Mardi Gras

Since we found 2 plastic babies inside King Cakes while we were in New Orleans I decided to make some for Mardi Gras. If you get the baby it means you have to get next years cake, or throw next years party. I was curious how to make one so I jumped the gun and made mine in the same year I found them.

Basically it is a giant cinnamon roll that you stuff a plastic choking hazard into. Tasty & dangerous!
I didn't have the correct sprinkles colors so I sorted some chocolate coated sunflower seeds I had, I think they look quite cute.


New Orleans Bikes

 Being that everything was so flat we biked almost everywhere. I especially liked biking along the Bayou. Everything is so calm and the warm air with the bike paths and water nearby was just lovely. The French Quarter was about 3 miles away and you could almost coast there and just people watch.

Of course we also ate a lot of beignets. We got 3 sets from 3 places. They were all delicious, I love that they're served warm. Also a lot of the coffee places don't have the lengthy drink menus I'm used to. A lot of places just had a cappuccino and café au lait listed. Being as we were never in a hurry, New Orleans does that to you, we always sat down and got coffee in ceramic mug and tried not to puff powdered sugar all over. Very relaxing.

There were lovely little art markets at night in empty lots with local artists selling wares. An sure enough always a guy walking around with a rolling cooler of beer trying to sell to anyone walking by. We wandered down Frenchman street which is filled with live music venues, most without a cover, a few nights. The brass bands were outstanding. One night we found one just crushing it on the street corner so we grabbed a PBR from next door and jammed with them for quite awhile.  Even during the day so many of the streets in the French quarter had amazing musicians. We had an absolutely lovely trip. I didn't have many ideas of what New Orleans would be like but now I am a huge huge fan!

New Orleans Swamps

We went to visit the swamp for a humid afternoon, I have truly become a humidity wimp now that I live in Seattle. In Florida last year we visited the swamp and saw lots of alligators but it was mostly just their heads peeping out of the water. This time we saw a few sunning themselves, including the 6' long one right next to the trail, above. I was a little nervous to walk past him but he seemed to care less about us. The swamp  hike was really beautiful and the wooden path wove in and out creating different views of the landscape. I really liked the bridge that went over the water and allowed you to look down through the waterway.


New Orleans Mardi Gras

We spent last weekend in New Orleans visiting a college friend of Joshua's. Neither of us had ever been and we had an outstanding time. On top of being there for Joshua's birthday weekend we also had the happy accident of being there the week before Mardi Gras. That meant there were mostly still only locals around but there were still parades happening every day. All the houses were decked out with beads, flags, and masks. The sun was out and my skin was actually warm. The biking was so simple and all the routes were FLAT! Our friends had a porch that we frequented to sip beer, play guitar, chat with their neighbors. So many small things on that trip added up to a really amazing time.

We went to two parades, the first was Titrex which are mini floats where all the people pulling them were dressed in tuxedos. We then followed the brass band down the street dancing to the next parade! That parade was Chewbaccus- a sci-fi themed parade that went on for over an hour. There is a whole lot of parade terminology I won't go into except for throws- these are things each Krewe makes themed to their outfit/group identity. They hand/throw these out as they go. The more you yell & jump up and down the more they hand out. Also if you yell out what they are dressed as it also helps. The throws we got included stickers, tattoos, mini liquor bottles, pepperoni, painted Jenga tiles, a key, a moon rock, doubloons, and so so much more. It was nothing you truly wanted but in that moment you wanted to get it all! My pockets were so full of random little things. Our voices were also very hoarse the next day.

As an aside we went to a costume shop and sat outside in the sun for a bit where we turned the guys beards into leafy manes. We found it hilarious.


Snow day

Monday we finally got some snow in the city!!! At first my office had a delay until 1pm which was then switched to an all day snow day. Only in Seattle do adults get snow days for less than 1" of snow but it was awesome!! We woke up, made breakfast sandwiches with homemade biscuits, gallivanted around in the snowflakes, worked out, took a nap, worked on leather projects. Ah, it was the BEST!


Waterfall Hike

Sunday we decided we needed to get outside for a bit. Since it was rainy and superbowl Sunday we figured we could risk a close and popular hike and not have too many people around. We got lucky and the trial was tame and the rain was only a mist. We have been to Wallace Falls before but never got a chance to hike all the way to the top. It's a beautiful, tall, forceful waterfall that cascades down for quite awhile into the woods.

The hike was mossy, quiet, and the respite that we needed. Back in Seattle we went to get a bowl of chili and a beer to watch the first half of the superbowl. It was a lovely relaxing day.


Baby Shower Cake

Last weekend I also got to make a cake for a mama to be. We had a party for her draped in bunting, sipping warm teas, and guessing how big her belly was. It was a chill, intimate baby shower just like the mama. The cake was a cake meant to be enjoyed with tea. It was a dense almond cake with a layer of thinly rolled marzipan in between the layers which was then slathered high in mascarpone frosting. It was so scrumptious. The frosting was light and airy, not too sweet or sugary. The tart burst of the blackberries made it a perfect combo.