Monday, November 30, 2009

WHO DAT!!!!!!!!

Wake me up, I am living a dream!!!!!!! This was such an amazing win!! Give it up to the defense and especially Greg Williams our D-Coordinator who is plugging holes like the Army Corp of Engineers. We played with two cornerbacks who have only been on the team for a week, and Mike McKenzie was awesome as he has always been! Darren Sharper gets another pic to put him in the running fot defensive MVP.

And what is there you can even say about Drew Brees! Over three hundren and fifty yards and five, count them five, touchdowns. No pics! What a hell of a game. If Drew brees entered the upcoming mayoral race, he would win hands down. Not sure what this says about his opponents, but I know it says he is undoubtedly the most beloved New Orleanian that has ever lived. He does more amazing things off the field than he does on, which is what is most impressive. He believed in us and our city when even we didn't.

And finally our fans! You could hear them all night long. We cheered and screamed with all 70,000 of you for three and a half hours. You were amazing and made me proud to be a part of the WHO DAT NATION! I have never been so proud to be a part of it!

Can I get a WHO DAT!!!! Seriously, I would love to hear from you who watched this awesome game!!!

Are you ready for some football???

I know I should be posting a brilliant recap of our NYC trip, but I seriously can't think of anything other than the Saints game tonight. I mean, if you had asked me on 9/25/06 when the Saints re-opened the Dome after Katrina if there would ever be a MNF game bigger than that, I would have said you'd be crazy to think so. But here we are!!!! 11/30/09. We're 11-0 and facing the terrible tyrant, Bill Belichick, and his New England Patriots.

I want to win this game more than I have wanted to win any other game this year. I actually don't want to just beat the Pats, I want to crush them. I know this might be asking for too much, but I really want to show the American football audience what we Saints fans have been seeing all season - extraordinary play.

I so wish we would be home right now to absorb the excitement that has filled New Orleans by way of this game. You can feel it just by reading the countless articles, blogs, forums, etc. dedicated to the coverage of this game. Bobby Hebert has asked the Who Dat Nation to black out the Dome. And now our players have gotten involved in this campaign too twittering about how much they want a Superdome Black Out. You can feel their excitement too - it is literally tangible giddiness. And when I go to facebook, my screen is filled with status updates from saints fans! Everyone is just so ready to see the Saints and the city shine on Monday night. Some have started earlier than others. Per Saintsreport.som, their have been tailgaters hanging out near the Dome since early this morning. I see they have taken Drew Brees's advice and taken the day off to prepare themselves to make the Dome the loudest and most raucus place where football has ever been played. WHO DAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My dad sent me this just a minute ago, and it's too good not to share!!

Hurricane Who Dat has officially moved to a Category 10 . New Orleans's Saintoligist Sean Peyton predicts that it will make landfall in New Orleans Monday Night as a CATEGORY 11!The hurricane warning will remain in effect till Midnight Monday, while combinations of dangerously high touchdown passes and exceptional receptions continue.The strength of Hurricane Who Dat is expected to have long-lasting effects on the country, especially Louisiana and specifically New Orleans, even after winds have subsided.Sportscasters remain in good agreement; the models continue to predict touchdowns and interceptions in Who Dat's favor. Be warned, Patriots causalities are expected.Pass this along to all the members of Who Dat Nation that you know! Oh and don't forget to say your pledge… I pledge allegiance to the Saints of New Orleans, LA,And to the fans, for whom they play,One Who Dat Nation,Under Sean Peyton and Drew Brees,INVINCIBLE, With touchdowns and victories for all!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

In Thanksgiving

Well, we have been in NYC for a day now and it has been fantastic. We have eaten at Les Halles and had cocoa at Mariebelle. We have walked through Midtown and the Village and Soho. It has been just magical already. And while doing all of this, we have been surrounded by and welcomed by our family. And I can't help thinking about the definition of family. My first thought when I think of family is most certainly my amazing parents and my wonderful sister. They are after all, the people who have raised me and known me for my entire life. They are the best examples of parents and siblings that you could ever ask for. But I have learned that there are so many definitions of family. The Allens, for instance, have been such an amazing addition to my life. They have always made me feel like I am a part of their family. In an instant, I had three brothers and an amazing mother and father-in-law. I had new cousins and aunts and uncles from Los Angeles to Boston (even if they are Patriots fans).

