Road Trip: A Mississippi Getaway

Make no mistake, I’m sort of a country girl at heart. Growing up with a swamp for a backyard, I prefer to spend a little time in the woods vs. visiting big cities when I go on vacation. So January 1st we packed up the truck and headed to our little hideaway in the Homochitto National Forest.  A Mississippi getaway definitely isn’t a shabby way to ring in 2013. You can catch up with my woodsy adventures in the archives here.

Hitting up the apps hard- no shame.

Needlenose and a tranquil pond
Udon noodles, goat cheese pear crustini, liquid bread
Reading material+ a good fire= heaven
Princess prissy pants aka love of my life aka Nadia
Other love of my life, besides the cats and the ball python
Performance wear is the hottest trend, not really.
Merrell jacket, Hardtail skirt, Celine sunnies via Buffalo Exchange
Ralph Lauren over the knee socks via TJ Maxx
Lululemon leggings c/o Life Boutique (last year)
Keen boots via REI
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Gulfport Getaway

Crawfish nachos from the Ole Biloxi Fillin’ Station

Sometimes you just have to get away, even if it means getting a hotel room for one night. So away we went to Gulfport and Biloxi for a random Wednesday night a few weeks ago to enjoy a little Gulf Coast breeze, a spacious room at the Island View Casino Resort, and big winnings. We got ballsy during our Gulfport getaway and decided to upgrade from the penny slots to the quarter machines and won back our spending money and enough to pay off the entire trip plus some. Not too shabby for some amateur gamblers, no?

Coastal Cruising
Big winna
Desperately in need of a haircut here
Monogram necklace: Abeille NOLA
V neck tee: Everlane
Tropical print skirt: Ruby
Dansko sandals: Ebay
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What We Wore: A Night Out in Savannah

Savannah is definitely a laid back city, even more than New Orleans. For my last night in town, my sister and I had dinner at Jazz’d Tapas followed up with some truly decadent dessert at Lulu’s Chocolate Bar. Even though we could have fit right in wearing jeans and a t-shirt, exerting a little extra effort always helps a night out feel a bit more special. Although there was nothing special about waking up at 4:30 am for my flight back home. What was I thinking when I booked that?

It’s all about that a little Frenchie named Porkchop


Fuschia horses- what’s not to love?
Perpetually striking dumb poses

my favorite necklace
Sweater via Limited
Skirt via Francesca’s
Shoes via Steve Madden
Necklace via Ragdoll

 Dress, Cooperative via Buffalo Exchange
Belt, American Apparel via Buffalo Exchange
Shoes via Buffalo Exchange
Necklaces via Nelson + Little and Fairy (rabbit)
Cuff bracelet via Buffalo Exchange

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Smitten With Savannah

I just got back from my first trip to Savannah, Georgia and I’m downright smitten with the place. In many ways it reminded me a bit of New Orleans- the history, architecture, and the friendliness that the locals exuded felt familiar and comforting. I swooned for the trees dripping in Spanish moss, the downtown area lent a cool yet quaint vibe, and having the beach just a short twenty minute drive really made me feel like I was on vacation.

My sister moved to Savannah this past January for her first big girl job and while I miss our occasional lunches at Restaurant August and late night ice cream runs, I was thrilled she was moving somewhere I always wanted to visit.Here are some quick shots of some of my favorite places downtown, but there is more to come!

Coolest shop – Arc

Love the old fashioned feel in the men’s section

Mansion on Forsyth Park

Frilly and feminine looks at Terra Cotta Boutique

One of my favorites- Villa

Have you ever been to Savannah? What are your can’t miss destinations?

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Guest Post: Slow Travel

I’ve never traveled by train before, so when Amy Powe offered to write this post about her experience travelling from New Orleans to Chicago, I was excited to live vicariously through her.- Christy

Text by Amy Powe

As the population of those who embrace slow food,  slow design (local and sustainable!), and slow money (yes it’s a thing), continues to grow it’s hard not to be curious about what’s next.  In The South we have a reputation of never been in too big of a hurry about anything but, are we ready for slow travel?

