Brunch with Lori – Nola Brunch & Beignets

Happy Sunday ladies & gents!

I am a huge lover of brunch and discovering new restaurants and eateries in my city and new cities I travel to. I wanted to share my love of food and brunch by introducing a new blog post to my blog – Brunch with Lori. In these posts I will be sharing a new & loved brunch places that I visit during my free time.

Today I visited the cutest little brunch spot off of N St. Mary’s Street and King’s Court Street in San Antonio called Nola Brunch & Beignets. I haven’t been to New Orleans yet, but I have heard that this place’s great food is inspired by New Orleans. They brunch Tuesday-Sunday from 8 am to 2 pm.

Nola’s ambiance is very friendly and inviting with it being located in a cozy remodeled house. Since it is located in a busy strip of San Antonio, it is difficult to find parking since it is in the middle of a neighborhood, however you should be able to find parking alongside the sidewalks in front of the houses/buildings. Right when you walk in, you are greeted by the hostess who will check you on their reservation list and register you by phone number. You can either sit out in front of the restaurant and socialize with your friends/family or enjoy the different bars along the St. Mary’s Strip while you wait.

The menu is filled with traditional brunch/breakfast dishes but with their own New Orleans twist. Some items that caught my eye were the Bread Pudding French Toast, the Banana Foster Buttermilk Pancakes, the Creole Fried Steak, and the Chicken & Beignets. I decided to order the Chicken & Beignets because I like a balance between sweet and savory and I must say I was not disappointed!

The plate came with 4 chicken tender pieces and two Beignets – since I had never tried beignets before the waiter gave me one regular beignet and one seasonal beignet, which was a beignet filled with churro syrup. Omg it was delicious! I loved both beignets because they weren’t too sweet and definitely balanced out my plate for sweet part of the sweet & savory I wanted.

My boyfriend decided to get the Cajun Boudin Chilaquiles – those were amazing as well! The usually just come as a small plate, but our waiter was able to upgrade it to a larger plate for him. These were not your traditional chilaquiles, as you can tell but they looked and tasted incredible!

Nolas colorful walls and open lighting made this restaurant so inviting.

I also love how they removed the glass from the windows to make the second room less secluded and love the plants hanging from the top of the window frames.

Top picture: Cajun Boudin Chilaquiles
Bottom picture: Chicken & Beignets

Nola, the restaurant was everything I imagined, it made me so excited/eager to go to the real New Orleans and eat their food!

The food was so unique and delicious, the location was in a great trendy area of San Antonio, and the staff was so great and friendly and offering their recommendations. I definitely want to come back here so I can try the other items on my list and next time, I will be sure to bring my own mimosas to enjoy with the amazing food.

I definitely recommend San Antonio visitors and locals to try this place for brunch – trust me, your tastebuds will not be disappointed!

Thank you for reading this post, I can’t wait for y’all to follow the rest of my brunch journey! Remember to follow me on Instagram and I will see you next time!

Xoxo, Lori Allison 💓

The Art of Ice Cream Experience

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! ~ Okay that was super cheesy, but I’ll tell you what wasn’t – my experience at The Art of Ice Cream in Austin, Texas.

The Art of Ice Cream is an instagramable playground filled with rooms themed of all things – you guessed it – Ice Cream. Who doesn’t love that?

I had seen advertisements for this place on Instagram and knew I needed to make a trip there the next time I was in Austin, and I do not regret it!

There were backdrops for banana splits, popsicle paradise, a milkshake wall, and so much more.

I had been to a place similar to this here, in San Antonio but I must say the people who run The Art of Ice Cream really know what their visitors want. The workers were so interactive with us by being our photographers as well as suggesting different fun ways we could take our pictures/ boomerangs and different poses we could do – which is literally a MUST because you got to take good content for the gram!

The Art of Ice Cream consisted of three large rooms with different backdrops on pretty much every wall. Once you buy your tickets ($25/ each for adults) and select your reservation time you get the tickets downloaded onto your phone and then just show up! They do things in 15 minute intervals and they put you in with your reservation group to go through the experience together. Luckily mine was a small group of people probably because I went in the evening time on a Sunday – Talk about Sunday Funday!

I was blown away because right when you enter the building you are greeted with a popsicle and then the fun begins! You’re allowed to spend 15 minutes in a room at a time, with your group. I was a little worried that our group members would get in the way of our shots and photobomb us but that was not the case at all, the rooms were big enough and there are multiple back drops that keep everyone busy that everyone just went around taking turns with the different backdrops at a time.

