MiaView Mother's Day Giveaway

I am very excited to share with you this beautifully handcrafted and unique jewelry shop with you today. MiaView is the brainchild of the ever so talent Nennie. Inspired by so many places, things, drawings, paintings, she takes common elements from their comfort zone and places them in a newly different dimension. She wants to give a touch to the outfit, mark the difference, create color without using it. And go beyond.

Aching to get your hands on some of MiaView's wears.. well lucky you! Nennie is giving away a beautiful white flower gramophone brooch .. Enter Below.

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Other than the travelling there has been so much going on lately.. that I really haven't had the chance to sit and think about it.

Remember all home projects I had been talking about in the winter well they are both done.. finished.. phew. One still requires some finishing touches.. but then again the process of decorating never truly ends.. does it? And in celebration of finally being done we thought we'd start another one.. who needs to relax right? I hope to share the spaces in the next few weeks.. just need to get all the pictures in order. Below is the mess that is our next project.

I am trying to spring clean.. not the on my hands and knees scrubbing kind but more of the declutter and either try to sell or donate all the things we do not need, use etc. I just donated one huge bag of things a few weeks ago and i'm sure there is more to come.. I am trying to sell some on ebay.. a lttle extra cash never hurt. You can check out some of the things we're selling here

When D was little I was all over the mommy and me classes.. we did gym and swim and art.. and with H nothing.. feeling a little guilty and having a bad mommy moment I signed him up for some gym classes.. next i'm thinking maybe music or swim.

and D is getting ready for another birthday.. he has been planning it since February.. I started listening to him in March and now I am in prep mode.. meaning spending all my days looking at my Pinterest birthday board. Now that D is such a 'big boy' he has decided he doesn't need naps anymore..

So he falls asleep on the table.. He is also developing an interest in cooking.. he can scramble an egg, helps me layer a lasagna and bread chicken.. 

and he has finally started to play with Lego. Not as much as either of us would like.. mainly because of H and his desire to eat them So D usually has to make his creations alone behind closed doors and he's not a fan of the solitude.

I am hoping to have a really cool giveaway running for you guys next week.. don't forget to come check it out..

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Friday Photography

Colorless Country Day was taken in the Farmer's Museum in Cooperstown, New York. This was the first road trip we took with D. We stepped back in time to rural life in America with blacksmiths, an alchemists, sheep shearers and horse drawn buggies. This photograph was taken in the balcony of the cafe, the dark shuttered windows against the white paneled wall with seats for sitting and enjoying the lovely view.

This photograph can be purchase here and to read up more about our trip to Upstate New York click here

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Friday Photography

Chug a Chug Chug - In the fall 2008 we took a beautiful road trip through New England.. for those who don't know that is North East part of America including Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. If you haven't had the chance to travel through New England during autumn I suggest you add it to your list.. it is stunning. On one of our stops in Connecticut we took a trip in an old steam train in Essex. It was idyllic. It reminded me of the time when trains were one of the essential modes of transportation.. and every now and then the train would let out a little tut, it was enchanting. 

You can purchase this photograph here. It is available in many sizes and can be custom framed.

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New Orleans Day 2 and 3

It was as if God decided to reward us for the eventful and not in a good way first day we had.. so the sun was shinning and we put away our coats and pulled on our shorts ready to enjoy the day!

We went to Red Gravy for breakfast.. while I had heard amazing things about it's food I had read a few not so good reviews about it's service.. but not many restaurants served breakfast on the weekdays.. not many that were walking distance.. and we are breakfast people.. I am so happy we decided to go here. Firstly, because it was a weekday there was no wait.. in fact no people at all when we arrived. We got great service.. and I had the most fluffiest, most delicious pecan pancakes ever! M had cannoli pancakes which were rich and delicious and they made a little kid omelete for D.

After breakfast we caught the Canal St Streetcar up to City Park. Now just because this was one of those trips where things just kept going wrong. The supposedly cute Storyland Park in City Park was closed.. on a Monday! As was just about everything else.. on a Monday.. seriously I was a bit pissed..

But we did what we do.. soldiered on. Thankfully the Besthoff Sculpture Garden was open.

Explored one of the playgrounds

and floated about on a paddle boat for a bit.. not easy to paddle a boat with a kid in your lap.

We stopped at the Morning Call.. a cafe inside City Park to give those beignets and cafe au lait another chance.. well the beignets were much better since this time they were still hot when they got to us but I stand by my earlier judgment.. cafe au lait is a sad excuse for coffee. What is even more sad that this is the only option at these cafes. You can't just get a regular cup of coffee.. so we drank our warm watery milk and we were on our way.

