Sometimes.... You Just Gotta' Roll With It // Pie Day 2014

I'm not a master of many things. I try many things, I practice many things, enjoy many things and learn many things... but there are only a few things that I feel truly good at. 


But making pies is one of them. 

This pie day (or a month later).... I made a beautiful pie.
I mean picture perfect... for my mom's birthday... so excited.. 


and... it was completely soupy in the center. 

But you know what... it. just. happens.

I could let it bother me, even a month later... but why waste the energy?

Having a rough week? 
Just keep rolling with the punches... you'll make it.

Happy Thursday! We're almost there*!

XO,

Alexandra

*and by there (for me) I mean SPRING BREAK!*

Monday, March 10, 2014

Black, White, & Red All Over // Thrifted Fashion

At Christmastime I got my pink jeans (you know the ones in EVERY fashion post). Well they were such a good deal that I got them in black and red as well. I was soooo excited about the red ones, but a little hesitant because they are very bright for a girl who doesn't wear a ton of red. But I finally started making outfits with them and I decidedly love love love them! :)

Since this jacket is thrifted & a great deal I am linking up with Greater Than Rubies for her On Trend Secondhand Looks Link Up and I love that these tweed and structured lady like jackets are back 'in' for so many seasons. Though this is just one of MANY thrifted looks for me.. but I thought it would be a good one to link up.

I'm also linking up with Danielle & Andi for Blazer week! - aka the best week ever!! You can linkup here! :)



Jacket: Goodwill, $6
T-shirt: Target (sleepwear!), $10
Red Jeans: JCP, $15 - Christmas Money!
Black Studded Flats: Target, $21.

Outfit Total: $52


I'm really into these sort of uptown society lady tweed jackets. You know, like Emily Gilmore would wear, or someone who wears more color perhaps. So I've been collecting a few at Goodwill, and I am finally finding outfits that I like to include them in! You don't want to style them in a way that is fussy... I'm loving this outfit with the bright pants, studded flats and graphic tee to balance out my structured lady like jacket.


Am I the only one who buys cute sleep tees and wears them as regular tees? I dunno if it's kosher but they are soooo much softer and comfy than regular tees!


I also love how the texture of this jacket is such a great contrast from the smoothness of the jeans and the minimalist design of the tee. And I love that the studs on my flats add just a tad of edge. It works for me.

That's all Folks!

Hoping to have more ways to style these jackets in the future! Then maybe I'll get a little how-to style a uptown granny jacket post up for y'all. :)


What is a new thrifted piece you've fallen in love with?

Thanks for Reading!

Alexandra

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Impressionist France Exhibit at the Nelson Atkins // Kansas City // January 2014

So I am the master of posting about things a month or two after they've happened. All the same, this was so fun that I felt it was worth sharing.


We went to the Nelson for their impressionist exhibit (you might remember the Frida y Diego exhibit? here.) This time we did not win free tickets, but it was still less that $10 apiece. I had known about it for a long time, but we finally made out on the last day.


It was snowing and I was worried that we wouldn't make it out... but the snow just turned out to be a gorgeous and harmless addition to our drive! Though good we waited a bit to leave... we did see a lot of cars in the ditch / median on the way there. :(





It was pretty great! The gallery was filled with Monet, Cezanne, Manet, Matisse, Pisarro, and all sorts of lovely information on Impressionism.


I personally enjoy impressionism and have felt lucky that the Nelson has such a good collection. We have one of Monet's Water Lilies for crying out loud! (as does St. Louis, that post, here.)























We viewed the exhibit including my favorite Monet piece 'Boulevard des Capucines' a wonderful winter cityscape with some interesting coral-red shapes on one side. Many believe they are balloons, which I think is just really fun, especially for a sort of dreary winter painting.


We also saw so many other fantastic landscapes & cityscapes!


We went from viewing the cities, to the more rural areas, to the mountains, agriculture and forests, finally to the sea.


I was surprised to find that I was most drawn to the seascapes!


Something about the French coast became so appealing. I was in love with nearly every piece!


Before you left the exhibit there was a box where you could write a post card 'from impressionist France' and send it. On the front you draw your image and then write a note, the museum mailed them for you! I was busy trying to figure out who I would send it to since the exhibit was essentially over... while Kyle was writing me a sweet postcard. I may have glanced over... and so I wrote him one too. It was fun to look at them later.


All in all we had another fun day at the museum!

Which Impressionist Piece or Artist's Work would you most like to see in person?

I would have say more Degas!


Thank you for Reading!

Alexandra

Friday, March 7, 2014

Happy Birthday KC // 2014

This is KC.

He is the best man in the whole world.

He's hilarious.

He's brilliant.

He gets up early and wakes me up later.

He goes along with my crazy schemes. 

He can draw or sculpt something out of tin foil at the drop of a hat. 

He makes up games, songs, jokes, stories and pictures... which means I'm never bored.

He'll happily get himself a large drink so that I can drag him through Goodwill or The Salvation Army for an hour. Ok 3, 4, 5 hours....

He keeps me in caffeine.

He's just nerdy enough .. hoh hoh hoh.. 

He can always pop my back.

He snuggles with me on the couch, especially when I've had a really rough day.

He dreams, schemes, plans, wishes and hopes with me.

He makes me think differently about the world.

He has the best smile I've ever seen.

Happy Birthday my love, I hope that this year is your favorite year yet.

