Procrastination at Its Best Thursday, Feb 3 2011 

I am just now getting to uploading days one and two.

Blogging while going to school and working two jobs often proves difficult. Hence, days one and two are both posted on day three.

Since my 30×30 partner in crime, Evan (aka the Nerd), was not at work on Tuesday, I had to ask one of my coworkers to take my picture. It was embarrassing, so I did not work up the courage to be so incredibly vain until I was walking out the door. Not my best moment. Dress: Express, Boots: Shoe Carnival, Belt: XXI.

Day 1

Much more successful was day two. This outfit made me feel like I belonged in an office, and despite the frigid weather outside that the Nerd convinced me to expose myself to for the sake of a good photo, it looks much better than day one (right again, Nerd). Top: Francesca’s Collections, Skirt: Old Navy, Shoes: Dollhouse (Marshall’s).

Day 2

Although I would like to believe that I will keep up with posting pictures better than this in the future, I know myself, so there will probably be several posts containing multiple outfits. I hope the anticipation kills you.

And for our Next Act… 30×30! Monday, Jan 31 2011 

So, I know I haven’t blogged in a while, but my friend and coworker Evan presented me with a challenge I could not refuse, wearing only 30 items of clothing for 30 days (!!). Being the clothes-hoarder than I am, I thought this would be a good opportunity for me to learn to shop in my own closet and be more creative with what I already have.

Evan and I will track our progress by taking pictures of our outfits each day. The unofficial goal is to not repeat any outfits, which (especially at work) I am terrible at. Luckily, accessory use is unlimited, so I can wear as many obnoxious belts, tights, tiaras (haha, just kidding) and pieces of jewelery I want. I am usually a minimalist when it comes to accessories, so Evan will definitely dominate this aspect of the challenge (although I did purchase some purple tights!). Unfortunately for me, shoes do count, which will be difficult.

Anyhow, here is all the clothing I can wear for 30 days starting February 1 (excuse the poor photography, my camera is broken so I had to use my Blackberry as a substitute).

 

4 (!) dresses and 5 sweaters

7 tops, 3 pairs of pants, 3 skirts and 8 pairs of shoes.

Wish me luck!

Also, check out the chick who came up with the challenge. Her fashion blog is pretty cool!

Brunch in the Big Easy Tuesday, Jul 20 2010 

Photo from Times Picayune by Eliot KamenitzAlthough I plan for this blog to feature more entries about the goings-on in Mobile, I had an experience in New Orleans at my family reunion this weekend that was one of the most authentic gulf-coast experiences I have had in awhile.

Jazz brunch is nothing new to us coasties. French toast, mimosas and a smattering of horns and strings fill venues from Lake Charles to Pensacola. However, having a Jazz brunch in the home of Jazz at a jazzy little cafe just outside of the French Quarter reminded me just how unique my region is.

Buffa’s Lounge, dubbed the “border of the Quarter cafe,” looks like a typical hole-in-the-wall New Orleans bar and eatery; however, Sunday mornings customers pack in as early as 9:30am for for the 11:00am jazz brunch, as my aunt and uncle did last Sunday to hold our tables. By the time the rest of the family tottered in around 10:45, there wasn’t a table left in the house.

Although the packed restaurant only had two servers and a bartender, the staff was able to get our group of 14’s drink order ready in no time. I had a refreshing, cold mimosa that was just the right mix of champagne and orange juice. Several other members of my party had bloody Marys, which they described as spicy and delicious.

The menu from Buffa's Lounge, slightly dampened by a mimosa

Looking at the menu, which the chef prepares specially for each brunch, I was surprised by the variety provided in such a limited menu. The items they prepared were shrimp creole, berry-covered french toast, fresh-baked spinach and mushroom quiche, eggs Benedict, and several breakfast plates that included eggs, hash browns, sausage, bacon, grits, and biscuits. I ordered the eggs Benedict, my favorite breakfast meal, and a side of hash browns.

Although the food took about 30 minutes, which would normally be excessively long for brunch, the house band, Some Like it Hot, served as entertainment and distraction from the wait. Upon receiving my food I was pleased, steam rose off my plate, the eggs looked fluffy, and my hash browns smelled oniony and mouth-watering. As I took my first bite of the eggs Benedict, heaven. The egg was soft and tender, with the yoke just the way I like it, gooey but not runny. The hollandaise sauce was creamy and rich with a unique blend of seasonings that added just enough spice, and the Canadian bacon was crispy and salty with just a touch of sweetness. All of these eaten on top of a hot English muffin made for a dish that lived up to New Orleans’s reputation for great food. The hash browns didn’t disappoint, either. Cooked to be both crispy and tender, the potatoes and onions were mixed with the perfect portion of pepper and spices. Even though I usually eat mine with ketchup, Buffa’s were flavorful enough to stand on their own.

Some Like it Hot preforming some Dixieland jazz at Buffa's

Even with the incredible food, it was the atmosphere in Buffa’s once the band started playing that really made the experience special. Rather than starting off their set slow like the bands at jazz brunches I had attended in the past, Some Like it Hot started off their set with upbeat Dixieland jazz. The quick tempo continued throughout the set with songs like Natalie Cole’s “Avalon” and the Dixieland jazz classic “I’ve Been Floating down the Old Green River.” Band leader and trumpet player Kaye Caldwell and banjo player Ron Kennedy shared lead vocals, and Eric Shuman shined on the clarinet. Other members present were Lil Josephine on the stand-up bass and Nita Hemeter on the drums.

Between the laid-back atmosphere, the superior food and the excellent music, my fun-loving family didn’t stand a chance against Buffa’s charm. For anyone looking for a fun, authentic New Orleans experience, I recommend you look just outside the quarter and take a detour to Buffa’s for jazz brunch any Sunday morning.

A Mission Statement Wednesday, Jul 14 2010 

Mobile Bay, home to over 500,000 Gulf Coast residents, is the fourth largest estuary in the United States.

Growing up between Atlanta and New Orleans, I spent the better part of my life knowing Mobile, Alabama as a road sign on the drive between the two larger cities. I would never have considered visiting the interstate pit-stop, much less wanting to spend my life there. However, life took its mysterious turns, and here I am, addicted to the beauty and strangeness that is the Azalea City.

Ironically, perhaps, the restaurant I came to that presented me with my first snapshot of Mobile, the historic and tourist-laden original Wintzell’s Oyster House, is the medium that has give me both the funds and the connections to access the city as an insider. Working at the restaurant has allowed me to witness a year of the debutante-grade society, food and drink-obsessed festivals, half-mad pan-handlers, and ancient-yet-emerging artistic scene that make this city unique.

It is only now, in the face of the tragic Deep-Water Horizons Oil Spill, that I both want and need to write about the place that I had never been to that beckoned me to be my home. The purpose of this blog is to document life in Mobile and throughout the gulf coast through day-to-day observations, visits to both landmarks and oddities, and historic and current research about the area. It will also help to chronicle the effects of the Oil Spill as well as the progress made in preserving the Gulf Coast.

“It is place, permanent position in both the social and topographical sense, that gives us our identity.”
–J.B. Jackson


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