We wanted to hit a cemetery but luck failed us yet again and pretty much the moment we stepped foot inside the cemetery it started to rain.. like a heavy downpour. Our umbrella's were useless.. and we scampered back to the street car which was thankfully just across the street and head back to the hotel. 

We left the hotel again for dinner at the Olde Nola Cookery.. very good.. the red beans and rice.. so good. We were a bit limited in our food options because there are a large number of items.. especially of the seafood, reptile and pork variety that we do not eat. But what we did eat.. we enjoyed. We had some gelato for dessert and roamed the streets of the French Quarter.. there are so many shops, so many beautiful galleries and art.. it is fun just to wander about..

The next day we had a noon flight.. so we had a quick breakfast at Cafe Beignet.. it had real coffee :) And on the way back to the hotel D had a celebrity sighting.. he spotted an excavator. Yes, he could hardly contain himself. He even volunteered a smile and a salute?

Kids are weird. And with that we said farewell to New Orleans. 

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Friday Photography

Chocolate and Lime - The beautifully adorned rich brown and green ceiling of the Cathedral of Mary, Queen of the World in Montreal, Canada. The exquisite gold detail and brilliant colors are what caught my eye.

This photograph is currently Hanging in the Regional Headquarters of PNC Bank, New Jersey. 

Get a print for your walls here
Read more abut our trip to Montreal here
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New Orleans - Day One

At the end of February my sister in law was blessed with a baby.. so we packed our bags and flew down to Houston to meet the munchkin. This was not our first trip to Houston.. and since most of the family was house bound with the baby we thought we'd take a little drive to New Orleans before heading back home.

We got a rent a car and drove the six-ish thank god almost uneventful hours to the Big Easy.. 10 minutes away from the rental car office H threw up in the car. We had to pull over and clean everything.. returned the car and hoped in a taxi to our hotel. Not a great way to start the trip. We were staying at The Whitney don't you just love the name. A little history.. The Whitney is a Louisiana based bank.. and the hotel is based inside the city's first Whitney Bank branch dating back to the 1980's. They have restored the bank's original lobby to function as the hotel lobby. We got cleaned up and headed out to dinner.. just a short walk away. Just like Florida and Houston, New Orleans was cold. :(
We ate at Juan's Flying Burrito. There are no food pictures because we were tired and H was not in a very sit in his seat type mood. And while this place was supposed to have the best Mexican food in NOLA we have had better.. it was alright. We wandered about a bit in the cold before making our way back to the hotel.

We started of the next slightly chilly day off with some breakfast at the Ruby Slipper Cafe.. another place with great reviews and a long wait to prove it. M had the Corned Beef Bennie and I had the Louisiana Shrimp Omelet and D had the Double Chocolate Pancake

D dove right into his pancakes immediately and everything was going pretty good until it wasn't and D threw up everywhere. That pretty much ended breakfast.. we got him cleaned up and headed towards the French Quarter..

We roamed French Street and Royal Street.. Bourbon Street.. saw street performers and art.. so much art.. D was especially taken by the rotating dog.

The St. Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square..  and while we sat on the steps being entertained by the hilariously talented Dragon Master Showcase troupe M stood in line for the famed cafe au lait and beignets of Cafe Du Monde. We take our first sips and first bites and D hurls up some more of his chocolaty breakfast..!! Thank God I was carrying plastic bags.. but what exactly is the protocol for cleaning up/leaving vomit sitting on the steps? We covered it with all the tissues and napkins we had and just left. Escaped to the River Walk.. ate our cold beignets and tried to cool down our  my temper, frustration.. the fact that cafe au lait's are gross and a sorry excuse for coffee did not help. It tasted like warm watered down milk..

We walked along the River Walk but D was now without a sweatshirt.. it was cold and the last thing on our mind was lunch..

Back at the hotel the boys settled for a nap.. but it wasn't long before D vomited yet again.. and this time in bed.. he bathed and went back to sleep while the very helpful and nice hotel cleaning service changed the sheets. D woke up just before dark and we bravely headed back out.

We rode the St. Charles Street Car.. D had been waiting to sit on it all day.. we bought a 3 day pass which was very convenient and rode through the Garden District taking in all the big beautiful houses. Our destination The Camellia Grill. There are usually lines around the block to a seat.. lucky us.. we were early and there was three seats open. The landmark diner has an interesting seating arrangement.

and while the food may not have looked very appetizing.. it was so so good. 

I had the Harry Yankee's Special and M the Chicken and Waffles and we ordered a slice of Chocolate Pecan Pie to go.. D has nut allergies so we saved it for after the boys went to bed and destroyed all the evidence.

I really thought I'd be able to sum up our whole Nola adventure in one post.. but it seems to be getting long and we have two more days to go.. So I'll see back here next week :)

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