-Alexandra 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Jess's Engagement Party // MOH // February 2014

My baby sister is getting married. I get to be the Matron of Honor (makes me sound like a school marm or headmaster at a girls' school doesn't it?) which is awesome! 

So I have been trying to make her life easier, as much as possible. 
First on my list of duties was planning & throwing the engagement party. In general this event seems like the time to introduce bride & groom's families to one-another as well as bridal party members who haven't met yet. In this case most of Kalor's family wasn't able to make the drive in from Nebraska, but we still had some good mingling! We (KC, my parents, myself and anyone who contributed!) tried to put the focus on having fun and making Jess & Kalor feel special, stress free.  I think it actually went really well! Here are some of the games, details and touches that we added to make the night special!

I'm just going to add that I am new to this... so I was kind of nervous... but with some research I think it went really really well! Not claiming to be an expert, please share your expertise in the comments! 

The Decor:

Jess & Kalor decided on purple (plum) and silver for their wedding colors so we just went with variations of that for the party colors as well. I also tried to use white and little bits of teal, which worked out pretty well! 

I brought in my white cupcake stands from Target (shower gifts I received several years ago!) to display the beautiful hydrangea frosted cupcakes that my friend Brittany at B. Michelle Bake Shop made for the event. I added my thrift store upcycle owl to the mix because I thought he looked cute there!

I also brought in one of my hanging clip boards that a dear friend made us for our wedding for people to post cards & marriage advice on. It was cute, and it was fun for Jess & Kalor to read the advice after the party! I had to laugh because KC & I said basically the same thing! Of course mine was two separate LONG cards full, and his was one succinct one... but it made me smile! In case you are curious, we each said to make time for travel, dates and special events to give yourselves some 'getaway' time, however small, and to communicate about little irritations before they blow up into fights. If you talk about something that is bothering you up front it can be diffused so much more easily. This ladies & gents is why we've still never had a fight. :) 

My pride & joy of the event was this DIY Ombre Pom Pom Garland! (I hope to share my tutorial soon), but it was so fun and easy, and worked out really well for this party! (I've even been asked to make some for a Fiesta themed event at school!)


I used the extra coffee filters to make 'flowers' and taped them to pencils (aka, stems) and placed them in an antique vase that I got at Goodwill for just $2!

Jess & Kalor are super fun, so they chose to get some purple and silver balloons to add to the mix, which tied it all together nicely!

The Games:


The first game we played was The Ring Game. I bought two bags of cheap-o 'metal?' rings from the Hobby Lobby wedding section for $2.99 each and KC hid them around their duplex for the guests to find. The one who found the most got a prize! -The kids pooled their rings and took first! 


The second game was called The Shoe Game. Jess & Kalor sat back to back in chairs each holding one of their own, and one of each other's shoes. We asked them a series of questions like 'Who is taller?' 'Who sings in the shower?' and 'Who is more likely to sunburn?' and they answered by holding up the shoe of the person who the question was best answered by. Example: for the question 'Who is taller?' they both held up Kalor's shoe, because he is taller than her. And so on. It was pretty funny. :) 


The third game was a Couple's Quiz for the guests. We asked 15 questions about Jess, Kalor & their relationship that the audience had to answer. It was a great way for all of us to learn about the two of them. The person with the most right answers won a prize! - Way to go mom!


The fourth game was a Couple's Quiz, where they had to answer questions previous to the beginning of the game, and then had to guess what the other person's answer was.  This one was also pretty funny. My favorite was when we asked 'What did the other person say was his or her celebrity crush?' and Kalor answered that he thought Jess's was Justin Timberlake and she says 'No! It's Dr. House!' (Hugh Laurie)... hysterical. She's just like our momma. :)

The Food:

My dad graciously agreed to make his legendary BBQ for the event, down to the sauce. Legit. My grandmother made homemade rolls and salads. Kalor's family pitched in with sodas. It was delicious!

Of course, I already mentioned that we had gorgeous cupcakes from B. Michelle Bake Shop, we chose half vanilla, half chocolate to try to please everyone. We got so many compliments on these gorgeous treats! :)

Paper straws in the themed colors added a fun touch!

Favors:




I wanted to do favors, because I think they usually get cut from wedding and party budgets because they are 'unnecessary' but I think they are super fun. Since I knew there would be about 30 people I wanted to choose something cheap enough for me to buy, but still theme appropriate and cute. I liked the idea of ring pops and rock candy, but I couldn't see the adults eating them. So I found a pin on Pinterest that encouraged me to do 'He 'Popped' the Question' pop corn bags for the car ride home. KC so amazingly bagged up all of our popcorn in those cone shaped treat baggies (you know the ones you fill with jelly beans to look like carrots at Easter?) and we stuck them in a basket with a sign. We had some leftover, but who doesn't enjoy leftover popcorn? ;) 

Printouts:

This seems kind of silly, but labeling everything consistently makes a big difference in presentation. I used PicMonkey to make some images to label the advice board, favors & to write out the questions for the games. Of course I did this in a rush.. the day of... RUNNING through Office Depot.. but you know. :) Had I been really on it, I would have labeled the Strawberry Lemonade the same way! :) haha

All in all the party went well! We had a lot of fun laughing and playing games. I was glad to spend time with my family... and dad's BBQ hit the spot! 

What have been your favorite showers, wedding parties & shower games?

Seriously suggestions appreciated!! :) 

Thank You for Reading!

Alexandra