IMG_0173Is it possible to make the holiday known for alcohol fueled bead bargaining by half-naked people family friendly?  The answer is ‘yes’.  Mardi Gras has become synonymous with New Orleans so here are 5 suggestions that focus on the food and culture and not Bourbon Street so much.

I think we can all agree that fried dough is fabulous.  Start the morning of Fat Tuesday off with beignets.  You can find the recipe for the gorgeous ones below here.  Or you can order a mix from the famous Cafe Du Monde here.

beignetimage: Baker Bettie

You can’t celebrate Mardi Gras without a mask. Let the kids pick their own at your local party store or they can make one.  Find supplies and directions here.IMG_0182

Put together a simple centerpiece for the table.  Start with a vase and then add beads and masks for a festive look.IMG_0195

Cook up a Cajun inspired dinner with this jambalaya recipe.  Don’t forget the jalapeno cornbread.

jambalayaimage: my recipes

No Mardi Gras meal would be complete without a King cake.  Whoever finds the baby boy hidden in the cake gets a year of good luck.

cakeimage: Taste of Home

Weekend Bits – Links I Love

Here in the Heartland we actually had a couple of days last week when the temps crawled over the 50 degree mark.  It was enough to get me thinking spring.  The first item on my ‘to do’ list is to schedule a pedicure so I won’t frighten anyone when I break out the flip flops for the first time.  There are plenty of gorgeous spring hues to choose from in this list of 50 from Lucky Magazine.

Sneakers will be a big trend in spring fashion but these looks go way beyond the gym rat vibe.  Here are 10 ways to wear them that are as stylish as sneakers are comfortable.

For me, the end of February signals winter’s homestretch.  Before swimsuit season is a full-blown threat, I’ll likely give a few of my favorite comfort foods a final turn.  This phyllo chicken pot pie recipe is definitely on the list.

Who can resist getting the look of a designer handbag for a fraction of the cost?  Thanks to The Budget Babe blog, I’ve added this Kate Spade look-alike to the list for my next Target run.

Fat Tuesday is just over a week away.  My husband LOVES Cajun and Creole cuisine so I’m going to pick one or two recipes to try from this list of 30 classic dishes.

The Academy Awards show is next Sunday.  If you missed my post for hosting an Oscar watch party, you need to catch up here.