Our dear friends have taken us into their homes and shared their lives with us. They have celebrated our birthdays, they have opened their homes for us over Thanksgivings and Easters, they have allowed us to celebrate the births of their children. They are our family as well. Whether they live in Beaufort or Dallas, New York, DC, or New Orleans, they are our family!

And in the last year, we have added new members to our ever growing family. We have two new sisters-in-law and their amazing and gracious and wonderful families. Knowing them and getting to know their families has made this year one of the most special. They are all such amazing people, and I am so glad we were brought together through Barnaby and Gabe. These girls are just the best, and I am so glad they are my family.

So as we are thinking of things to be thankful for, I would like to say thank you to all my family. whether it is the people I have known all along, or the ones who have recently come into my life, I am a better person for having known you.

And to my hubby, I am thankful everyday that you picked me. What would my life be like without you? I am truly the luckiest girl in the whole wide world to wake up everyday with you at my side.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Trendy Wednesday - Holiday Collection Palettes

Each year my favorite makeup brands put out their special palettes for the holiday season. I go absolutely gaga for these things. I have always been preferential to MAC, but recently I have branched out some and have found that I like Bobbi Brown for neutral shadows, Laura Mercier for bases and powder, and Nars for cheeks and lips. When it comes to palettes, I love the variety you get in a palette. For instance, since I have everything I need for a six night trip to NYC packed neatly into one tiny carry one, I had to consolidate my makeup bag. Instead of a collection of eye shadows, I am only bring my "smoky eye" palette by Bobbi Brown. Fab! No fuss, no muss.
Palettes make the best stocking stuffers and great gifts too. Here are a few that I think are really just too good to pass up! And you have to act fast on these little guys because they are often limited in number and sell out very quickly!!
I love this Laura Mercier Oil Free Flawless Face Kit. Perfect way to start any makeup session.
Nars has one of my favorite cheek products - a cream blush. For the holidays they have put out a mini-trio of cream blushes that will fit in any purse. They can be used for eyes or lips, so they're perfect when you're on the go!

This Bobbi Brown eye shadow palette pairs two beautiful neutral shadows with two brilliant highlight shades. I am crossing my fingers that this is in my stocking this year!!

I love the look of a dark smoky eye and a nice pale pink lip. This MAC lip bag has everything you need to create the perfect pink pout. And it comes with a cute little bag!

Tasty Tuesdays: Cranberry Jello Mold

Here it is, the last installment of recipes from my Thanksgiving menu. This recipe is a staple on our holiday menu, and it has been for as long as I can remember. It is one of those dishes that we only make during the holidays so every year it feels comforting and special. It's one of those dishes that you attach memories to, and isn't that the whole point of the holidays. It is so simple to make, and is very easy to make ahead. I hope that it brings a little something special to your holiday table as it always has to mine.

Cranberry Jello Mold

  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water

  • 2 packages cherry jello

  • 1 can whole berry cranberry

  • 1 cup chopped pecans

  • one can Mandarin oranges

Stir jello into boiling water and stir until dissolved. Stir in cranberry until fully incorporated. Pour into jello mold or decorative bowl. Refrigerate for one to two hours. When set enough so that oranges and jello will not sink to the bottom, stir in oranges and pecans. Refrigerate and let set overnight. Done!

I have very much enjoyed sharing some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes with all of you. I love the holiday season and the joy it brings. I find more than any other time of year, we gather as friends and family to celebrate. There is really nothing better in life than breaking bread with your nearest and dearest. My hope for all of you this holiday season is that you find yourself surrounded by the warmth of those you love.

Happy Thanksgiving!

..............A Funny Story to Get You Through Your Day

I received this stroy in an email just now from one of my co-bloggers from I almost spit out my Coke Zero when I read it!


