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Friday, January 24, 2020

Fab Friday Faves 1.24.20

Hi everyone! Happy Friday!  Well as of today i have only about a month at most of pregnancy left.  How is this possible?  I really don't feel ready, but I think we are actually as ready as possible.  I just have a couple more weeks of nesting left that I'd like to get done. Baby was great at my appointment on Thursday, he's pretty much ready to go.
Stayed tuned for a few more blogs (I hope) before his arrival.


We finally got to see our little man's face again this week.  He hadn't been in a good position for a few weeks.  How cute is he?  I can't wait to kiss those little lips! 


My baby shower was last Saturday, and I was so spoiled!  thanks to Nicole for all of the amazing food (She made me Nanaimo bars and scones) and all my girls for the amazing gifts (including the ones that sent stuf for me). We had a great afternoon!  


Tuesday, Nicole, Jackson, Beth, Owen and I went down to Apollo Beach to see the manatees on the coldest day of the year so far.  There were quite a few out taking shelter.  I do this every year and I love seeing them.  We also went to Goodson Strawberry farm for some strawberries and the best Strawberry shortcake (with ice cream and whipped cream).


Smudge is being such a good big sister.  She loves being next to my belly and baby loves kicking when he hears her meow.  It is so sweet!  




I came across this little guy while shelling the other day.  He has quite the shell!


Today, I'm linking up with:

Bright On A Budget / Simply Sweet Home / 
A Little Bit of Everything / 

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Fab Friday Faves 1.10.20

Yup, I'm a day late again!  I've been busy, but here is a quick Fab 5.  I'm 33 weeks pregnant today! that means I should have about 6 weeks left to go (I will be induced before my Feb 29 due date). This seems so quick I feel lost and like I have so much left to do.  The nursery is almost completely done, just a couple finishing touches left.  I have my baby shower next weekend and some maternity photos at the beach booked for Feb 2 (I didn't realize it was Super Bowl when I booked!) after that it should be smooth sailing, I hope! I've made myself a schedule, a different room and area to clean and organize for the next month, when really I just want to sit around, or more accurately, nap. I haven't been sleeping at night due mostly to Braxton Hicks and also just randomly waking up wide awake, but I do seem to be able to nap.  Warning to any women planning on getting pregnant, it may seem when you have a friend that is pregnant that they are pregnant for like, 3 years... but when it is you, it goes by in a flash, at least until the point I am at now.  Maybe the last moth will be 4562 days long, and I kinda hope that it is.  
Not much new other than that in the McMann household!  Happy birthday to Auntie Lorri tomorrow! 
See everyone next week, maybe. 


Last weekend we drove down to Punta Gorda for Raymond's first birthday party with the Wilcox clan.  We had a lovely time with them all again, and are very appreciative to have some "family" to spend some time with.  We had cake, present and a boat ride through the canals.  The guys had no success fishing so they decided to fish for coconuts.  Word of advice, don't chop open floating coconuts, they are mostly rotten and smell really bad.


A few days after Christmas, we went to Enchant, the world's largest Christmas light maze.  There was also a skating track and some amazing food and crafts.  We should have went earlier, but it just didn't work out and the night s we tried were sold out. It was amazing, and if it comes to your city next year, be sure to check it out.


I'm so in love with my new nails! 


Josh and I went to my first NHL game of the year this week, the Lightning vs Coyotes.  He's been to a couple, but managed to snag a ticket for his hockey fan wife for this one.  We all know I LOVE hockey games, so it was nice, especially since it will likely be my last one at least for this season.


This was our NYE and I didn't mind at all.  I think Josh maybe would have liked to have done something more but guess who was asleep before I was?  Also this is our Ultimate Sac, one of our Christmas gifts to us.  It is pretty awesome, but not super pregnancy friendly, only because it is a touch difficult to roll out of haha.


Today I'm linking up with:



Wednesday, January 1, 2020

*Recipe* Cranberry Walnut Goat Cheese Log

Happy New Year!

This is a recipe I should have posted before the holidays, because it makes a great snack for Christmas get togethers... but I just didn't get around to it! It is also a recipe that I wouldn't say I have been craving, but I've been eating a ton of the last few weeks.  Baby is going to be a cheese lover.