Recently, I traveled with my family of four to Chicago aboard the infamous City of New Orleans.  The train station is much closer to us than the airport.  Parking, easy, surface lot, five dollars a day. The scene at the train station is interesting. There is an eclectic and eccentric crowd of all ages, shapes and sizes in all manner of dress.  Honestly when is not the case in New Orleans?

As there are no security checks other than a sign that reads “We’re All In This Together” with interior shot of the train, there is no need to arrive any earlier than 45 minutes prior to departure.  We have an easy departure time of 1:45 in the afternoon. First class (aka sleeper car ticket holders) board first. You are allowed two bags and can bring on liquids and food.  My daughter and I share a deluxe sleeper car complete with (albeit small) sink, toilet and shower.  We made our travel plans last minute, so there was not a sleeper car available for my husband and son, so they bunk in a sleeper car roomette.  The roomette does not have nearly the amount of room as the deluxe model, or a private bath.

Inside our sleeper cars, we are greeted by our train hostess Kenya.  She provides us with bottled water and 4 pillows.  She explains that once the conductor makes his announcement we are free to move about the cabin.   She also takes our dinner reservation, asks what time we would like beds turned down and what time we would like a wake-up call.
The sight seeing car has lots of seating and tables to keep travelers busy on their journey.   There is much card playing, reading, crossword puzzle and suduko action.  I never did get a clear answer as to whether or not wi-fi is available but, there didn’t seem to be much of a demand from my fellow passengers.  There is a bar and snack bar downstairs.  I would skip the snack bar next time and pack sandwiches from La Boulangerie before leaving town.  The hot items are “cooked” via microwave and that is scary for me because I don’t own one and it definitely isn’t in the theme of slow!  However, the Coronas were exactly right and there was a fair variety of beers and wine.  Fast forward to dinner.  The dinner menu was pretty bleak however, the local special was barbeque ribs.  Actual non-microwaved food.  My husband and kids loved it.  I assembled a salad and vegetables from the menu.  The retro of it all made for a very charming  atmosphere.  Once back in the room, the beds were made and it reminded of bit of a micro version of my Cabra dorm room at Loyola.  The curtains were drawn back as the sun slowly disappeared from the sky.  It was a lovely thing to have nothing to do than watch the sunset.

Sleeping on the train is very doable, but if you are a light sleeper you may want to medicate or take ear plugs.  The train does continue to make stops during the night and the horn continues to blow as it approaches crossings.  But, if you’re like my daughter you will sleep through the night and then some.

A basic breakfast is served morning before our 9 am arrival in Chicago.  We arrive a few minutes ahead of schedule and make our way off the train and onto the platform. Chicago’s train station is much more advanced than the New Orleans train station.  A cart picks us up, and wisks the four of us and luggage with urgency through the crowd at the station.  The driver makes a stop at the rental car office (a brief pause for paperwork) and promptly drops us off to our rental car.  Back to the fast lane.  

photo credits:

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What I Wore: Cruising Around Mexico

Back in January I went on my very first cruise. You can read about my full experience via my Friday column for Uptown Messenger. Cruises are kind of weird- part floating hotel, part entertainment barge . Still, we had a good time and I’d definitely go on one again. We’re lucky that New Orleans is a port city, and oddly enough I ran in to three people I knew. But then again it is New Orleans, and everyone knows everyone here given we are more like a big town.

The only decent shot I took.

Unintentionally matched my Zoya nail polish to my Kate Landry bag
Dress: Banana Republic via Buffalo Exchange
Platform Heels: Tory Burch via Buffalo Exchange
Necklace: J. Crew via Buffalo Exchange
Bracelet: InPink
Lounging on the beach in Cozumel, Mexico
Hotel in Progreso, Mexico- didn’t stay here
Towel friend- got one of these every night

Have you ever been on a cruise? Where did you go?

