The hottest of the hottest festivals is almost here... Talk about squad goals. I was reading an article today that stated the producer of' "Girls Trip" met his wife during Essence Festival. No coincidence why he loves the place! I was waiting to see Jay - Z and Beyonce in the lineup, All facts, no caps..! Mary J Blige always hits the stage with a good performance.. Wait is that New Edition? This year, they split their names up now they are Ronny, Bobby, Ricky & Mike. No Ralph..but Bobby is in there. No more drama, Bobby Brown... 702 (WHERE MY GIRLS AT)? What have they been up to. The Queen Diva ...besta believa "Queen of Bounce"takes the stage, honoring Frankie Beverly. If you don't know who I am talking about that would be New Orleans native Big Freedia. I am just happy she will be on the main stage. Doug E Fresh always delivers a great show in the N.O. I was very excited to see some old school classics in the lineup, Shelia E and Morris Day. Last year, 2018, had a massive amount of women traveling to the city on girls trips. #EssenceFest #EMF #EMF25
The lineup is similar to the previous years. This past weekend, I was speaking to a friend, she said she and her husband had been attending the festival for 25 years. She was excited about a few main stage acts and the Superlounge. A few Superlounge acts were unfamiliar (Alx, Amanda Black, Celeste Ntuli, City Girls, Davido, Sauti Sol, Talk box, Vanessa Mdee, Vajess, Water Seed) to name a few. PJ Morton, of the GRAMMY award winning group Maroon 5, will be recording his new album live during these festivities- I know they won't disappoint.
Here is your 2019 Essence Festival lineup.
July 4th - July 7th 2019
Missy Elliot, Mary J, Nas, Jermaine Dupri, Pharrell, Ronny, Bobby, Ricky & Mike, Teddy Riley, Teyana Taylor, Timbaland..Honoring Frankie Beverly - Anthony Hamilton, Freedia, Doug E. Fresh, Ledisi, MC Lyte, Morris Day, Musiq, Shelia E.
702, Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie, Brownstone, Doug E Fresh, El Debarge, Elle Varner, Erica Falls, Force MDs, Ginuwine, Rakim, Scarface, Miz X and more..
Hosted by The REAL host Loni Love and DJ D-Nice on the 1s and 2s.
Purchase tickets here :www.ticketmaster.com
COOKING WITH ALLIGATOR PEAR
Grilled pineapple jalapeno margarita
In honor or #NationalMargaritaDay enjoy one of my favorite cocktails. I like mine #spicy 😉
Coarse salt for the glass rim
1 lime wedge
2 jalapeño slices
2 oz. (60 ml) tequila
1 1/2 oz. (45 ml) pineapple juice
1/2 oz. (15 ml) fresh lime juice
3/4 oz. (20 ml) agave nectar
Spread the salt on a small plate. Moisten the rim of a glass with the lime wedge, dip the edge of the rim into the salt and shake off any excess. Fill the glass with ice.
In a cocktail shaker, muddle one of the jalapeño slices. Fill the shaker with ice and add the tequila, pineapple juice, lime juice, and agave nectar. Shake vigorously and strain into the prepared glass. Garnish with the remaining jalapeño slice and serve immediately. Makes 1 drink. ENJOY! 😋
Recipe from Bar Amá, Los Angeles, CA via WilliamsSonoma
#keto #margarita #cocktails #ketodiet #greenliving #foodiefeature #cleaneating#glutenfree #glutenfreeliving #glutenfreelife #ncgs #nonceliacglutensensitivity#friday #mommyblogger #blogger #lifestylebloggers #lifestyle #lifestyleblogger#celiac #ketobreakfast #ketosnack #easyketo #nolablogger #ketodiet #ketoforweightloss #lowcarb #buzzfeast #cheatday
By: Whitney Forstall
I recently caught up with Tracey Wiley, blogger, wife, mother, superhero, fashionista, fitness trainer and NOLA Connector, for a quick Q&A. She has been increasing her influence on Social Media with vivid photos capturing the Essence of New Orleans. Her Instagram ROCKS!! She offers a classy touch of mixing affordable fashion with trendy brand names. This Socialite manages to catch the HOTTEST spots in the city before anyone else. Like the Carrie Bradshaw of NOLA. Here's an exclusive Q&A.