If you didn't see this on the Tonight show, I hope you're sitting down when you read it. This is probably the funniest date story ever, first date or not!!! We have all had bad dates but this takes the cake.
Jay Leno went into the audience to find the most embarrassing first date that a woman ever had. The winner described her worst first date experience.
There was absolutely no question as to why her tale took the prize!
She said it was midwinter...Snowing and quite cold... and the guy had taken her skiing in the mountains outside Salt Lake City , Utah .
It was a day trip (no overnight). They were strangers, after all, and had never met before. The outing was fun but relatively uneventful until they were headed home late that afternoon.
They were driving back down the mountain, when she gradually began to realize that she should not have had that extra latte. They were about an hour away from anywhere with a rest room and in the middle of nowhere!

Her companion suggested she try to hold it, which she did for a while. Unfortunately, because of the heavy snow and slow going, there came a point where she told him that he had better stop and let her go beside the road, or it would be the front seat of his car

They stopped and she quickly crawled out beside the car, yanked her pants down and started. In the deep snow she didn't have good footing, so she let her butt rest against the rear fender to steady herself. Her companion stood on the side of the car watching for traffic and indeed was a real gentleman and refrained from peeking. All she could think
about was the relief she felt despite the rather embarrassing nature of the situation.

Upon finishing however, she soon became aware of another sensation.

As she bent to pull up her pants, the young lady discovered her buttocks were firmly glued against the car's fender. Thoughts of tongues frozen to poles immediately came to mind as she attempted to disengage her flesh from the icy metal. It was quickly apparent that she had a
brand new problem, due to the extreme cold.

Horrified by her plight and yet aware of the humor of the moment, she answered her date's concerns about' what is taking so long' with a reply that indeed, she was 'freezing her butt off' and in need of some assistance! He came around the car as she tried to cover herself with
her sweater and then, as she looked imploringly into his eyes, he burst out laughing. She too, got the giggles and when they finally managed to compose themselves, they assessed her dilemma. Obviously, as hysterical as the situation was, they also were faced with a real problem.

Both agreed it would take something hot to free her chilly cheeks from the grip of the icy metal! Thinking about what had gotten her into the predicament in the first place, both quickly realized that there was
only one way to get her free. So, as she looked the other way, her first time date proceeded to unzip his pants and pee her butt off the fender.

As the audience screamed in laughter, she took the Tonight Show prize hands down. Or perhaps that should be 'pants down.

'And you thought your first date was embarrassing. Jay Leno's comment...'This gives a whole new meaning to being pissed off.'

Oh and how did the first date turn out? He became her husband and was sitting next to her on the Leno show.

Weekend Recap

Well, we had a lovely Beaufort weekend! Friday, we met some friends over at Maggie's Pub, a great little place in our neighborhood, for a glass of wine after work. It was the perfect way to start our weekend. After that, Mark and I had some dinner and went on a wild goose chase for the DVD of Bye Bye Birdie. They didn't carry it anywhere so we watched Twilight instead. Not bad!

Saturday, I decided I would not let my personal training sessions go to waste, so Mark and I ran with the puppy. I ran for ten minutes straight, which is a huge step for me. Then I did five and then another ten followed by one more five minute run. Thirty minutes in all!! I felt so accomplished!

Saturday night we went to a great bday party for a friend. It was at a beautiful spot overlooking the water. It was here where we watched a painful last ditch effort by LSU to try to beat Ole Miss. There's always next year! We headed home to a little surprise Mark had cooked up - he ordered Birdie off I-tunes and we watched it together. Fabulous!

Sunday we went to the Christening of our friends Margaret and Ben's new baby, Whitt. It was a beautiful service and a lovely reception, too!

I tried my best to keep from praying for the Saints at the service as I am learning that is not the kind of thing we are supposed to ask God for. Turns out, they didn't need my help at all! Even with all of our injuries, we crushed the Bucs to move to 10-0! I feel like I am dreaming! I really do. I wake up Monday morning and want to jump out of bed to turn on ESPN just to hear them gush over our team! Who Dat boys!!!

