Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Things I Have Learned From Living in Louisiana #1

Today marks one month until we leave the state of Louisiana. Tear. I wanted to write out a bunch of things we have learned while living here. I don't mean to offend anyone with them, but I want to be able to look back and remember all of these things that are so different from where I grew up. Since there are so many, I will be breaking these up into a few different posts. These are in no particular order, just writing as I remember them.

-The Southern Accent. Took us a while to understand what people were saying and everyone would always ask us where we are from based on our accent. Funny thing is that I don't even hear the southern accent anymore and no one notices mine. Either everyone is used to hearing me talk or I have really lost my accent. I have to believe the first one.

-Jambalaya, Po-Boys, Etouffe, Gumbo, Crawfish, Catfish, Chicken Fried Steak, Seafood, and Bread Pudding fill the menus of all the restaurants. 

-How to pronounce words like Ouachita, Cheniere, Farmerville (not how you would think), Desiard, Bossier, Shreveport, Louisville and many others I can't think of.

-When someone says "Bless her heart" it is usually following some sort of insult in order to soften the blow.

-Responding with Yes to someone better be followed by a Sir or a Ma'am. Especially if you are talking to someone that is older than you or has more power than you such as a superior.

-A yellow signal light does not mean slow down. It just means that a red is coming so you don't have to stop until that red light is there. Don't worry once your light is green, the cross traffic will get out of the way eventually.

-Somebody from the North will be called a Yankee. I am still not convinced that term isn't derogatory.

-If you own a piece of property in addition to your house it is called a camp. In Minnesota, we call that a cabin.

-When you go to fill up your gas tank, don't expect there to be a clip so that you don't have to continue to hold the handle while you pump. If you do find a gas clip consider yourself lucky.

-Every single bridge has a "Bridge Ices Before Road" sign. Even if there was a bridge 100 feet earlier, just in case you forgot.

-Drive through liquor stores do exist and you can order a Daiquiri to-go. Just make sure to keep the tape over the straw hole to keep it as a "closed container".

More to come next week!

Update: Read Part #2 and Part #3.

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Friday, January 23, 2015

We're Moving!

I have been holding this one in for a while now! Well the word is out and it's official. We are leaving the state of Louisiana. I can't believe I am able to even type those words right now. It feel like I have been looking forward to this for forever, yet the time passed so quick.

We turned in our apartment notice right before Christmas and will have to be completely moved out by the end of February. That is five weeks from today! So the packing and the planning has commenced, although we really should get our butts into gear.

As of last night, we are moving to Dallas. We took a leap and turned in our notice before we really had any concrete plans. Although, our plans still are not long term. We will probably sign a 6 month lease at an apartment somewhere in Dallas. Right now, Richard's job is not permanent, but he will have it as long as he wants it. Kinda complicated, but there are reasons for it. Hopefully at the end of 6 month, we will either find a permanent job in Dallas or we find a permanent job elsewhere. So we have plans for the next 6 months and then who knows? We will see when we get there.

I am hoping to be able to spend some time in Minnesota in March before settling down in Dallas. I have some research to do on moving trucks and apartments and everything else moving related. We will have to start really figuring out where we will live in Dallas and how the next few months will play out. Should be crazy, yet fun at the same time. Better start planning now!

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Stitch Fix #2

This is my second time doing Stitch fix and it is such a fun service. Here is how it works. You go online to their website and fill out a profile on what kind of clothes you like and don't like, how you like things to fit and what you look for in clothes. Based on your responses to the questions, your personal stylist pulls together 5 items and sends them to you in a box. Then you can decide what you like and don't like, keep what you like and send back what you do not like. You have to pay an upfront $20 styling fee, but that can be applied to anything you decide to keep. Also, if you keep all five items you get a 25% discount on everything.

Back in December, I decided to try stitch fix again. I had a lot of success the first time I tried it so I thought it would be fun. I feel like the anticipation is what makes this more fun than a normal shopping trip. Just waiting for your package to arrive and seeing what you pull out.

