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 💓

Mask Monday: GLAMGLOW Bubblesheet Mask

Happy Monday everyone!

I hope everyone had a great start to the week. I am so happy its a short week, since we have thanksgiving on Thursday. I wanted to introduce one of the new weekly posts I will be doing every Monday, called none other than – Mask Monday. I have been really into skincare lately because lets face it, its never too early to start fighting those fine lines and wrinkles. I have also battled with minor acne and oily skin growing up and want to be more kind and nurturing to my skin, so every Monday I am going to try a new mask and give you my review on it. The masks will range from sheet masks, peel off masks, mud masks homemade masks, and so forth,  so lets get started 🙂

To kick off Mask Monday, I decided to go big with GLAMGLOW’s Bubblesheet. I was soo excited to try this because I am a big GLAMGLOW fan, they are my favorite mask company to date. When I went shopping for my VIB 20% off discount, this was one of the first things I grabbed.

This is the first sheet mask I’ve ever used and I didn’t know what to expect, sheet masks honestly remind me of the CPR episode of the office when Dwight cuts out the face of the CPR dummy and turns around with the mask on his face hahaha (disclaimer:  I am a huge fan of The Office, shoutout to my boyfriend for getting me into it). So needless to say, I didn’t take a picture of myself with it on because I looked absolutely ridiculous. Actually, I did attempt at taking a picture to post in here but it was too weird and creepy to include..

b7f5f3b1a7a3190a86ef715da5071e0f.jpg

So anyways, back to the mask – the mask is an oxygenating deep clean mask with Green Tea TEAOXI. Within 3 minutes the mask is supposed invigorate, detoxify, and remove remaining face makeup. You first have to dampen your face and then put the mask on by aligning it to your nose, eyes, and mouth. Once you put the mask on, it immediately starts tingling and foaming up with bubbles. OMG let me tell you, the tingling sensation felt sooo good, I felt like my face was getting massaged by little fingers or something, it was honestly so relaxing that the 3 minutes went by so fast and I was honestly so sad to take off the mask.

One thing I love about GLAMGLOW’s masks and one reason why I am such a big fan of the skin care company, is because I know these masks work. Some of the masks may be a little pricey, but I am willing to pay good money for my skin as long as the product is good and I can vouch for it. Needless to say, I was definitely impressed with this sheet mask because I didn’t think that the bubbles or the tingly sensation on my face would be that powerful. Once you take the mask off, it says to massage the remaining bubbles onto your face and then rinse all the product off. When I massaged the bubbles onto my face, my face felt so good and soft and I mean, who doesn’t love bubbles? The mask instructions don’t say to use a toner after your done, but I did just so I could shrink my pores, I then followed up with my moisturizer to keep my face hydrated.

On a scale of 1-10, I give the Bubblesheet a 9. I loved the tingly feeling of my skin being cleansed and truly feel like it detoxified my face. My skin felt soft and smooth after the mask, but it did leave my skin feeling a little bit dry – which is never a norm for my skin. I would’ve liked for the mask to leave my skin a little more hydrated, but I have no complaints – this mask is a great one and left my skin with a slight glow! I will definitely be purchasing this mask again, probably closer to winter ending so I can have a nice detox before the warmer weather comes around. I definitely recommend this mask to anybody who feels their face needs a detox or a deep cleanse. It is also be a great mask to use after a night of falling asleep with your makeup on. Let’s face it, we all do it sometimes and idk about you but I feel so guilty for doing that to my skin after, which makes this the perfect mask for that situation!The Bubblesheet mask is $9 and can be purchased at Sephora or on the GLAMGLOW website.

Thanks for tuning in to Mask Monday, and I look forward to sharing more mask reviews with y’all soon! If you have any recommendations on masks I should review next, please comment and let me know!

As always, my Instagram is @xoxoloriallison, feel free to follow me and keep up with my life 🙂

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.

img_6005

untitled

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