What happened in May?

I know I know, it’s been awhile.  So much has been going on the past couple of months, I haven’t had a chance to do much of anything creative and now I’m suffering.  It feels like I’ve hit a wall creatively, but  I’m trying to get back into the swing of things. 

Well, we have been traveling a lot. I can tell you March was my husband’s birthday month, April is my son’s birthday month, May is my birthday month and June is my daughter’s birthday month, so it gets busy around here celebrating these birthdays.  My birthday was one of those milestone birthdays and we just had to celebrate.  My husband flew us to Vegas to spend my actual birthday there and the next morning we flew to Los Angeles to aboard the Carnival Cruise for four days……we had a blast.

I want to thank everyone for sticking with me and I promise I will be posting more often.

Have a great day!

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Look What I Made: Travel Pouch

Happy Monday!

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I’ve been in this sewing stage lately.  I’m dabbling into learning how to sew clothing for myself……I tell you some items I’ve sewn are really funny, but I will keep practicing.  I’m getting refresher courses from YouTube videos and sewing blogs and it’s been blast….I’ve even joined a Facebook sewing group….too funny.  I can sew basics, but when it comes to reading a clothing pattern, I get a little lost with some of the terminology.  Well, the instructions for this pouch was found (here). 

I’ve decided to make a small pouch for my jewelry, since I will be traveling more this year. My jewelry usually end up in my old clear pouch, which I’ve had for years…..time to update.  I really like the way it came out, and I also made one for my Kindle Fire. It also helps me practice with sewing zippers.

Note:  As you can see, I’ve tried two different lining fabrics.  The jewelry pouch lining is the velvet from one of my pillows (here).  It was too thick, so I changed it for the Kindle pouch to satin lining and this was too thin. I would change the lining fabric or eliminate it all together because the plaid fabric is already has weight to it.

Laissez les Bons temps rouler !!!!!

Let the Good Times Roll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Oh, it’s Carnival time!!!

I enjoyed spending time with my dad’s side of the family on Mardi Gras because they knew how to party.  New Orleans is such a unique place. Following the Mardi Gras Indians, second line at Orleans & Claiborne, food on the grill, and dancing in the streets.

On Mardi Gras day my family would pack up the grill and the food they prepared the night before and head out to the parade route 7:00am….yes, am. We couldn’t miss the Zulu parade which starts around 8:30am.  Different parades run all day long, so we had to bring food and make it a picnic.  We had sandwiches, red beans & rice, hot dogs, hamburgers, bbq ribs, chicken, jambalaya and sometimes crawfish (depends on what day the season falls on).  This reminds me of Mardi Gras.

Some of My Favorite Hotels

Anniversary celebration is over.  It was nice being a tourist in our city.  This weekend had me thinking about some of my favorite hotel stays for our anniversary and surprisingly they were usually hotels in our home city or just a short drive away from home.  This year we stayed at the Sax Chicago Hotel. It was a nice hotel, but we had a few issues that was not resolved.

I’m taking a walk down memory lane now.  These places are actually some of the most memorable hotel stays over the years.

1. I will never forget my very first wedding anniversary.  He surprised me with a road trip to Dolphin Island, Alabama.  I know, Alabama!  I actually said the same thing, when he finally told me, but this places was quite and relaxing and it’s a water front property. We stayed in the spa section of the hotel and it was heaven.  The restaurant was romantic on Valentine’s day and the food was delicious.  I remember the town was one of those small towns lined with antiques shops and unique clothing stores. We even went horseback riding near the property.  If you’re ever near Mobile, Alabama, you should check it out.

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Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club and Spa

2. Another one of my favorite hotels was in San Antonio, Texas.  Hotel Valencia Riverwalk was another romantic place that sits at the end of the famous Riverwalk.