ALL the items in the rooms are interactive meaning you can touch the art, move it around, and use it as props. I took so many boomerangs that I wish I could include in this post!

The timings of the rooms are: 15 minutes, 15 minutes, and then 20 minute and the workers aren’t very pushy about when your time is up either. In the third room you have more time because that is the last room in the experience but also… DRUMROLL.. you get more ice cream! You can choose what flavor ice cream you want and they give you a small cup with whatever flavor you choose! You can interact and get to know your group members or just finish taking pictures, eat your ice cream, and leave.



I was a little discouraged when I saw the price of each ticket to visit this exhibit but I honestly had so much fun here and honestly felt like a little kid again, I definitely recommend people go here! You 100% get your moneys worth out of this visit! – Not just because of the really fun/ cool pictures you get to it but also because it truly is, an experience! I can’t tell you how surprised I still am that they even thought of giving us ice cream to make the experience that much better and unique! I am so happy I found out about them and also so happy they decided to make our capital in Texas as a spot to visit! Be sure to reserve your visit before they leave Austin, the exhibit is only in Austin for a limited time!

Outfit Inspo:
I wanted to go with a very simple outfit because I knew, from looking at pictures that the experience was very colorful and I didn’t want to wear anything that clashed with the backdrops and walls.

Outfit details: Jumper – Charlotte Russe, Shoes – BP, Necklace & Earrings- Kendra Scott, Watch – JORD Watches.

Thanks for reading! Keep up with me by following my Instagram @ xoxoloriallison.

Xoxo, Lori Allison

The Benefits of Being Selfish In Your Twenty-Somethings

Your twenties are a time to be selfish. They are a time to do what makes you happy, make your own choices/decisions, and really find out who you are. A little over a year ago, I was a recent college graduate and boy, did life came at me fast. All of a sudden it was time to officially be an adult and figure out what the next step in my life would be.
Although graduating college was a huge accomplishment, I felt lost and like I really didn’t know who I was. I knew that I needed a change and for once in my life, I had all the time in the world. My time as an undergrad student was a busy one –  balancing being a full time student, working part time, being in multiple organizations while holding important positions in them, and trying to balance having a good social life and good family life. Now was a better time than ever to take a chance and do something that made me happy. Like I mentioned in a previous blog post – my junior year of college I decided to accept an internship with Disney in Orlando, Florida. My parents had taken my sister and I to Disney World many times when we were little. It was truly one of my happy places. I figured why not go one last time – have fun, make new memories and just enjoy the moment one last time before committing to full time adult life.

So, I did exactly that. I packed my stuff up and moved halfway across the U.S. to basically get my shit together, but at the same time – have fun, experience new things, and really live in the moment. Looking back at it now, moving back to Orlando is one of the best decisions I have ever made and my four months there really impacted the person I am today.

When I moved to Florida, I was definitely in a time of change – I had lost important people in my life through failed friendships/relationships, I was no longer a student for the first time in 16 years, and I had moved over 1,000 miles away from my family, my friends, and everything I knew. This move truly felt like a new beginning and a fresh start for me.

These are the benefits that I gained from being selfish in my twenties:

  • Finding myself – being on your own in a place that is not your home & where you have no family really teaches you to depend on yourself more than ever. My first few months in Florida I started to take chances, go on adventures, do things by myself and out of my comfort zone. In the midst of living in the moment, I was learning more and more about myself. I also was able to learn more about myself through strangers who became friends, it’s amazing what you can learn about yourself from other people. People who don’t know you that well, and people who do. I also realized how important it is to ask yourself questions – when you react certain ways, ask yourself why you reacted that way. Learn what things you love and what things you don’t love. Let your social interactions teach you about yourself and also turn to your family for advice and reflection.
  • Growth – it is very important for me as an individual, to be someone who is constantly evolving and flourishing. I am not the type of person who is okay staying in the same place forever and not taking on new opportunities or chances. There are going to be times and situations in life that will push you out of your comfort zone – do them anyways! Although you may not like going through those experiences, at the moment, you will eventually look back and notice how they have changed you – for the better. Be open minded and really try to learn from your experiences.
  • New friendships – during my time at Disney, I met so many people from all over the world and when I say all over the world –  I really mean it. I have friends here in the U.S. of course, spread out in different states – but I also have friends in different countries (Japan, New Zealand, Australia, England). I think it is so amazing to be given the opportunity to meet and form friendships with people from all around the world and also know that I have a friend to visit in those places. Meeting people from different countries is so amazing because I feel like it can be a learning experience such as with language barriers or having different cultural norms. I believe that cultural awareness is important and really opens your eyes about the way other people live and things they believe. At the end of the day, love and friendship is a common communication that everyone understands and forming new friendships is such a wonderful thing.
  • Reflection – moving somewhere new and not knowing many people(at first) means that you’ll spend a good amount of time alone: voluntarily or nonvoluntarily, it will happen. Spending time alone is very important – everybody needs alone time every once in a while, although not everyone likes being alone. When you are alone – you are able to reflect on previous experiences in life and can truly be alone with your thoughts. Although many of us try to be the best person we can be – we unfortunately aren’t always going to do or say the right things all the time. We are human and we are not perfect beings. You are going to lose friendships/relationships and we may hurt people we may have never had the intention of hurting.. things happen. As long as we can reflect on these situations, put things into perspective, and acknowledge our pasts – we still have the ability to change the outcome from what it previously was. It is important to reflect back on situations and feel the emotions again, whether they are good or bad and it is important to give yourself the ability to feel & be present. Forgive people for hurting you and forgive yourself from hurting other people. You cannot let past experiences eat away at you because they will hold you back from growing.

It’s crazy for me to think that in just four short months, I was able to rebuild myself and become a person I had always imagined I could be. Although being away from my family and not being able to see them everyday was tough, I feel like moving away was just what I needed. In January I moved back to Texas feeling happy, free, and confident in myself. I no longer felt scared of the unknown or lost because I knew that anywhere I ended up, I would be okay and that I was strong enough to handle anything that came my way.

Now a year later, I am honestly, living my best life, literally. I have a great job with an amazing organization, I am back in the love and care of my family, and I am overall in a really amazing place.

I encourage anybody who is feeling lost or unsure of their path in life to take a chance and don’t think twice about it. As cliché as it sounds, you only live once. Don’t you want to make it a happy and good life? Do what makes you happy or what makes you scared, just don’t be afraid to feel and take chances. The best things come when you least expect it, and usually have the best outcomes. You don’t have to move to a completely different state like me, start by doing little things like traveling and going on little trips to different places on your bucket list or get that dog you’ve always been wanting – the possibilities are endless.

Never be afraid to be selfish – not just in your twenties but in life because ultimately you know what is best for yourself.

I am ultimately grateful for you Disney ❤

Thanks for reading!

Xoxo, Lori Allison

Shellac vs. Dip, What Is Your Preference?

Since moving back from Florida, I started to frequently get my nails done again. I’m always up to try the new and upcoming trends when it comes to getting manicures and the hottest trend at the moment, seems to be dip powder.
I have heard many good things about dip, but I wanted to try it out for myself and see what my preference is, Shellac or Dip. A lot of my friends have asked my preference, since I get my nails done so often, so I thought I would test out both and find out the pros and cons.


Shellac in Texas, is typically about $30-$35 at salons and is similar to gel nail polish but is 3 sets of polish (base coat, polish color, top coat) that typically can last about 2-3 weeks on your nails.

Color options – I love that with shellac there are multiple color options to choose from, no matter what nail salon you go to. If you’re looking for a solid color you can go with that option or if you want to be bold and daring you can get cool effects on your nails such as mermaid, holographic, chrome, etc.
With the different effects, there usually is a up-charge but I think it is worth paying for because I love the compliments I get and I love to admire and obsess over them often.
Application – Shellac’s process involves a base coat, the color polish chosen, a UV lamp, and the top coat. The nail techs usually apply two coats of each polish in between applying the UV light to each coat. The process is very short and easy.
Longevity – When I get shellac on my natural nails, it lasts me about 3-4 weeks, which I think is great because whenever I paint my nails with normal nail polish, it only lasts on my nails about 1 week if anything. Although Shellac lasts about 3-4 weeks for me, it doesn’t mean that they remain looking as great as they did when I first got them done. If I let my nails grow that long with Shellac, most of the time I am in desperate need of a fill because my nails tend to grow pretty fast.
Removal – The removal process for shellac is very easy and can be done in a salon or at the comfort of your own home. If you go to a salon, most charge $5 to take off, which is very reasonable and I think is a faster process because the nail techs are so used to doing it and also have the right tools for it.