I tried everything on and took some pictures. I don't know why, but I can't take pictures by myself. I feel all sorts of awkward so don't mind the pictures. Here is what I got.

Olive & Oak- Marley Split back Knit Top-$44.00 {Kept}
From the front this shirt is pretty plain, but I liked the way the back was a little different. This shirt fit really well and it was so soft so I decided to keep it.

Av Max- Tania Lapis Pendant Necklace- $38 {Sent Back}
I really liked this necklace and since I wear a lot of different necklaces I considered keeping it. I just couldn't justify the price for the necklace since I could probably find one similar for a lot less.

ReneeC-Malcom Ikat Dolman Top-$48 {Sent Back}
This shirt looked really good in a picture, but in person I did not like it. I have a lot of shirt with this shape where the bottom is tight with a wider neck and I don't like the way it looks on me. So I sent it back. I really love the colors though.

Market and Spruce- Shara Houndstooth Printed Vest- $78 {Kept}
Pictured below. This vest is very similar the the herringbone vest that a lot of people have these days. I had that vest on my wish list so it was funny that this came in the box. It is just a smidge too big, but I really like it.
Just Black Adalyn Distressed Skinny Jean- $78 {Sent Back} 
Pictured Below. I loved the fit and feel of these jeans. I just really wished they were not destroyed because I am not really a fan of destroyed pants. I can't wear them to work which is where I would want to wear them most. If they had not been destroyed I would have kept them in a heartbeat.

Most of these items are a little more than I would usually spend on clothes, but the experience is so much fun that I would do it again. It is nice to add a few higher quality things to my wardrobe. If you are interested in trying Stitch fix out your self here is my referral link. Happy shopping!

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Casino & Movie

We had a fantastic weekend trying to soak up as much Louisiana as we could. We have come down with the mentality that we are only here a little while longer so we need to keep busy until that time comes.

We started out on Friday by heading with our friends Evan and Claire to Shreveport to go to a casino. It is always a long drive, but we had good company so it went by quick. We got there and Richard and Evan ran off to play roulette while Claire and I hit the slots. I put $20 in and ended up winning about $18 and at one point I was up $30. Evan taught Richard how to play roulette and he won $200. He was so excited and kept saying that they got three 28's in a row so that is how he won big. Richard and I usually don't win at casinos and we rarely go so it was fun to actually win.

Saturday, I had a haircut over where Richard goes to school so while we were there we ate at our favorite Dawg House. Like I said, we are trying to do as much as we can before we leave. Their food though, oh my gosh. It is going to be the only restaurant I will crave when we leave.

We then met up with Evan and Claire again to go see American Sniper. The movie sold out almost every showing at the theater near us so it was a good thing we got tickets ahead of time. I really liked the movie and at the end when the movie was over it was dead silent while everyone watched the credits. I don't want to give anything away, but definitely a movie worth seeing.
We went to dinner after and we all thought it was funny that between this weekend and last weekend we think we have seen Evan and Claire more than the last six month. Comps forced all of us to hide in our little holes.

Sunday, we watched the packers lose. Sorry Richard. He's a fan, I am not and he was super upset over that loss. Oh well, maybe next year.

Our weekend was perfect and I am glad we finally have time to see people again!

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Bridesmaid Dresses: Hunt for the Perfect Dress

While I was home in Minnesota, my sister wanted to accomplish as much wedding stuff as we could so that I would actually get to be there. We started out by going bridesmaid dress shopping. We scheduled it early just in case we did not find anything and needed another appointment. Good thing too because we ended up going three times.