The original recipe called for Pistachios, not Walnuts, but I had Walnuts, and shelled pistachios are expensive! It also says to serve with Crunchmaster crackers, but really any crackers will work, or just east it on it's own by the slice.

Enjoy, and don't be afraid to try this at any time of year, it is always delicious.


Ingredients

Cranberry Walnut Coating

  • 1/4 cup drie cranberries
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped or otherwise

Cheese Log

  • 8oz goat cheese log or tub
  • 4oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp each ginger, ground cinnamon, salt, dried thyme and dried rosemary
  • 1/8tsp pepper
  • 1/2 a cup of the cranberry walnut coating mixture

 Garnish

  • honey, optional
Directions
  • Add cranberries and walnuts to food processor, and chop into small pieces (but don't over process).
  • Remove half a cup and add it to a medium bowl.  add all the other ingredients for the cheese log to the bowl as well and store to combine. 

  • Add the mixture to a large piece of plastic wrap and form into the shape of a log.  Wrap with plastic wrap and put in freezer for 20-30 minutes. 
  • Line counter with a large piece of parchment paper.  Add coating ingredients to parchment and spread into a single layer square a little longer than the length of the cheese log. 
  • Add cheese log to the edge of the coating and and roll until evenly coated, pressing into coating so that it sticks. 
  • The log can be served immediately or refrigerated until you are ready. 
  • Remove from fridge about 15 minutes before serving.  If you want, drizzle generously with honey before serving.  Serve with crackers. 

thanks to Carlsbad Cravings for the recipe!



Friday, December 27, 2019

Fab Friday Faves 12.27.19

It's the last Friday of 2019 and the decade! I hope everyone's Christmas and year were great.  There were a lot of ups and downs this year but I spent half the year pregnant with our baby boy, and that is the biggest blessing that we could have ever asked for.
We have had a pretty busy Christmas season considering we didn't have any visitors this year, but it is always good to stay busy.  Josh had Christmas Eve and Christmas day off and we made use of both days, doing some Christmasy events and going to Chad and Chrissy's to spend the day with their family that is down from Maine.  It was nice to be around some familiar faces and we had a great time and some great food.
I'm 31 weeks tomorrow! the nursery is almost complete and I have my shower coming up in a few weeks.  Things are getting real!
Every one have a great week and see you in 2020!


We spent Christmas morning opening gifts and having breakfast then headed to Orlando.  We face timed with my parents on the way and ended up talking to Polly. I didn't take any pictures in Orlando, we were having too much fun, but we had a really nice time


Smudge was her normal beautiful Christmas self. 


We checked out Indian Trails as we do every year, our amazing light display in town.  As usual it is pretty spectacular!


We also went to the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo.  It was amazing!


I got a cheese Advent calendar from Target, because...cheese... and pregnant.  I got it not long before Christmas so I haven't finished it yet, but the cheeses in it are delicious!


Josh and I went to a Bucs game, a few days before Christmas. It was such a nicer day, and we had club seats so you can't go wrong, even if the home team loses.

Today I'm linking up with:

Sunday, December 22, 2019

New Orleans Babymoon

A couple months ago, Josh and I were discussing going on one last trip as a family of two (we actually haven't been on a vacation in like 5 years haha). And were discussing where we should go.  We talked about Chicago for a football game, but the timing would have made it very cold in Chicago, Denver same thing, and I can't really do a bunch of hiking or anything right, Key West as this is where we got married (well near Key West, but we did visit it) but I felt this is usually a drinking centered location since we have seen most of what it has to offer.  So we thought maybe New Orleans? Lots to do other than drink (tons of history and ghost stuff which I am so in to) but still fun and I assumed, not quite so crazy when it's not Mardi Gras. So NOLA it was.  we decided to drive, as flights there were cheap but flights back (the Sunday of thanksgiving weekend) were insane, and car rental was also ridiculous. 

 It was a 10 hour drive which is not that bad, and we planned to leave at noon on Wednesday after Josh left work a bit early.  Turned out he didn't have to go in so we got a little earlier start.  We drove to Gulfport, MS, about 1 hour from New Orleans, and stayed at a little hotel along the Gulf for the night.  I of course had to get up and check the sunrise and do some shelling before we finished our trip.  There were no shells, but it was nice! 