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Road Trip: Outfits for the great outdoors

Make no mistake, I’m a city girl girl in the sense that I prefer to have everything I need within walking or biking distance. I enjoy the comforts of having a coffee shop a block away and making a quick jaunt to my neighborhood corner store.  However I also crave the woods, and the luxury of solitude, if only for a few days.  My idea of a vacation is getting away from it all, whether it’s a romantic weekend getaway or a strenuous hike, I enjoy both equally. I shared an outfit post a few weeks ago from our Thanksgiving weekend at Forest Retreat, a magical little spot tucked away in the Homochitto National Forest in Mississippi. While what I was going to wear was the last thing on my mind that weekend it’s always nice to feel confident in what you are wearing, whether you are in town people watching at a big event or enjoying some solo star gazing with a cup of hot chocolate.

plaid button down & charcoal grey sweatshirt: J. Crew via Buffalo Exchange
 jeans: Seven for all Mankind via Buffalo Exchange
 Keen winter boots via REI
rain jacket: Land’s End Canvas
orange waterfall cardigan: Velvet via Buffalo Exchange
charcoal heathered tank: Alternative Apparel via Buffalo Exchange
sexy hiking pants: REI brand

For more photos from Forest Retreat go to my Facebook profile.

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What I Wore: My Forest Retreat

Our new Thanksgiving tradition is to spend some quality time out in the woods and go on a much needed digital detox. This year we went on our third visit to Forest Retreat, which I’ve written about many of times both here and other online publications.  During my time in the woods the only tweets I keep up with are from the birds, blogs are replaced with reading  my favorite print magazines cover to cover in one sitting  (National Geographic, Garden & Gun), and schlepping around town turns into leisurely strolls along leaf covered trails. There will be plenty more pictures but I’m trying to savor this vacation mentality for a few more days and lighten my work load just a little bit longer.

No matter how you unwind I’d suggest unplugging as well, even if it’s just for one day, even if you can’t get out of town. I’m always delighted by how much clarity and focus I gain when I come back from my jaunts to the woods thanks to tuning out the noise of the internet, if only for a little while.

They don’t call them high water pants for nothin’

An unfortunate DIY rhinestone mani, documented for eternity

Even creek water can’t disguise my horrible home pedicure

polka dot chambray shirtLand’s End Canvas
plaid square scarf- 3 year old Buffalo Exchange
skinny  jeans- DL 1961 from Blues Jean Bar
leather *ahem* fancy Tevas– Buffalo Exchange

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My new Thanksgiving tradition- The Great Outdoors

When I lived in Arizona my husband and I grew accustomed to taking adventurous trips to explore our Southwest surroundings. Since we didn’t have very many friends and family out west we took advantage of our time off of work around the holidays to  travel and the tradition has stuck with us even though we’ve been back in New Orleans for three years. While most people will be with their friends and families tomorrow we will enjoying a cabin in the woods with nothing but the stars, a good book, and our retired racing greyhound to keep us entertained. Even if you aren’t the outdoorsy type and consider a scraped up knee an injury versus a badge of honor for a good rock climbing session I think it is important to get outside. Just spend time in your local park and indulge in some greenery at the very least. It’s good for the soul.

I consider this my spiritual home- Grand Canyon, Arizona

Off trail hiking is always an adventure

Feeding the goats at Splendor Farms in Bush, LA
Strolling along a creek in Mississippi at my favorite hidden spot
The original words with friends

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What I Wore: Horsin’ around

I like to get out of town as often as I can, which unfortunately isn’t as much as I’d like. My husband and I recently took a trip to Bush, Louisiana to a little place called Splendor Farms. For a complete recap of our adventures at the farm read my recap at the excellent website NO Adventure and check out the full set of photos on my Facebook page. Even though we only stayed one night we came back to New Orleans completely refreshed.

All I’ve got for y’all today is a goat and what I wore. It’s important not to look like a fashion victim when petting goats and baby horses so I kept it simple with a tank top, shorts and sandals. Seriously, don’t overdue it; you can’t become one with nature wearing stilettos and a mini skirt. Y’all can check out some of my previous adventures by clicking here.
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