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Decorating for Fall

1 Oct

Fall is my favorite season and Halloween is my favorite holiday.  There is something about the smell of spice pumpkin and cinnamon in the crisp windy air that makes me feel refreshed and excited for the upcoming season.  Fall is also my favorite season to decorate my house in mainly because I love the color combos of the fall, really rustic homey colors but also the fact that not all items are cliche fall.  you can do some really tasteful things without putting scarecrows and jack o lanterns all over. Here are some of my ideas.

Plant Mums -mums are a traditional fall flower.  I love the look of them and with the great fall colors that there are to offer you can really create a great scheme in your flower beds…Don’t have flower beds? No problem.  Invest in a clay pot and plant a mum plant there, it will be just as festive and really easy to keep up.  My favorite color are the brick red ones mixed with orange and yellow.  Most hardware stores will have plants which will range anywhere from about $6-$12 depending on where you go.

Buy Pumpkins – Pumpkins are not just for carving, try getting a few pumpkins in odd numbers (it makes for better arranging) and different shapes and sizes and cluster them around your door our in your flower beds.  If you don’t carve them they will last a long time about a month or so. If you have little ones that are not quite ready to carve try letting them pick out their own pumpkin and having them paint a face on it.  It will be a great project and if its small enough it can be kept inside where your little ones can adore their creation until you put up Christmas decorations.

Light an Autumn Scented Candle – There are some really great autumn scented candles out there.  The most popular will be spiced pumpkin.  Many lines carry a scent like this but I like Yankee Candle‘s Harvest scent, its slightly spicy with cinnamon and has undertones of pumpkins but there are some other mysterious scents in there that make this candle unique.  You can buy these candles online or in one of their many retail stores. Depending on what size you get they will range from about $15 and up.

Get a Fall flavored coffee or cocktail.  Most coffee shops like Starbucks or CC’s offers some sort of Pumpkin Latte that is sure to get you in the fall mood.

If you’re not in the mood yet take a look at the items below…they should get you in the mood for a fall breezy site with a little bit of apples and cinnamon in the air.

Philosophy Trick or Treat Set
$20 – sephora.com


Carved Pumpkin, Small | Pottery Barn
$19 – potterybarn.com


Harvest Wreath 18″
$50 – crateandbarrel.com


Harvest Orange Vase
$8.95 – crateandbarrel.com


fall pumpkins
no-titlenewyork.blogspot.com


pumpkin-mocha-supreme
greenmountaincafe.com


Gymboree: Harvest Leaves
gymbohaven.com


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New Orleans…Best Shopping, Dining and Entertainment on a Budget!

29 Sep

My husband I took our “vacation” this year in New Orleans which is about 150 miles away.  We did this for many different reasons, main ones, money and babies.  Once you have kids its just so hard to leave for longer than a weekend and we knew that going on a trip that didn’t require a flight wold help us out in the budget department.  I wanted to write up some of hte best places that we visited, dined at and shopped at for your reference and entertainment.

Shopping:

  • Magazine St – If you have never been on Magazine its a quirky collection of cool retail shops, restaurants and boutiques.  We stopped in at
    • Blink which had lots of cute trendy fashions.  They also had a great selection of shoes where I bought two pairs.  Great prices and a great different selection.
    • Little Laughter – This was a kids boutique which had lots of things from clothing like smocked dresses to a full line of Stephen Joseph products.  They also had really cute Louisiana or New Orleans style kids merchandise like books, Saints gear and more.
  • The French Quarter – If you have never heard of the French Quarter is a collection of market type merchandise like T-shirts, knock off sunglasses, hats, kick knacks and some farmers market vegetables.  This is a very good area for cheap buys on souvenir type items.  Its a must if its your first time to New Orleans, other than that its a great place to walk around and haggle for some cool items.
  • Shops around Jackson Square – Around Jackson square there are lots of independent artists and lots of shops containing all sorts of items from wind chimes to dolls to apparel.  Definitely a great place to walk around, you are sure to find a few treasures in this area.