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Hotel Valencia Riverwalk

3.One year we decided to fly back to New Orleans and spend our anniversary during the Mardi Gras season.  If you ever heard of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, you know it was not a relaxing anniversary…..we partied the entire weekend.  We stayed at the Sheraton New Orleans right on Canal street alone the parade route (in the heart of the party).  When we wanted to relax, we stayed on the top floor, so we didn’t have to hear the noise.  We had a ball that year.

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Sheraton New Orleans

4.Another New Orleans Hotel I can not forget was the Loews New Orleans Hotel.  Totally opposite from our Sheraton visit.  This place is gorgeous…..absolutely gorgeous.  It’s a boutique 4 star hotel which sits on Poydras street….a few blocks from Canal Street.  It has a very nice spa and the restaurant food was delicious.  Great place to relax and they cater to your every need.

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Loews New Orleans Hotel

I don’t know about you but I love getting away and staying in a different environment for a weekend.  I always feel recharged.  Have you visited any of these places?

Holiday Illumination

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We’re getting into the holiday spirit around here.  Every year we take the little one to see Christmas lights somewhere in our area.  I’ve been trying to make the Magnificent Mile Light Festival since I moved here, but I still haven’t made it….one day.  We took our son to see Illumination at The Morton Arboretum.  According to the literature, “It’s an internationally recognized non-profit outdoor museum working to build a greener, healthier more beautiful world by conserving and caring for trees.  It was amazing.

We actually had a great time.  I believe my husband and I were just as excited as our son.  It’s amazing how the movement of light could excite you, yet calm your spirit.

The exhibit is a foot walk through the walk path of the park. Strolling down the park’s walk path, you will pass through Treeflections and Tinsel Colonnade, which is lights and sounds that are cascaded down tree branches.  We made it to the Tree Harmony sections, this is one of my son’s favorite sections.  This is where you sing into a microphone and the colors on the tree changes.  Check out some our pictures.

You even get a chance to huge a tree and it lights up.

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This was a nice interactive light exhibit for the little ones and the children at heart.

The Beach in Riviera Maya

Moon Light Beach

I wish I could be here for the rest of my life.  This picture was taken the first night on the patio of the El Pescador seafood restaurant…..love the view.

The hotel in which we stayed on our Annual Girl’s Getaway vacation was the Occidental Grand Xcaret Resort and it’s adjacent to the Eco-Archeological Xcaret Park, so we are surrounded by trees.  You have to walk or take the golf carts down different paths that’s surrounded by trees to get to your destination.  The next morning, we decided to go to the beach and ended up taking the extended golf cart.  We are just riding through (what seems like a jungle) and the driver stopped at this beautiful site.

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The view was breath-taking.  I could have stayed here the entire trip. 

 

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Relaxing on the beach

The sun was bright, the wind was blowing and the bar was open…..Perfect afternoon!

Cancun Vacation 2013

I was so excited about getting away with my friends of over 20 years.  We vacation together once a year to catch up with the latest and unwind.  It’s a time to relax and step away for a moment from the busy home life and recharge ourselves. 

Look at the beautiful view from one of the restaurants. Breath taking…

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View from the restaurant

This year we decided to go to Cancun, Mexico.   I’m surprised I’ve never been to Cancun. We chose the all-inclusive Occidental Xcaret Resort in Riviera Maya.  It has some pros and cons but over all it was really nice.

Our car pulled up to the hotel under this beautiful site.  I was amazed by the height of the grand ceiling and the beautiful wood.

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The lobby is very inviting with the sound of water, the architecture and the natural hues.  It pulls you in to relax and that’s what we did this entire trip. 

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The lobby reminded me of the feeling we had walking into our old apartment in New Orleans.  The pallet was neutral with a pop of color here and there.  I had three large, tall candles near the door, so when we walked in I could immediately light them.  I also placed a small waterfall on the console table in the entryway.  I definitely need to implement this into our current place.  I don’t know why I haven’t. The sound of moving water and lit candles changes my mood.  It allows me to unwind, relax and leave the day’s issues at the door.  That’s exactly what I did walking into the hotels lobby.