Tuesday, July 21, 2009


My mom flew down here and spent the past week with us. We had so much fun! Here are some of the things we did while she was here.

1. My mom and I did some shopping on Magazine Street where they have lots of fun boutiques. We went into one store selling Vera Wang wedding dresses just to look at them. They were beautiful. We also stopped by Sucre and had a chocolate!

2. We walked around the French Quarter and of course we stopped at Cafe Du Monde and had a few beignets! My mom loved them!

Mom enjoying her first beignet.

Rita and Tricia enjoying their beignets and coffee.

This guy sang us a song by James Brown while walking along the Mississippi River walk.

3. We had dinner at Maximo's in the Quarter with Maw Maw and Paw Paw. It took an hour and a half for our dinner to arrive so the manager said the whole meal including dessert was on him! While there, my mom got to try crawfish.

The crew (left to right): Me, Damien, Rita, Tricia, Maw Maw, Paw Paw, and Mom.

Our chocolate covered gelato dessert!!!

4. My mom and I walked a few mornings and we got to take her to the New Orleans Athletic Club to work out.

The yoga room.

The swimming pool and stretching/boxing area is up above on the second level.
5. We took a tour of the plantation Houmas House. We took a little detour on the way there and ended up on a tiny little road wide enough for one car to barely drive on it. The detour made for a fun trip though and on the way home we barely missed hitting a rabbit crossing the road.

It was pouring rain when we got there so we all had our hoods on.

The chandeliers were beautiful and the ceiling and walls were hand-painted by the gardener.

The map on the wall in this picture is a map of all of the plantations in the state of Louisiana right before the Civil War. The map was found under some of the floor boards in the Houmas House. They think that it was hid there at the beginning of the Civil War so that the Yankees wouldn't find it. Most other maps like this were probably burned because there aren't many left today.

Here our tour guide Judy played and sang a song on the Steinway piano. It was one of the few pianos of that brand actually manufactured in Germany.

The music box still plays and the company that made it is still around today. They now make machines to manufacture chocolate.

Some of the beautiful silverware.

The spiral staircase.

The kitchen with lots of old kitchen gadgets.

The gardens were huge and very well kept.

6. We ate a lot of different places while my mom was here! We had Indian, Thai, Italian, Southern, American food and lots of dessert!

Mom, Me, Damien, and Tricia at the Creole Creamery. They are known for having unique flavors of ice cream like lavender basil and avocado. They also have really good "normal" flavors too including my favorite which is caramel chicory chocolate. They are also known for their $22 Tchoupitoulas challenge. The Tchoupitoulas has 8 scoops of ice cream and 8 toppings. If you finish it on your own then you get your name on the plaque. A few missionaries in the area have their names on the plaque!

7. We had a party with all of our friends and family so that they could meet my mom. It was a blast! We played ping pong and had a pinata.

Appearantly our pinata is a Backyardigan. Damien picked it out. He loved moving the pinata up and down while I was swinging at it! I got a few good hits on it though.

We were pooped after the party! Lots of preperation and enjoyment.

8. We took a ferry ride across from the city of New Orleans to Algiers and back. The view of the city was beautiful!

9. While walking down Royal street in the Quarter we were able to witness an interesting little scene. A police car had its lights on following this car. The lady driving the car was trying to pull it over to the side of the road but was so drunk that she ran into this pole on the sidewalk with the front of the car, managing to slide the side of the car around the pole, and then backed up into the pole. She finally stopped the car and this very feminine, hip police officer gets out and tells the guy in the car that he will not allow that lady to drive the car. It was hard to take the police officer seriously because of his high pitched voice, stylish glasses, and neatly styled hair.