1) What do you enjoy most about living in New Orleans? This is one of the toughest questions for me to answer. I love so much, about my city, but if I had to answer one thing it would be the food. I'm a big foodie (In my head) - I love trying new cuisines and New Orleans has new restaurant openings daily. I am frequently going to new places and revisiting hidden gems in the city.
2) What are some of your favorite spots to hang out with your girlfriends? My girlfriends and I enjoy cute lounges and restaurants. Hot Tin is probably my favorite rooftop bar to grab a drink. I love Loa's in the International House Hotel. The hotel is very upscale and the bar is equally amazing. If we get out on a Friday night we have to stop by Hotel Montelone to hear the beautiful Robin Barnes sing. But if we really want to get down the Zulu Club and Bullets would be the perfect spots.
3) Name some of your favorite New Orleans events. French Quarter Fest, Jazz Fest, Gentilly Fest, Zulu, Lundi Gras, PoBoy Fest, Beignet Fest.... see most of these revolve around food.. lol
4) What musical artists do you love in the city? Robin Barnes, Casme, Partners N Crime and Rebirth Brass Band ....and the list goes on.
5) Describe the culture of New Orleans in a few words...
According to NOLA.com, we will have 27 parades roll this weekend. New Orleans is such a relaxed atmosphere during anytime of the year. I love my city!! The city is filled with different events every weekend. Let me find out I missed a festival, second line or social shakedown (LOL)..
Last year, my husband’s first cousin came from New York to visit us during Mardi Gras. She had a whole list of questions for us before we went to the parades (like a checklist)..
I emphasized, there are moments of chaos, insanity and confusion. People are walking in the streets. I gave her a high level overview of what to expect during the festivities. I wish I had this list for her.
I composed a list of general best practices to use during Mardi Gras. If you are a local, you may be very familiar with this. If you are a tourist, it can truly be a once in a lifetime experience. Whether you are traveling with your family or on a mission to get to Rockstar status on social media, make sure you party responsibly. This blog, for all intents and purposes, is a guideline on how you can beat the streets safely.
10. Please practice common sense when making decisions. This is a very unique experience that people let you hang outside their shotgun houses or you can wander the streets. You may have to pay for some parking in their driveways..
9. Golden Rule- To catch beads from the Krewe, you have to chant: 'Throw me something, Mister! Even if it is a Mrs..she is still a Mister. I know, this is screaming female liberation. Just be prepared to learn new things and to expect anything (thrown at you)...literally.
8.You can’t sit with us! Don’t touch people’s stuff - It’s so Disrespectful. If you get there too late, do not move unoccupied chairs or ladders along the parade route to claim a good spot; it isn't an open space just because you can't see anybody there. Families tend to congregate at the same place year after year, save their spots, and get to know their parade route neighbors pretty well. Somebody is watching that spot. There will be plenty more areas to hangout after the parade is in full effect. If you move their chair or ladder, it won't go unnoticed. Keep your children close, and don't let them wander off. Don’t cross barricades and run into the streets. Watch your money, belongings, etc. it may be safe to keep in your trunk. Remember, the Neutral Ground (median) is public property, and it is illegal to block off areas for private use.
7. DON'T blame it on the al-al-al-cohol! It's okay to drink beer openly on the streets as long as it's in a can or cup, but you can't drink from glasses or bottles. Don't get wasted and behave irrationally with paraders and authorities. Flashing and other weird stuff.....not allowed either.
6. Know your route -Parades have different routes. It is a good idea to get a map of the city and study the areas you'll be visiting. If you are a tourist, your hotel concierge or front desk can help you with route times, traffic and parking. I love the parade tracker apps.