We continued on and I insisted we take the long way around and drive across the world's longest bridge, across Lake Pontchartrain.  It is 23.83 miles (38km) long.


We got to our hotel late in the morning and checked it out a bit.  The Saint Autograph Collection.  So beautiful and in such a convenient area.




After a quick stop in our room, we decided to go explore the area.  We were 2 blocks from Bourbon Street so that was out first stop.


We walked down Canal street, it was really beautiful done up for Christmas.  The hotels are gorgeous too.



We were hungry so we stopped at the Creole House just a few blocks down from our hotel.  I got a crawfish dish and gumbo and Josh got a sampler of a few traditional local dishes.  all delicious! 


When looking up pictures of NOLA this one came up a few times and I am so in love with this building ad the beautiful ferns!



Jackson square, such beautiful park with vendors set up around the perimeter and the beautiful cathedral in the background.  It is also right across from the French Market and Cafe Du Monde... I couldn't wait to go.






The view of Jackson Square from the Washington Artillery Park. 


The Christmas tree in Washington Artillery Park.  There was also a bagpiper set up there most of our trip.  Not offense to him but I guess I'm a bagpipe snob from growing up around them, but he was pretty terrible.


The Mississippi River at sunset.


Bourbon Street selfie. It is quite the place at night!


Our hotel lobby. The trees were so beautiful but I couldn't get decent pictures for the life of me.



Since we were in bed by about 9 pm every night, we were up early to get out exploring, we started by wandering the streets again.



After Bourbon street has been freshly hosed off and smells decent!


Our main reason for being up and out early was to get to Cafe Du Monde before there were 5 block (I'm not exaggerating) lines to get in.  We got there, waited about 10 minutes and then managed to be jerk and get a seat (my friend Sandy had let me in on a little trick to get in).  This is a NOLA  must do and a million percent worth it.  These Beignets are life changing! Especially when pregnant and craving all the sweets!



When we were done breakfast and hopped up on sugar, we got onto the Hop on Hop off bus for a tour around the city since I'm pregnant and Josh's back was bugging him. It was great and really cut our walking down.... we still got 25000 steps everyday though!


We didn't end up doing a tour of St. Louis cemetery No.1, as it had funny hours, but we did snap some pictures as we drove by.  Marie Laveau's tomb is here as well as Nicholas Cage's very crazy/cool pyramid tomb. 


We drove by Harrah's, the only casino in New Orleans. Gambling is actually illegal in Louisiana, but apparently this isn't gambling, it's gaming (it is a completely normal casino with slot machines etc).




We got lunch at a little Caribbean restaurant in the Garden district.  We shared some tacos and on the way out I noticed a plaque stating that the restaurant had been "helped out" by David Adjay, a Canadian chef that I have met a few times. Pretty cool.



We went down St. Charles Street, the ritziest area of the city. Celebrities like Beyonce and Jay-Z, Ellen and Sandra Bullock have houses in this area. The mansions are huge and historic and beautiful.




The Superdome, it is so insanely huge in person. 


We got back to the area of the French Market, I just love the buildings.




There were a lot of horse drawn carriages.  I wasn't a fan, the horses are obviously overworked and unhealthy.


We took a walk through the French Market. It's very huge and has some very unique items.



We got a delicious drink there as well.



Joan of Arc.







We stopped into the hotel where the carousel bar is, it is so beautiful but the bar was packed.




Dinner was at Desire Oyster Bar in the Royal Sonesta Hotel.  This is a beautiful hotel with the cutest courtyard.  We got the grilled oysters to share (unbelievably delicious) and Josh got the shrimp and grits (best shrimps and grits ever) and I had some traditional Creole Jambalaya. 



This evening we did one of the things that I was most excited for on our trip.  The Haunted New Orleans Tour.  A little walking tour around the French Quarter to some of the city's most haunted places. We started at the Hotel Provincial which was a hospital for wounded soldiers during the Civil War. You can still see dismembered soldiers, operating doctors and random pools of blood.




