Jet Set

Tips for New Travelers

As the title says, this post is intended for new travelers – if you’re a frequent flyer please add your tips in the comments!

  • Create an itinerary that includes your flight and hotel information to share with family and friends. If you have planned activities add them to your itinerary, so you can stay on schedule.

  • Print your flight booking confirmation and tickets for any activities you purchased in advance

  • Download and check the airline app to be aware of any gate changes or delays

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Style and Savings Reads: The Perfect Find by Tia Williams

I first read about this book in Essence magazine book reviews and added it to my Want to Read list on Goodreads.

When I got the email about the Goodreads giveaway, I entered the giveaway and won!! Now I always enter Goodreads giveaways – who knows, I could win again : )

#Goodreads drawing winner! Happy to have an autographed book for my collection! This should be a fun summer read 😎☀️📖

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Between wedding planning

Wedding day nails after a relaxing salon trip with @wandiitastic & wandiitastic'smommy #becomingmrsu👰🏽 #bridetobe #weddingday

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and international travel

When in France, eat French Fries #france🇫🇷 #pommefrites #goldenarches

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I was having a busy summer and didn’t get around to reading this book.

This summer, my plans were pretty open and I wanted to make sure I made the most of the summer by creating a Style and Savings Summer Fun List and a Style and Savings Summer Reading List.

Of course this book was on the list –

The Perfect Find was the perfect summer read

It was fun and romantic, and better than the usual rom-com because its plot is not predictable.

The main character Jenna, is in a similar situation as Liza of TV Land’s Younger, being a 40-something woman working in a youth – obsessed industry (although Jenna is honest about her age and experience), trying to keep up with millennial culture and falling in love with a younger man, Eric.

I liked that the story began with Jenna’s current situation but later covers the backstory of her college days, rising up in her career, and her previous long-term relationship with her college sweetheart Brian.

Unlike Younger

The Perfect Find has diverse characters!

If the book is made into a movie or TV show (I wish!) it would have a Shonda Rimes-esque cast. I can see Vanessa Williams as Jenna’s “queen of mean’ boss. The handsome leading men  chosen to play Brian and Eric must have looks, charm and personality worthy of attracting a beautiful, unique, and accomplished yet down-to-earth woman like Jenna (and worthy of being my new celebrity crush!)

The New York backdrop and fashion culture are both integral to the book and would translate well to the silver screen or flat screen.

Without giving away any spoilers, I was satisfied with the book’s ending. It ends with a five year jump into the future. It was a nice stopping point, but still leaves room to for follow up stories in the form of a sequel or series.

Thank you Tia Williams for writing such great book and allowing us to peek into your glamorous life!

 

California Dreamin’

While snow on the ground in the middle of March, I’m getting more & more excited for our upcoming Spring Break trip.

We’ll be heading to San Francisco, California!

I haven’t been to San Francisco but there are plenty of pop culture references that make this look like a fun place.

Full House

As a 90’s kid, I loved watching this show and clearly remember the theme song. I was an even bigger fan of Mary-Kate and Ashley and all of their VHS movies, especially the ones where they played detectives and solved mysteries.

The town house filmed in the show wasn’t a set; it’s a real house located in San Francisco. At the end of 2016, the creator of Full House purchased it for over $4M. Read more here

Photo Credit: thefullhousemedia.blogspot.com              Photo Credit: The Hollywood Reporter

Rice A Roni

Rice A Roni logo

Photo Credit: Amazon.com

 The commercial’s  jingle “Rice A Roni – The San Francisco Treat ” brings back another childhood memory of a  red plastic wind- up toy cable car I played with. Now I think of Rice A Roni as an easy to make side dish that has inspired many Pinterest recipes.

Wake Me Up in San Francisco

In 2011, not long after Katy Perry’s California Girls was a hit, the group Cascada had a similar sounding California – themed song called “Wake Me Up in San Francisco”. If you like catchy, upbeat pop music – enjoy the official music video on YouTube.

The Mindy Project

Photo Credit: Fox

In 2015’s Season 3 of The Mindy Project, several episodes took place in California, which I mainly remember by the amusing wordplay title of Episode 13: “San Francisco Bae”. For more cute pics of Mindy & Danny’s sight seeing adventures click here.

I’m still working on our itinerary, so let me know in the comments if you have any restaurant recommendations or sight-seeing tips.

 

When in NOLA

 

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To celebrate Mardi Gras, today’s post is a recap of our Spring 2015 trip to New Orleans. We’re bringing you 5 recommendations of fun things to do and see.