5. Uber everywhere! Cabs! Bicycles, Personal Vehicles, public transportation. Even public transportation can be difficult - bus and streetcar routes/schedules often change during Carnival season, so plan ahead and make sure you know when and how to get there and back. Don’t park by driveways, firehyrants or anywhere you wouldn’t normally park. If you stay in an outlying hotel, don't depend on them to supply you with transportation to the French Quarter or the parade routes. Although some have shuttles to New Orleans, they are often not in use during Mardi Gras season.
4. I got 99 problems...Respect the Authorities and my crown. Don't reach all over my head to catch beads and respect the PoPos. It could be NOPD, FCC, FBI during this time of the year. You gotta pass them alphabet boys, like an eye test.
3. Check the Weather – The seasons change, it can be very warm, perfect weather or freezing cold. Have that 7 day forecast at your reach during the week. It's a miserable experience to be wearing a turtleneck in 80 degree weather.
2. Play dress up -There are contests for costumes in every part of the city, and the crowd-watching is as much fun as the parades. Have that camera or smart phone ready for picture taking. You're going to want to share the outfit, colorful makeup and gangsta wigs with your friends/family. I enjoy taping the live news and watching it later that day.
1. Stick with your team. We came together, we leave together. Don't make any unnecessary ventures down other streets without your people knowing where you are. New Orleans is a fun city, but just with any event this size, there is room for error.
"Laissez les bons temps rouler "pronounced "LAZAY LAY BON TOM ROULAY"
New Orleans has weathered the storm and has proven years of experience throwing a party. You should feel empowered to think and act safely. The Police are there to help. Make sure your mindful of crowd control. I will share an example; If a crowd of people are all running down Napoloeon, don’t run down there. Pick a different route. If you need help, see an authority immediately.
Join Launch Party for the NOLA Housewives on March 26th 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM. Shop, network, and sip tasty housewives signature cocktails and eat amazing food in one of New Orleans hottest restaurants.
Eventbrite Ticket Link: vesselgno2019.eventbrite.com
All women are welcome to attend our FREE Networking Socials but please register your ticket via Eventbrite.
We’d love to see your photos so use that hashtags #HousewivesGNO to share with us!
For vendor or advertising information, please email me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Loving this mommy blogger. Here is her story.
I am a writer, artist, mother, wife, chef, boss, servant, conqueror and so much more. I don't like labels or boxes because they are confining and we're so much larger than what a few tiny words say about us. Words can also limit our belief in what we can do for ourselves.
We are so much more and we can do so much more than we think. The greatest command is that we should love God with all our hearts, but the second and equally important commanded is to love your neighbor as yourself. (Mathew 22:37-39) This is how I choose to live. I don’t do it perfectly, I’m human. I often don’t even do it well but I strive to walk in faith. That means taking each step, each moment of my journey with Him leading and guiding the way.
Check out her latest blog and merchandise!
Ahhhh, sit back and love it. This morning called for red pants, coffee in one of my favorite mugs, and LOVE. Reading this great book! I think, if I can just love someone better today the world would be a better place.
This morning my 6 year old daughter asked me, Mommy how many people are in the whole world? Is it a hundred, hundred million? I reflected for a moment and wondered how many people today are unloved, alone, being abused. I pray that somehow God can touch the heart of anyone reading this right now to do something, even a kind word or a bottle of water, for someone in need.
I googled it so I can answer my daughters question. There’s over 7billion people in the world today and I wonder how many of them are suffering. I can teach her to love others no matter what, but even more significant, I can show her by example what it means to love by serving others and taking care of their needs.
Happy Valentines Day y’all!
#nolagirl #lovequotes #loveothers #godslove #godfirst #healthyheart #shop#familygoals #prayerwarrior #serveothers #myhoys #womanofgod #womanoffaith#faithblogger #christianblogger #momblogger #truth #testimony#valentinesday #love
My Valentine! When we first Began!
No one makes me feel the way you do inside. And I don't know what I would do without you and that's no lie. If I die, I'd hope to find you in another life. So, we could fall again. Be the way we were when we first began.Like the first time that I ever saw you smile. Maybe, I am just feeling nostalgic, but the New Orleans native, PJ Morton’s song (When we first began) reminds me of the love I have experienced with my husband. I am not a super emotional person, so I hope you enjoy this love story.