Our next stop was one of my favorites, the LaLaurie Mansion.  Any American Horror Story fans might know the crazy history of this mansion that involves crazy human experimenting and just pure evil. There is a lot of hearsay involving this mansion but you can find out the history of it and it's insane owner Madame LaLaurie here.  The mansion is also said to be cursed, having many stories about subsequent owners having terrible luck and losing entire fortunes, including Nicholas Cage several years ago.




Next we went to Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, a very old (the oldest bar in Louisiana and one of the oldest in the US) and dank,creepy place, especially at night as it has almost no lights inside. Jean Lafitte, the original owner was one of the most notorious pirates in US history and also helped Andrew Jackson defeat the British during the War of 1812. The bar is said to be home to Lafitte's ghost as well as as possibly a girl that killed herself there in the 1800s and another phenomenon, phantom red eyes.



Our last stop was the Andrew Jackson Hotel (one of my favorite buildings). It was originally a home for boys that lost their parents to Yellow Fever. The home burnt and building was consumed with the boys inside. The ghosts of these boys are said to be mostly mischievous, pushing people out of their beds, messing up pillows and laughing in the courtyard. 


The start of our final day, in front of one of the trees in our hotel. 


The restaurant in the hotel had Bloody Mary French Toast for breakfast, of course I had to try, and it was delicious!


We made our way over to Harrah's for their festival of lights.  Unfortunately it was all outside so we didn't get to enjoy the lights very well but it was still beautiful.




IN front of Archie Manning's restaurant. We found this super cute little alley way and area while wandering around.






We made our way back to the French Quarter and Canal street to check out the Bayou Classic parade, for the football game that was taking place later in the day. We got some real New Orleans and some real NOLA Mardis Gras beads.  This was a unique parade, instead of candy (there was still a little candy) the floats threw products like body wash, deodorant and toothpaste to help the kids that were there to watch the parade that are living in poverty. 








We continued on to the Carousel Bar just in time for it to open.  We were stuck in a line but still got right in and got a spot.  The bar is like a carousel and very slowly rotates (very slowly). It is really cool though and has some great drinks.




We continued on our way and stopped for some souvenirs.  We found a store that had some hot sauces so hot that you had to sign a waiver.


One of our last lunches out, we went to Napoleon's for their world famous Muffaletta sandwiches.  I was advised by a friend that had been to NOLA not long before to get the sandwich here and she didn't steer us wrong.  It was AMAZING.  Even Josh, who hates olives, LOVED this sandwich.





We took a last walk down by the waterfront, and walked by the Natchez Steamboat, while the guy on top was playing some songs with the steam organ (I have no idea what that is called).




The street cars that run all over the city.


We went into the ritzy mall, mostly so I could go into Tiffany.




One of my favorite pictures from the trip, love this little side street.


Last NOLA meal! We went to Landry's Seafood House, right on the water in the Jackson Brewery Building. It as here that I got my favorite meal of the trip.


I got the Blackened Catfish Achafalaya.  One of the best things I have ever eaten. Catfish in a sauce of crawfish, capers and lemon butter. Seriously amazing. Josh got the Crab stuffed Shrimp Enbrochette, also very yummy!


We took one last walk down Bourbon Street to round off our trip.  It was still early so not too crazy this time and I actually got some good pictures.












We were back in the hotel and in bed by 8pm so that we could be up and on the road by about 6am.  While Josh was getting the truck from the parking garage in the morning, I took a couple more pictures of the hotel. Little did I know that all the sirens I had woken up to in the night was a mass shooting at the hotel next door.  10 people were shot in total and as we walked out we saw the crazy scene, a couple hours after it had unfolded.  A terrible tragedy, and make me happy we had been back in the hotel and in bed so early.




On the way back  I snapped a couple pics.  Sweet Home Alabama and Chattahoochee, because way down yonder on the".



We were home by about 6pm that night and considering it was one of the worst driving days of the year, it really wasn't that bad.

Here are some of my souvenirs from the trip.


We had a great little getaway, it had been years since we really did anything like this, so it was nice to  get out and have some adventure!  We really enjoyed the city and definitely want to go back some day as there were still things that we never got a chance to do .