  1. Hotel Monteleone’s Carousel bar

  2. Café du Monde and Jackson Square

  3. Mardi Gras World

  4.  The French Quarter & Hurricane’s at Pat O’Brien’s

  5. The French Market

Hotel Monteleon’s Carousel Bar

After seeing Hotel Monteleon’s Carousel Bar on a travel channel show, I knew I wanted to go there during our trip.

The carousel bar is a real functioning  revolving carousel that moves at a pace more comparable to the Earth than a carnival ride as not to displace the bottles & drinking glasses. The carousel completes one rotation every 15 minutes.

Being a popular location it was very crowded and at first it was hard to find a seat. We ordered our drinks at another bar area that was farther back from the carousel. Luckily, an older couple was kind enough to wave us over to their table as they were leaving. We sat at a small, round table for two and crunched on Gardetto’s snack mix that was served with the drinks.

The Sazarac – the official cocktail of New Orleans: whiskey, sugar, bitters and absinthe

Café Du Monde

No trip to New Orleans would be complete without a visit to Café du Monde. It’s an open air café with lots of tables close together under a green and white striped awning. The lines for to-go orders and for seating seemed equally long and we wanted to have the experience of eating at the famous café. The menus are printed on the napkin holders and it’s best to be ready to order when the waiters come by. Napkins are essential – as you can see in the photo, these airy doughnuts are covered in piles of sweet powdered sugar. Yum!

  

Jackson Square

Café du Monde is found near Jackson Square, which is a park located in the French Quarter. The St. Louis Cathedral, a well-known New Orleans landmark is surrounded by beautiful greenery and gardens.

Mardi Gras World

At Kern Studios’ Mardi Gras world – it’s Mardi Gras all year long. For a family friendly activity, you can tour the factory where floats are made. As soon as the current year’s Mardi Gras parade is over, float builders are back to work creating for the next year. It’s amazing to see how large-scale the floats are along with the talent and intricate attention to detail it takes to decorate them.



Before the tour begins, there is a short presentation about the history of the holiday and traditions of the parade. King Cake is a coffee-cake like iced pastry served only during Mardi Gras season (but of course Kern Studios has it specially made for every tour group). Following tradition,  each King Cake has a small plastic baby baked inside. Whoever gets the piece with the baby is the host of the next year’s Mardi Gras party.

The French Quarter

The French Quarter is the fun, touristy area known for nightlife on Bourbon Street. The truth is that New Orleans is a party even during the daytime. One afternoon we sat on the patio enjoying the sunshine at Pat O’Brien’s Courtyard. While the Sazarac takes the title of official New Orlean’s cocktail – I would argue that the hurricane is a more well-known drink outside of NOLA. The hurricane was created at Pat O’Brien’s Bar  in the 1940’s and many would say they still make it better than anywhere else.  Pat O’Brien’s hurricanes are sweet and strong. Ours were served in plastic cups instead of the namesake glass – which is fine because unlike the Midwest, New Orleans allows alcoholic drinks to-go and it’s not unusual to stroll down the street with a drink in hand.

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The French Market

The French Market is lined on both sides with vendors selling all kinds of souvenirs, novelties, food & drinks. We enjoyed a piña colada and a frozen daiquiri from Organic Banana – they offer a variety of daiquiri flavors along with non- alcoholic fruit smoothies.

You can find a  variety of items ranging from the expected tote bags, shot glasses, and keychains (many of which were covered in the fleur de lis) to alligator head bottle openers. Most vendors offer low prices, making The French Market the perfect place for souvenir shopping before you return home.

Have you visited New Orleans or celebrated Mardi Gras?

Tell me in the comments!

“To Travel” List

Style & Savings Jet Set

Traveling is something I have always wanted to do and one of the perks of “adulting” at an accounting job is that I finally have the paycheck to do it.

Here is my “To Travel” list of destinations in no particular order I will mark them off (and add to it) as I go!

  • California (LA/Hollywood, San Francisco)

  • Vegas

  • Texas (Dallas, Houston)

  • Hawaii

  • Georgia (Atlanta)

  • NYC

  • St. Louis, Missouri

  • Miami, Florida

  • Washington DC

  • Atlantic City/Jersey Shore

  • The Hamptons

  • Monte Carlo, Monaco

  • Seattle – (Pikes Place market, big fancy Starbucks)

🎶 Come Fly With Me 🎶