My husband and I have been through many life events in the three + years of marriage. First house together, engagement, first baby, wedding, baby shower, wedding shower, baby’s first party, and baby #2 then her birthday. The life events just happened so quickly.
How we met:
Once upon a time, there was a princess named Lynn. She went out one night with her sisters to have cosmopolitans. She was approached by a man who lived in Chicago. This was in the year 2010. They had a few dates and parted ways. A few years had passed (now 2013) and they reconnected at an event. He approached her and she quickly said call me. He did not have her number but they were connected on social media. He sent her a message with his number. She was amazed! He said CALL ME. So, she did call him later that evening. After a few dates, they were engaged. He proposed at one of their favorite restaurants in New Orleans. The rest is happily ever after. A marriage takes hard work and dedication. He really does keep the family going and makes sure I am living my best life. He has been a very admirable father to our kids.
Bringing it all together:
I look back at our conversations before the kids and now. Now, I text to say, ‘Maddie needs her sippie cup’ or ‘Grab that candy bag for Wesley in the morning’. It is always nice when I get an I love you so much text. Our date nights are truly fantastic. It is nice to get away from the kids and have some solid adulting time.
I just wanted to take the opportunity to tell my love that I am beyond grateful for him and so excited to be on this journey we call life together.
XOXO everlasting love.
This Cooking With Alligator Pear dessert will satisfy any sweet tooth. Be sure to prepare it in advance, so you can enjoy later when those cravings hit! Try it for special Valentines treat..♥️
• 1 1/4 cup of heavy cream
• 4 tablespoons of sugar free chocolate chips (I used Hersey’s brand)
• 2 tablespoons Splenda or sweetener of your choice
• vanilla extract
In a small glass bowl combine 2 tablespoons of heavy cream and chocolate chips. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir until cream and chocolate have become a smooth chocolate sauce. In a mixing bowl add remaining heavy cream, Splenda, and a splash of vanilla and whisk until you have stiff peaks. Set aside a few tablespoons for garnish. Gently fold chocolate sauce into remaining whipped cream until combined. Pour or spoon mousse into two small cups or ramekins and top with whipped cream. Refrigerate for 1 hour and ENJOY! 😋
Photo: Whitney Forstall
IG Blog: @Cooking_With_Alligator_Pear
Well Ladies, Valentine's day is upon us once again! It's time for the traditional showcasing of rose bouquets, sweet cards and chocolates to match up and down your social media feeds, evoking the inevitable single lady comment of “and meanwhile I'm alone today…" But that's no way to feel! After all, everyone loves the scent and sight of flowers in bloom and the occasional guilty dark chocolate treat….right?!
Besides Valentine's Day is but the appetizer to the larger love celebration of all love celebrations with your TRUE soulmates…your girls! I'm talking about Galentine's Day of course! A time to gather the loves of your life, the reasons you're never truly alone, your rocks, your fellow queens together to rejoice in how the love of friendship is the best celebration of love there is! Over the years we've all had ups and downs with significant others, past and present, but the constants that remain are the reasons I began my girl groups current tradition of the Galentine's Day gathering!
So, ladies by all means, get glammed up, throw on that "freakum dress" and proclaim your love this Valentine's to the man or woman in your life…but make sure to save a date that same weekend to bring that same energy with the same lovely purpose to your girlfriends!
Thanks for this blog, my Galentine, Melissa Bagneris! Here are some of her top 10 suggestions for Galentine's Day activities to get you and your girls started sharing the love:
1. Brunch with Mimosas or Dinner and Drinks - Pythian Market and Vessel Nola are faves but for my Bougies you can 'Rose All Day" at Effervesence or Jack Rose. (A few links are below)
2. Spa Day (mani, pedi, facial, massage). My favorites are Woodhouse and Belladonna Day Spa.
3. Yoga Group/WorkoutClass (build each other) - Catch a good session at Wild Lotus Yoga, also great for kids.
4. Vision Boarding Party (work on goals together) – Our girls love getting together and celebrating Galentines Day. This year, we included kid's activities.
