NOLA 2013: French Quarter (but most specifically Bourbon Street)

Thursday, February 28, 2013

We spent a lot of time walking around the French Quarter & on Bourbon Street. A lot of us were surprised by how much was on Bourbon Street. It was bar after bar with the occasional souvenir shop & strip club thrown in. It was like a poor man's version of Vegas. We all decided that we liked New Orleans a lot better though :).

We rode the trolley into the French Quarter every day. Our house was only a block away in the Garden District.
Some of our group. It was hard to round up all 13 of us at once for a photo.
Better than Cafe du Monde!!
We sang & danced all night!
We cruised up & down Bourbon Street for a few nights.
We had to take a quick break from the drinking to stop & see the sights of the city.
Every house in the French Quarter was gorgeous.
All us girls! Such a fun group of ladies to spend a few days with.
This is as crazy as we got... fake boob shirts 

- Photos © Holly Carman -

You can view the rest of my photos here :)

NOLA: What we ate

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

We ate good in New Orleans. Real good. So good that I've put myself on a detox upon returning home. I tried to always remember to take pictures of our food (which is something I normally don't have a problem remembering) but we were on the go so much that I missed a few places :( The food was so different than anything that we have back home so most of us tried to eat as many different dishes as we could; to get a real taste of what New Orleans has to offer. We definitely weren't disappointed!

I've included links to the places that we visited below. If you ever find yourself in New Orleans, I've got a few places you might want to try!

** Warning: Mouth-watering food pictures ahead... **

Amazing breakfast. I had the biscuits & gravy one morning & a banana pancake the next morning. Yes, we went twice. I also ordered a side of grits with each meal as well (gotta eat up what you can't get back at home).

We had oysters here & they were fantastic (the best on our trip)! Our friends had larger meals of po' boys, cuban sandwiches, shrimp bisque... & it all looked good. Try the frozen bourbon milk punch, it was delish!

Luke had a red beans & rice, gumbo & jambalaya trio - which was amazing. Don't get a burger here though, they'll overcook it! Mine was just "eh".

Everything on the menu looked amazing! We had tacos (shrimp, oyster, flaked fish, jerk chicken & pulled bbq) with sides of poblano polenta, fried plantains & black beans with chorizo. I would definitely recommend this place (& everything on the menu, too)!

Olde N'awlins Cookery
Oysters & beer. Nothing else too exciting about this place.

We had a semi-fancy dinner here & it was delicious! Luke & I both had the shrimp & grits - it was pretty much the most amazing dinner I've had in quite a while. Kind of on the pricey side, but I'd still recommend it!

Luke & I didn't actually eat here - but we were with our friends when they did. All the food they ordered looked great! Your typical New Orleans fare.

Super delicious beignets! So fresh, fluffy & covered in powdered sugar. SO GOOD!

We happened to end up near Cafe du Monde late one night so we stopped in for some coffee & beignets. To be honest, they weren't that good. We all quickly agreed that Cafe Beignet was a better choice.

Po' boys, crawfish etouffee, jambalaya, gumbo, shrimp creole, red beans & rice - you name it, this place has everything! Almost everyone in our group got something different & we all raved how great the food was. Luke & I shared a grilled shrimp po' boy & it was delicious!

Our last breakfast in town. Our waiters were amazing & the food was your typical greasy breakfast - but good! It was Katie & Kara's birthday, so the waiters drew them a picture & also took our groups picture to hang on the wall. I told you the wait staff was amazing!

- Photos © Holly Carman -

NOLA: Where we stayed

Monday, February 25, 2013

So, we basically stayed in a mini southern mansion for the 4 nights we were in New Orleans. Seriously. Our house was in the heart of the Garden District, only a block away from the trolley line & a few blocks away from Magazine Street. It had about 7-8 bedrooms & bathrooms & a few sitting/living rooms (perfect for late night dance parties!). The only down side was that the renters the weekend before us (during Mardi Gras) trashed the place & left a lot of things broken (microwave, dishwasher, elevator, etc...) they also lost 3 of the 4 sets of keys! Which made it interesting for our group of 13 to get in/out of the house when we went off doing different things. Anyways, with all that aside, I wanted to share some photos of the place because it was kind of amazing!

Were you able to spot Mardi Gras beads hidden in the photos? They were scattered all around town in trees & on fences - left over from the festivities the weekend before. It was inevitable they would make it into our house after a night wandering around.

- Photos © Holly Carman -

We made it back alive from NOLA

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

We went to celebrate the birthdays of our dear friends, Katie & Kara, in NOLA over a very long weekend. We had too much fun, ate too much food & drank almost too much booze. We stayed in a (haunted) Garden District mansion with 11 other friends & spent our days exploring the city & enjoying each others company. Reality hit hard when we got back home & now it's back to the daily grind & starting to detox if you're named Luke & Holly. We don't really vacation when we vacation - we kind of go all out. It was definitely worth it though!

I can't wait to share some stories, lots of photos & our recommendations if you ever visit NOLA. Check back soon :) For now, here are some Instagram photos if you haven't seen them already (username: littlemissholls).

Sausage Gravy & Apple Dutch Baby

Monday, February 11, 2013

There are two breakfast recipes that are my absolute favorite to make on the weekends. Both are my own recipes that I've tweaked over time, just to my liking. The Sausage Gravy is Luke's favorite & I really only make it every once in a while, like on a special weekends. The second is my Apple Dutch Baby. I've made numerous variations over the years & have finally settled on a version that Luke & I both love & agree is the best one yet!

Sausage Gravy
[Serves 4]

1 pound of sausage
1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
2 cups of milk
a pinch of sage
salt & pepper to taste

Crumble & cook sausage in large skillet over medium heat until browned. Stir in the flour over the sausage & continue cooking until it dissolves (about 1 minute). Gradually stir in the milk. Cook until thick & bubbly. Add salt, pepper & sage to your liking & serve over fresh baked biscuits.

**All measurements are approximate. I never actually measure anything, I eyeball everything.**

Apple Dutch Baby
[Serves 2]

3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup milk
3 eggs
1-2 apples (peeled, sliced & lightly covered in cinnamon & sugar)
1 pat of butter (just enough to coat the bottom of the pan)

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet or small casserole dish (what I use). 

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, milk & eggs until smooth. Pour the batter over the melted butter & then drop in the apple slices. 

Bake for approximately 20 minutes, until the top turns slightly golden brown.


My Favorite Fonts

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I love fonts. Today I'm sharing 8 fonts that are my absolute favorites! If you've followed along on this blog for a bit then you might recognize some of these that I've used in past posts. The best part? You can download all of these for free! I've included the links for each of them below. Enjoy :)