Tours/Sightseeing:

  • Haunted History Tour – We decided to do this tour b/c it was something that we had never done before. All in all it was very informative and interesting BUT our tour guide was not the best and It think that having a tour guide that is really into it makes a difference. This is by no means a haunted house and will not “scare” you, it is more a history tour than anything else.  Pretty fun and very interesting and at $20/person $17/person if you are a student or have a coupon its a pretty good deal for a 2 hour guided tour to the most haunted places in the French Quarter.  This company has all sorts of tours like Vampire and Cemetery Tours and you can book right online and you can find a $3 off/person coupon here.
  • DDay Museum – If you haven’t heard of the D-Day or National WWII Museum its amazing.  It is a very traditional museum with loads of information, photos, memorabilia, artifacts etc from WWII and D-Day.  They have also added a complete interactive 50 minute movie hosted by Tom Hanks which is very impressive.  The museum can take some time to go through, I would block about 4 hours of your day to go through it and fully experience it.  The museum and movie experience is normally about $23/person but I came across a coupon for 2 free tickets into the museum and all we had to pay for was the movie which was $8/person! The coupon is gone but you can check out the DDay Museum site and there are normally specials or forms you can fill out to get special deals.

Food:

  • The Delachaise – This is a bar that we came across after searching for somewhere to eat at 12 am.  They have a crazy amount of beers on draft and AMAZING bar food.  The best bar food I have ever had.  We ordered the Flank Steak Bruschetta which is grilled marinated flank steak, peruvian garlic sauce & shaved aged manchego on ciabatta crostini and the Boz  Sandwich which is St Andre, tuscan ham & arugula on ciabatta to share.  They were only $12 each and were to die for.  Definitely a great place to check out for drinks or late night eats.
  • Crescent City Brewhouse – Located on Decatur a few block over from Broubon this resturant has a really cool style matched with great microbrews and amazing food.  We had a coupon, that you can get here for Buy 1 get 1 free entrees so we had an appetizer of the Seafood Cheesecake which was a savory cheesecake made with shrimp, crab, crawfish and a blend of goat cheese and provolone cheese served with a Red Stallion pepper sauce and crispy croutons.  Forrest had the Southern Crispy Duck (Slow roasted and flash fried, a half duck partially deboned. Served with homemade andouille cornbread dressing and southern greens, glazed with a pepper jelly au jus) and I had the Red Fish St. Louis (Fresh red fish pan seared, topped with crispy fried crawfish and smothered with a spicy barbeque sauce of butter, black pepper and worcestershire served with a side of au gratin potatoes.) We finished off the meal with a White Chocolate Banana Creme Brulee which was a seasonal special.  The entire meal came to $100 without our coupon which was a great deal for amazing service, great beer and a succulent meal.
  • Atikki is a super cool Mediterranean Hookah bar and restaurant.  It has a really cool atmosphere with reasonably prices drinks (Abita on draft for about $4) and amazing belly dancers.  They also have a variety of flavored hookahs to try out which make your experience all the more authentic.  We only ate the Hummus b/c we were full but it was absolutely wonderful and spicy at at about $4.95 it was crazy cheap.
  • American Sector is the restaurant inside the DDay Museum.  It is a John Besh restaurant and does American Classic’s with a twist.  it is a great restaurant with the waitresses wearing “Lucille Ball” inspired dresses.  The presentation of the food is amazing and makes the experience all the more enjoyable.  I had the heirloom tomato soup and grilled ham and cheese sandwich which was so cutely presented in a tin can allowing you to pour it out on your own into a tiny white glass bowl with a chive oil covered bottom.  Forrest had the Sicilian sandwich which was their take on the muffaletta but instead of olive salad there was a pickled artichoke salad.  We finished off lunch with a chocolate shake and for all around $28!

Drinks/Entertainment:

  • Atikki – as stated above, super cool Mediterranean hookah bar and restaurant, great atmosphere and belly dancers!
  • Crescent City Brewhouse – as stated above this is a great location for dinner but also has a bar with great beer brewed in house.  They also have sampler options if you want to try all of their beers without falling out of your chair.  Forrest and I tried all of their beers and all were great with the Red Stallion being my favorite.  A large glass, probably a 24 oz glass comes in at $7.50 which is a great price for the quality.
  • Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar – we came across this place on our Haunted Ghost Tour, this bar was said to be built in between 1722 and 1732 and is the oldest standing structure in the US.  It has a great atmosphere with lots of history and stories to go along with it.  They have a signature drink called a “Voodoo Daquiri” which is like frozen grape alcoholic Kool-aid…delicious!
  • Jackson Square – There are always street performers, acrobats and palm readers in this area which are great for “free” entertainment.
  • Bourbon Street – There are literally 100s of bars, clubs and more on Bourbon St.  You can find anything you are looking for here whether its a great Karaoke bar, Jazz Club or Drag Queen Spot you are sure to find a great spot to kick back and relax.
  • The Delachaise – Mentioned above, great beers on draft and great food.