UV Light – A big complaint on why I have heard people don’t like doing Shellac, is the UV light used to dry the polish. The UV lights can cause damage on your skin and fingers. One tip I recommend is to put water proof sun screen before going to my nail appointment, that way my skin is protected a little more than the UV lights beaming on my bare skin.
Peeling – Another complaint that I have about shellac is the fact that when my nails start growing out, the shellac coat on my nails can start to chip and therefore start to peel off the nail bed. When this happens, I notice that the part of my nail that’s peeling off, will get caught onto my clothes or other things and it leaves me no choice than to remove the shellac as a whole from my nails or to start peeling it off from my nail bed (which can cause damage to your nails if you’re not removing shellac the proper way).

Shellac with Chrome

Shellac with Chrome cont.

Shellac with Mermaid

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Process of Mermaid
White Shellac coats and then Pink Mermaid powder over

Shellac with Holographic


Dip, in Texas is normally about $40-$50 at salons but the price depends on if you are getting it on your natural nails or if you are getting acrylic, most salons also charge additionally if you are getting a French manicure since it is a longer process since you they have to use two different colors.

Application – The application process for dip is very simple, easy, and fast. Unlike shellac, this process just involves a base coat, and then you dipping your finger nails into a container color dip of your choice multiple times until your nail is fully covered in the dip color and has the texture of an acrylic nail. Once it is shaped onto your nail then the nail technician adds a top coat and wipes away all the excess powder and you are good to go.
Longevity – I found that dip actually lasts a lot longer than shellac does, which is a great plus because you don’t have to get your nails done as often. Because the dip powder is like an acrylic nail on top of your real nail, it leaves your nail feeling hard and sturdy and it is very rare that you will break a nail with Dip on your fingernails.

Color options – Although there are a decent amount of color options at salons, I was not very impressed with the different shade options. Of course the salons have the full rainbow spectrum (from red to purple) that is expected and the different colors in between but I didn’t find a lot of shade options in the colors I was interested, just one or two shades of each (but maybe I’m just picky).
Because dip is a powder, you also don’t have the option of getting mermaid, chrome, or holographic. It may be an option they are going to come out with later, but as of right now, they only have solid color options.
Removal – I was told by the salon that I got dip at, that the removal process of dip was the same as shellac. However, when I went to the salon I normally go to, to get mermaid/ holographic done at, they had to use the little drill to drill my nails down from the thickness of the acrylic and then I had to soak my hands in acetone for a good 15-20 minutes. I also found out after the fact, that the removal process is usually $5 more than the removal of shellac, so $10 for the removal. Although I know soaking your fingernails in acetone is the best way to take it off, I wasn’t a big fan of it because my fingers/fingernails got very hot, which wasn’t very comfortable and the dip got very gooey, which made for a very messy take off process.


Dip nails


I naturally have long/strong nails, so I prefer getting a manicure on my natural nails rather than getting acrylic nails. Don’t get me wrong, I love the look of acrylic nails on other girls and love that you can play with the different lengths, but I like more of natural look and prefer the least amount of damage on my nails as possible. Neither Shellac or Dip are necessarily safe on your nails because they both aren’t natural nail coloring techniques, but I think they are both great if you are looking to have a longer lasting manicure and not wanting to worry about them chipping fast like normal nail polish.

Although, I loved how long Dip lasted on my nails, I just wasn’t too big of a fan of how unnaturally bulky my nails looked with it and also how hard the acrylic was over my nail. I think that Shellac looks more natural and keeps my nails from looking less fake/boxy. I also am a huge fan of getting different colors/effects on my nails and getting away from the traditional everyday colors such as red, pink, white, and black. I also enjoy the fact that Shellac is a little bit cheaper than Dip and even lasts close to the same time as Dip.

I would definitely recommend people to try both Shellac and Dip to see what their preference is because this post is solely based on my own thoughts, opinions, and preferences.

If you live in San Antonio, I get all my mermaid/chrome/holographic nails done at Emme’s Nail Spa at the Elian Resort, I definitely recommend them 100%! @emmenailspa on instagram

Thanks for reading!
If you have any questions feel free to ask and comment if you have any ideas about other things I should blog about.

You can keep in touch with my life by following me @ xoxoloriallison on Instagram.

Xoxo, Lori Allison ❤