Friday, July 10, 2009


There is a restaurant down here in New Orleans called Zeas and they have the best garlic hummus. I was sad thinking about not being able to have some when we return to Provo, until I found this artichoke hummus recipe on one of the food blogs I follow. I made it for the first time this afternoon and it was delicious. I used a food processor first like the directions said, but couldn't get the hummus creamy enough. It still had small chunks. I then scooped the hummus out into a bowl and tried a hand blender. The hand blender worked perfectly. It smoothed it to the perfect consistancy! We had it with whole wheat pita bread that had been heated in the oven! Oh was it good! If you like hummus, I would recommend trying this recipe because it tastes great!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Today I went to the grocery store to buy ingredients to make a few meals this week including tetrazzini. While checking out at the grocery store, the cashier asked to see my license. I thought this was strange because I was using my debit card. I then realized that the cashier wanted to see my driver's license because I was buying some dry white wine for the tetrazzini recipe. This is the first time I have ever been carded since I don't drink alcohol so I never buy it. It made me laugh though and when I shared this story with Damien he said, "you got carded because you look like you are 15." He is such a little tease!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

New Orleans and My Wonderful In-Laws

Today marks the two-year anniversary of my first visit to New Orleans to meet my new family, Rita and Tricia. I remember the day well. I was so nervous to meet the family because I wanted them to like me since I was engaged to their son. We flew in, I was warmly greeted by Rita and Tricia and I met the hot summer humidity upon exiting the airport. We were whisked off with a quick stop at Taco Bell to the house to drop off our luggage. Then we went over the Bobby and Lynn's to meet the family and friends. We had a delicious BBQ and shot off fireworks! The rest is history.

Rita and Tricia have been so kind to Damien and I over the past year with flights to visit them here in New Orleans and now letting us live with them for the summer. We have enjoyed all of the fun memories with the both of them and look forward to the new ones to come!

Happy 4th of July!

More Nola

Here is a little update on the most recent happenings.

1. We are still playing Wii and we have the most fun when the whole family is involved!

2. We spent a Saturday in the French Quarter.

We woke up early so that we could make it to Petunia's for breakfast in the French Quarter. When we arrived at Petunia's, a guy greeted us and told us they had moved locations. He led us to a bar on Bourbon street, but we didn't believe him. (Later we found out it was a scam. Petunia's has closed its doors for good and that guy was just trying to get us to eat at his bar.) We made our way over to the Rib Room for breakfast that morning instead. Breakfast there was delicious!

We stopped to listen to some street performers. They were great!

And we stopped at an art gallery with this poster in front of their shop.

We saw these oysters in the window of a restaurant as we were passing by.

We saw the movie Up in 3-D!

3. We had Grandma Judy over for dinner and played card games one evening.

4. I've been sewing away! I made another quilt and a little baby dress! (No, I am not pregnant but have lots of pregnant friends and so I thought I would make a few pieces for gifts.)

5. Father's Day

Damien and I made strawberry pie early that morning.

That afternoon Damien and I went to our very first crawfish boil! The crawfish were delicious! You just have to get past seeing the little creatures looking at you, the guts, and peeling the shells off. I prefer my crawfish already peeled and cooked.

We celebrated at Bobby and Lynn's (Tricia's brother and his wife) with a BBQ and swimming.

Their dog had her puppies and they were only a week old. They still hadn't opened their eyes and they were adorable! Here is Christopher (Tricia's brother) with one of the puppies.

Paw Paw got a boom box for Father's Day. This is how he plans on listening to it:

6. I have tried a few things I normally wouldn't eat while down here. I tried King Crab, which I thought was gross. I really didn't like the fishy flavor. I tried edamame. I didn't like it, but I didn't dislike it. It was okay. And I tried Speckled Trout at a fish fry we went to. Some of Rita and Tricia's friends just bought a boat and went fishing that day. The trout wasn't too bad. It was covered in a tasty batter and fried. It was pretty good!

7. All of us have been regularly attending our jivamukti yoga class on Thursdays. Damien likes it so much that he practices at home.

8. So You Think You Can Dance held auditions here in New Orleans and so we drove by to see everyone waiting to try out while we were out for lunch. We love watching that show. They have some strange choreographers on that show though!

9. Although they have the concrete slab cleared next door and the land flattened, they haven't started construction yet. They did put the construction company's sign out, but it was in our yard. Damien was kind enough to put it back on the neighbors property and hammer it into the ground with this huge wooden hammer.