Lodging: We stayed at the Henry Howard House Inn on Prytania.  Such an amazing place with real history.  The rooms are really big, the furnishing and art are really authentic and the staff is super helpful and knowledgeable about the city.  Not only is the Inn right off of St. Charles in walking distance from restaurants and the Street car it is a quick and cheap cab ride to most places in the city most of the time around $7 to $10.  Beautiful place, great staff and true New Orleans living.

We had a great time in New Orleans and would definitely suggest all of the places, shops restaurants mentioned above.  Hope you enjoy.

Melissa and Joey…funny show but ill fitting pencil skirts!

18 Sep

If you guys haven’t checked it out there is a new show on ABC Family called “Melissa and Joey” with Melissa Joan Hart and joey Lawrence.  The show follows Melissa, a council women taking care of her teenage neice and nephew and Joey who is her nanny.  Its a standard cheesy family sitcom, not the best acting but overall pretty funny show.

The thing that I cannot get over is Melissa Joan Hart’s wardrobe, she is constantly put in pencil skirts and super tight dresses that accentuate her “pooch” I wish i could say that I don’t have a pooch and look great in pencils and tight fitting dresses but lets admit it two kids and a few too many double cheesburgers and I need some control in the lower belly area.

The wardrobe department on the show needs to get it together and get Joan Hart some spanks asap.  Not hating on Melissa becuase its great to see a woman with a “real” body on TV but the wardrobe department’s job is to make her look her best and they are failing miserably.

Check out the show though…pretty funny and overall feel good show which is pretty hard to come by.

-Drama mama out

October 15th Pregnancy Loss and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

13 Sep

For those of you who don’t know my family and I sufferred a great loss about 2 months ago, we lost a baby at about 13 weeks gestation. This loss came as a complete shock to us and we were devastated.  With much love and support we have gotten to a place where we are dealing with the loss and leading as much of our past normal lives as we can.  We still think of what could have been and what should have been each day but we thank God each day for our family and the lives we lead.

That said, I wanted this post to be a “shout out” of sorts for October 15th which is the national Pregnancy Loss and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  When I was going through some of the roughest times I looked to the internet to find information about organizations, associations etc where I could channel my efforts, feelings and look for support, but there was nothing out there.  Pregnancy and Infant loss is not highly supported even though it affects 1 in 6 pregnancies.  I did come across a few great sites with message boards where I was able to talk with other women in my situation that “understood” like no one else did.

I befriended a great woman named Patty who like me had 2 healthy children and to her surprise and horror lost her third child near the end of her first trimester.  I stated in an e-mail to Patty “Hopefully one day we won’t talk about our loss and simply be friends who happened to meet by a series of unfortunate events” and it seems that we are at that point, which makes me so happy.  Don’t get me wrong, I have my good days and my bad days but at this point my good days out  number the bad and I find real strength in that thought.  Just the strength for me to post this, knowing that it would be made live to 100s of people makes me feel good to know that I am in a place where I can handle people knowing.

Back to Remembrance, I registered for an event here in Lafayette to support other mothers and families suffering the same loss that I have.  The event, The Forget me Not Walk to Remember is the 1st annual and will be held in   Youngsville, LA October 9, 2010.  Its the only event of its kind in our area and its the first year.  I want to get the word out about this event because pregnancy and infant loss awareness is not promoted like other groups and it should be.  I challenge you to participate in this walk to support the families that have suffered a great loss as my family has.  You can register easily through the website and if your not into walking I am sure that you can volunteer.  Do it for you, do it for someone that you know that has gone through this tragedy or do it for Penelope Pearl who was taken from us way too soon.

Join me on October 9th in Sugarmill Pond for the walk, if not light a candle in remembrance on October 15th.

-Drama mama out

Cutest Winter Hats for Baby

7 Sep

As most of you know I live in Louisiana which stays pretty warm until December or January.  My kids usually don’t “need” a winter hat until Christmas time but snuggly hats have always been one of my favorite baby/kid accessories.  There are so many cute styles to choose from that make any outfit even cuter.

Here are a few that I have found that I think are super cute and would be a great addition to any fall or winter wardrobe no matter how long it will be until my kids will be able to wear their hats.