5. Cooking Classes (develop skills together) – Crescent City Cooks are pretty popular in the area.
6. Sip and Paint (mixing creativity with drinks) – Paint & Jrink is an absolute fave.
7. Escape Rooms (teamwork makes the dream work) - Escape Room in NOLA is lots of fun.
8. PJ Movie/Game Night (Netflix and chill with your boos).
9. Champagne & Crawfish – THIS! Crawfish are messy but so worth the effort. Crawfish with a Gal Pal and drinks (how about perfection)? You can even visit a full service restaurant and get the best of both worlds. Deanies, Superior Seafood, Elysian Seafood and Blue Crab are a few notable spots.
10. Meetup in the French Quarters with coffee & beignets at Cafe du Monde or you can treat your friends like Royal (tea) and head to PJs Coffee.
New OBSESSION! Cute emoji candies on valentines hearts. A New Orleans couple put a new spin on the popular candy These hotties have recently SPARKED the interest of the masses.
CLICK HERE FOR LINKS:
Pythian Market http://pythianmarket.com/
Vessel Nola http://vesselnola.com/
Jack Rose https://www.jackroserestaurant.com/
Paint & Jrink http://www.pandjnola.com/
Cafe Du Monde http://www.cafedumonde.com/
Blue Crab http://www.thebluecrabnola.com/
Photo Credit: Whitney Forstall @wforstall
The candies are sold at https://www.fleurtygirl.net/ and https://shoplittlemissmuffin.com/
It's the day before Mardi Gras. You have done all of the google searches on the hottest parades, balls and beau coup parties and festivities. Whether you are a local or a visitor, here is a quick cheat sheet that can make you life more fun during Mardi Gras. We have less than a month before the 'Greatest Free Show on Earth'. Read up!
10) Wagon - If you have kids, make sure you have a wagon or a leash for the frisky toddler. Those child leash backpacks are borderline genius. If you are traveling with kids, make sure you store up on all of their essentials (i.e. pull ups). A ladder has also been useful for us during long parade days.
9) Cash or a Trap Card - Cash is important because some vendors only require the coins you can see. Also, consider a Trap Card if you like to spend money. People carry trap phones, what about a card you use during Mardi Gras for spending. It should definitely have a limit. I would suggest a pre-paid card, if you like to fish tail out the parking lots. This Trap Card should help you monitor your spending while on Bourbon Street.
8) Photographer - A friend or someone who can take photos of you when a float is passing by. Must have really quick reflexes to capture the moments. If you don't have this, pucker up for those selfies.
7) Aviators - Cute sunnies... always make the pictures more lively and vivid. I also like Tiaras and other fun headwear to add to the fun.
6) Water - Probably the most essential, yet understated item. It is the most important substance for life. Stay hydrated!
5) Taser - There will always be that over -enthusiastic parader that wants to step on your foot or take your spot that you earned all day. A taser or Mardi Gras arrow will be effective for this pesky guest.
4) Hand Sanitizer - Touching beads and doubloons can get repetitive and germy. Make sure you protect your health and carry a bottle.
3) Fanny Pak - I don't own the rights to a Fanny pak, but I an leaning towards them. The glitzy ones are really stylish. A cross body purse will be just as sufficient. Be sure to bring a sturdy handbag to carry beads in. Don't be afraid to look down on the ground. Many people don't take the time to look for those hidden gems (beads).
2) Cell phone charger - This is so essential. I can't tell you how many times my phone died during a parade (social suicide).
1) Flask - If you like to get "Mardi Gras Wasted", make sure you come prepared. Support the bars and restaurants but just have your stash for parades. Ask for a red go cup on your way out a restaurant/bar.
Last important note, make sure you know the parade route. Use the app on your phone or buy a local guide.
Styled by: Blink Nola, Hat by: Jackie Wesley, Photography by: Whitney Forstall, Makeup by: Tookie and Hair by: Angela Espradron at Angel Eye. Creative Director: Rhonda Wesley
Let the Good times roll!