We started at the Wedding Shoppe in downtown St. Paul. Our experience here was not the greatest. The lady that was supposed to be helping us we think was new and she was not very helpful at all. We had to ask her to clip dresses every time we tried one on instead of her jumping to help us. If you have ever been bridesmaid dress shopping you would understand how frustrating this is. Most dresses on the rack come in larger sizes so that more people can try them on so you usually need to have someone tighten the dresses and clip them so that you get an idea of how it would fit in your size. We tried on a bunch of different dresses, found a few we liked, but my sister was not ready to pick one as "the one".
We made two more appointments, one at a different dress shop and another at the Wedding Shop, just in case. The next appointment was at Bella Bridal in Woodbury. This was my first time here and I will sing their praises. They were so attentive and were super organized. They were fantastic. Such a huge contrast from The Wedding Shoppe. If you live in Minnesota and are looking for bridesmaid dresses this is the place to go to.

We tried on a bunch of different dresses, one by one narrowing it down.
Until we landed on this dress. It had everything we wanted and all of us fell in love. My sister looked at the color chart and this is where we hit trouble. My sister had a bright and bold blue in mind and this blue (on the right) was not what she had envisioned. It was hard to tell from the tiny fabric sample they had and they did not have a dress in a full sized dress to see color options. So we left for the second time with no dress picked out. We needed more information on color.
We spent the next two days researching color. This designer had by far the best dresses in the type we were looking for, but their color choices were limited. It came down to the decision, what was more important, color or dress? Having the perfect color on an okay dress or a fantastic dress with an okay color.

For our third and final appointment, only my sister, one of her friends and I were able to go shopping. We headed back to the Wedding Shoppe knowing they had the dark blue dress if we wanted to look at it again and they also had other options we had researched in advance. Luckily, they had a full dress in the blue we wanted to see. She was still unconvinced that this color was what she wanted. So we searched again for an amazing dress in the perfect color. We tried on a bunch of dresses again, but nothing was working. We were starting to think we were going to have to settle on the not great color.

We were about to leave when we realized that we needed to look at the dress that we had liked the most from the first day. We tried it on again and looked into the colors they offered and there were much better options. We finally had a decision! Us bridesmaids had all liked this dress from the first day, but my sister was hesitant. Now that we knew it came in the color she wanted, she was sold. So we ordered the pink dress in the bright blue color she wanted.
I am glad that we were able to make a decision before I had to head back to Louisiana. The decision had to be made before end of February, which is before I have any plans to come back to Minnesota.  After all of that, we have the dress and we have one more thing crossed off our list!

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Minnesota Adventures Part 2

Part 1 was all about things we did with our friends, now Part 2 is what we did with our families.

-My dad got us tickets to go see Cirque Du Soleil tickets for Christmas. Unfortunately my little sister had to work so Richard and I went with my older sister, her husband, my dad and his girlfriend. We went out to dinner before hand at McCormick and Schmick's in Downtown Minneapolis. It started snowing right after dinner and my brother in law was making fun of me for being so excited for seeing snow. The show was pretty fun, but having already seen it in Vegas, I will say it was not as cool. But nothing can compare to Vegas.

-I went shopping after Chrismtas at the Mall of America. Duh. Where else would I go shopping when you have such a huge mall. My sister and I actually went twice since the first time we went we ran out of time.

-I went to my mom's gravesite to bring flowers for her. Back when I created my list I had send someone flowers for no reason and I specifically wrote that one with my mom in mind because I knew how much she would have loved that. So I wanted to bring her flowers while I was home. I wish I would have done this sooner.

-I went with Richard's brothers and his mom to an indoor tramploine park. We jumped for about an hour and it was so much fun. Even us big kids enjoyed it as much as the little guys.
Just because this is fun, we have a video of Richard and I doing some trick. No sound is needed and it sounds a little funny. But seriously, Slo-Mo is awesome.

-I went sledding with my sisters, my brother in law and my nephew. There was barley enough snow on the ground, but we made it work. Getting up and down that hill is a lot of work.
-I also spent a lot of not-pictured time with my family playing a bunch of different games, watching movies, and just chatting. So much family time is good for the soul and I really enjoyed it.

-On a different note, I was able to get my fill of my favorite foods including Caribou Coffee and Noodles and Company. I had Caribou about 8 times in a little over two weeks. That has to be some kind of record. So, so good.

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