Nola on my Mind

Hi guys!

I am making this speedy because it is a GORGEOUS day outside and Ryan and I are about to head out to play tennis! =)

After church, I met Erin (ryan’s sister) and Ryan at Nola Cafe for lunch—


Nola Cafe is as it sounds—a cute tiny New Orleans cafe here in Tampa! I had never been before but Erin loves the place and has been talking about it forever. Its a complete hole-in-the-wall that you could never find if you weren’t looking!

Ryan asked for a BIG glass of water…..check out my glass compared to his mammoth sized glass!


I think it made him feel better! 😉

We also ordered a side of “beignet bits” for the table-


Ahhhh these absolutely EPITOMIZED holy yum! They were soooooooooo good and warm! I probably nibbled my way through two whole ones.

For my lunch, I ordered the chicken caesar salad, which was just okay. It was nothing special because it was completely soaked in dressing. I picked through what I could and Ryan finished the rest.


However, I also ordered a cup of red beans and rice, which was FABULOUS.


Next time I go I’m just getting a big ol’ bowl of this. It was sooooooo creamy and delicious, especially after I liberally dumped hot sauce into it! It had yummy pieces of spicy sausage in it and only a small amount of soft rice at the bottom. A winner for sure!

Alright—-gotta seize the day and hit up the courts! I played tennis all four years of high school but sort of fell off the wagon after that. Today will be a big match up 😉

See you tonight!

Oh—and because of popular demand, I got the infamous non-alcoholic sangria recipe from yesterday!

1 bottle “Fre” red wine (non-alcoholic red wine….apparently this is a pretty common brand?)

1 can sprite zero

cinnamon to taste

about 1/4 cup sugar, or to taste

1 apple, cut into chunks

1 orange

Mix everything together and enjoy! I will definitely be making this in the future…it was SO light and refreshing and, like Leslie just said on the phone, it really makes you feel like you are drinking without any of the nasty alcohol side effects! Enjoy! =)

You Might Also Like

  • DestinyZoe
    February 8, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    hey Jenna, I happened to chance upon your blog and really like it
    I have been practising yoga and pilates for years but only started to be serious about it this year..and was inspired by what you blogged. I also planned to run a full marathon this year. its great to read about your life and hope to know you more. I have linked my blog here.

    writing from singapore.


  • Heather
    February 8, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    jenna, will you give us your “ryan story”? after your yoga story i want to hear how you met the new man in your life!

    • jenna
      February 8, 2009 at 6:24 pm


      Well, don’t mind if I do tell! I love the “ryan story”! Here is what happened:

      The summer I turned 21 was when my family moved over to Tampa from Vero Beach, FL. I had just finished up my junior year of college and was interning at a ad agency downtown. My mom and brother were still living in Vero Beach, trying to sell the house, while my dad and I lived in a condo here in Tampa. Sometimes in the morning, I would see a younger looking guy in the elevator that would always get in the car that had the spot next to my car, but I had never worked up the nerve to say hi. Weeks pass. I don’t see him. And then one day we see eachother AGAIN in the elevator and he finally says good morning. He asked what I do and I told him (in a grown up voice!) that I “worked as a writer at an ad agency downtown”. Little did he know I was just a 21 year old intern!!!!! A couple more weeks go by and I don’t see him again but always wondered about him and wondered who the other car parked in his spot was (aka I was wondering if he was married). I thought about him a lot and always hoped to see him but our paths didn’t seem to cross again. Then, towards the end of June, I get a call from my dad telling me that he just ran into “elevator Ryan and he wanted to know if I wanted to go see Dave Chapelle with him that night”. Ryan didn’t have my phone number or anything but he recognized my dad since he parked next to him so he worked up the nerve to ask him if he could take me out! I wasn’t going to go since I had never actually TALKED to Ryan, but my dad told me I was being pathetic and I should just go with him because I had nothing else to do. So, I called Ryan (he gave his number to my dad for me to call) and said “well this is random but why not”…so we went to see Dave and the rest is history! I called him the next day to see if he wanted to go to a baseball game with a bunch of friends and he went….and then he called me to ask me out to dinner……….and then I finally told him I was only 21 years old (he was 28 at the time) and was going back to college in a few weeks. He was very sad but we decided to try to make it work and see where it went to my whole senior year we spend talking on the phone and visiting each other about once a month. As a little girl, I always prayed for that “fairy tale” that you see in movies and I am SO blessed to have found it with Ryan. I actually told my mom that I loved him after we had only been “dating” for a few weeks. I just knew! =)

      Thanks for asking!!!

  • Sarah (lovINmytummy)
    February 8, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    THANK you so much for the Sangria recipe!!! Can’t wait to make it.

    Good thing those red beans and rice salvaged your plate of dressing and cheese, I mean, salad. 😉

  • VeggieGirl
    February 8, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    Those beignet bits = holy yum, for sure!! 😀

  • Sharon
    February 8, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Oh my gosh, what a tasty time you had – delicious!

  • Betsy in Pittsburgh
    February 8, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Gonna have to google “beignet bits”…. never heard of ’em!

  • claire
    February 8, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    One time at Olive Garden my dad didn’t feel very good so he asked for “Lots of water.” I think the little waitress brought him three glasses! Those beignet bits look SOOO good!

  • Cara in Colorado
    February 8, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Jenna for the recipe!!!!!!

    I’m going to store now to get everything!!!!

    Have a great day!!!

  • Kailey (SnackFace)
    February 8, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Oh my goodness beignet bits!!! Those look fantastic! Ew sorry about that salad; I can’t stand when they come drenched in dressing. Enjoy the beautiful day!

  • Bec
    February 8, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    That is a ton of dressing, hope you had fun on the courts!

  • Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter)
    February 8, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    Have fun playing tennis. That salad does look like it had about a gallon of dressing on it. Sounds like the red beans & rice made up for it though. Happy Sunday Jenna!

  • brandi
    February 8, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    That place sounds so neat!

    Thanks for the sangria recipe!

  • K
    February 8, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Love the alcohol free sangria – thanks for the recipe!!

    HOLY COW – that is a MONDO glass of water!!

  • mags
    February 8, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    what are beignet bits? those look yummy!!

  • emily
    February 8, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    thanks for posting the yummy drink recipe!

  • Anna
    February 8, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    beignet bits? holy crap I want those right now. I hope you kicked some butt on the courts!

  • Meg
    February 8, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Those beignets look amazing. What a fun place to have lunch!

  • Lisa
    February 8, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    Yay! Thx for the recipe!! I’m definitely going to make it next weekend!

  • Fancy
    February 8, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    Jenna, that story is adorable! Thank you for sharing, I loved reading it:)

  • Jenna 2
    February 9, 2009 at 7:32 am

    I love beignets!!! sooooo good!! Thanks for the drink recipe!!!! btw that is the cutest story of how you and Ryan met!! I think it is so classy and gentleman like that he asked your dad if he could take you out!!!!!! so Cute!!