Children’s Place

  • Happy Doll Hat – Great colors that could work well with any outfit.  Love the braided pigtails on this hat too…super sweet while still being fun. (This is the one that I bought for Luna Jane) $8.50 It comes in pink and purple
  • Dude Hat – This is a ultra cool skull cap with “Dude!” knit into the base of the hat.  Very Punk to go along with flannel shirts that are super hot for kids right now.  $6.50

Gymboree

  • Owl Sweater Hat – This hat is TO DIE FOR.  owls are a hot trend right now and you can find them in all things from women’s jewelry to home decor items.  This knit hat is a great pink color that would look adorable with any outfit.  How can you resist. Right now its on sale for $10
  • Pumpkin Sweater Hat – This hat is great for fall. It would work well for boy or girl.  Such a cute idea making the entire hat a pumpkin.  This would be a great gift for a new mom that is about to deliver or for a baby that is too small for a real Halloween Costume.  Right now its on sale for $10

Baby Gap

  • Animal Inspired Sweater Hats – Baby Gap does this really cute line of hats for babies that are animal inspired.  Super cute and functional.  They would also work well for babies that are too small for Halloween Costumes or for parents that don’t want to go all out for Halloween.  Some of the really cute ones are the Giraffe, Zebra, Pig, Cow and Penguin.  They are all $16.50

If none of the above site’s have what you are looking for check out http://www.beaniedesigns.com/ This site has so many different styles of hats for newborns and toddlers.  Some of my favorites include

  • Organic Cotton Cupcake Hat – $32.00 A little pricey but it would make such a great photo and the neutral tones would make it so easy to work into any wardrobe/outfit.
  • Organic Cotton Multi Colored Stocking Cap – $32.00 Super cute for newborn photos and fall outings.  I would be careful with this hat if its being used as a day to day hat…may be a strangulation hazard…not sure though.
  • Fruit and Veggie Hats – They do an entire line of fruit and veggie inspired hats.  These hats start at $24.00 and they have lots of different options for boys an girls.  The green apple and strawberry are my favorite.

If you haven’t heard of Etsy.com its a great place for all different sorts of handmade items.  There are some great baby/kid winter hats if you look. Also another great thing about Esty is that you are supporting and artist and you will receive a handmade item that is truly unique.  These types of hats make great newborn photos I am not sure how these will hold up for everyday or frequent use. Here are a few designers that I love for this:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/MadAboutColour?ref=top_trail
http://www.etsy.com/shop/citefuzz?ref=top_trail
http://www.etsy.com/shop/EllieBellieDesign

-Drama mama out

Youtube Channel for Drama Filled MAMA

5 Sep

Check out my youtube chanel….something new for me.

http://www.youtube.com/user/mlj23741

-Drama mama out

Halloween Costume Ideas

1 Sep

Halloween has to be one of my favorite holidays!   I always pride myself on finding really cute and different costumes for myself and my kids.  I have 2 kids Bailor who is 4 and Luna Jane who is 7 months.  With Bailor I have already had my chance to dress him up as I wanted.  I am now overidden by his own choices of super heros and other cliche halloween costumes.  With Luna Jane I am able to explore the possibilties of ridiculously cute girly baby costumes.

If you haven’t purchased halloween costumes online before BEWARE because they can be really expensive but some are worth while others are not.  While most main stream kids stores offer halloween costumes at reasonable prices these costumes can be overdone and you may see many duplicates while trick or treating or attending your Halloween parties.  The Children’s Place, Baby Gap and Pottery Barn are usually great places to get started looking for ideas when it comes to cute kids Halloween costumes.

If you want something a little more specific or high end try costume sites like http://www.buycostumes.com/ or http://www.halloweenexpress.com/tom-arma-costumes-c-353.html which carries 100s of costumes from movies, cartoons, stories and more.  This site also carries all sizes from infant to plus sized.  My favorites from these sites are the Lobster, Lil’ Monster and the Baby Blossom.

These types of costumes normally run about $50 but make for great photos and get lots of compliments.

Another option is making your costumes.  This is really great if you have ideas in mind.  I was thinking about doing a cupcake costume for Luna and found some great sites that give you ideas on how to make specific types of costumes.  Coolest Homeade Halloween Costumes is a great resource.  Keep in mind that homemade costumes always run the risk of looking homemade but can come out really great and be a real conversation starter.

I hope I have inpired you to get creative and think outside of the box when purchasing or making you and your kids Halloween costumes this year.  You only get a few years to dress your kids ridiculously…take advantage of it!

-Drama mama out