After soaking in our win, Mark helped me organize my closet and put away my summer stuff. Now instead of cute little cotton dresses, it is filled with wool sweaters. It was a good thing too, because it got chilly here yesterday. With a clean closet, I was able to get all of my NYC packing done. Everything fit into one tiny rolling bag. Yay! No baggage claim!

Last but not least, I went with a few girls to see New Moon. I haven't read the books, so I think I have missed the boat on the Twilight hysteria, but I did enjoy the movie. Hmmmm... Team Edward or Team Jacob? I can't decide, can you?

All right, off to start a very short week!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fridays Five Favorite Things - That I'm thankful for

  1. My hometown - I guess it goes without saying that I love New Orleans. You don't often think about being grateful for a place because it has been there before you and it will be there after you, but in our case, we learned that that's not always true. I am just so grateful for the fact that New Orleans is not just still standing, but it stands to become a hub of new ideas for education reform, health care reform, and social service reform. I am grateful to all of the people who were brave enough to see a future where this was possible.
  2. My team - I know we're supposed to be grateful for deep things this time of year, but I really am so thankful for the Saints. They have kept us connected to New Orleans while we live far away. They have taught us to keep fighting and keep believing, even if you're the only one who believes in you. They have kept a positive light shining down on that Superdome since the day it re-opened, and I am thankful for that.
  3. My friends - Beaufort wouldn't be the same place without our friends here. I feel so privileged to have been a part of their lives over the past three years. We have shared holidays, we have held babies, we have celebrated big birthdays, but we have also just shared the normal moments in life that are made special when you're surrounded with friends. I am so thankful for all of you! And I am thankful for my lifelong friends living all over the US who, with just one phone call, feel like they have never been closer. We have seen our lives change and grow and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for all of us.
  4. My family - My family has grown exponentially this year with both of my brothers-in-law getting married. I feel like have truly gained two new sisters and their families as well. There is nothing in the world like family, and I am so thankful to be a part of mine. My mom and dad have always made every sacrifice so that my sister and me could find happiness. My sister is wonderful and caring and willing to pursue her dream, which I truly admire. My husband is the best part of me, and I am thankful every day that he chose me to share his life with. And our two doggies have been our sunshine over the past week. I can't imagine not having them both in our lives now. I realize that not everybody gets this lucky, and I am thankful I did.
  5. My Country - and the men and women who protect Her. There is not a day that goes by that I am not reminded of these brave people. When I see a Marine in uniform heading to work or hear a fighter jet zipping past our house my thoughts immediately go to how lucky we are that those folks have chosen to sacrifice for our freedoms. There is truly no way to express the gratitude I feel for them, but I hope they know we never stop thinking of them, and we are always proud of them.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thought for Thursday - To Gamble and Lose

I really do enjoy heading over to Harrah's every once in a while. I love the Tabasco dollar slots and I really love a good game of black jack. I tell you what though, I hate to lose. At our house, we call losing paying our Harrah's tax. Losing - it's a risk I'm willing to take because I have weighed the options of being out 20 bucks versus winning $250. Having some familiarity with the decisions it takes to be willing to risk something, I have started to ponder over one now infamous gamble that the Army Corps of Engineers chose to take.

For the past four years, the people of New Orleans (and our adopted son Brad Pitt) have been shouting from our rooftops, no pun intended, that the aftermath of Katrina was in no way related to a natural disaster. It was in ALL respects a man-made tragedy, and one that could have been prevented. We weathered the storm; we did not weather the collapse of the government built and maintained levee systems intended to protect our dear city. For years it has seemed that our voices have been quieted to the point where most have fallen silent.


"In a groundbreaking decision, a federal judge ruled late Wednesday that the Army Corps of Engineers' mismanagement of maintenance at the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet was directly responsible for flood damage in St. Bernard Parish and the Lower 9th Ward after Hurricane Katrina. The failure of the Corps to recognize the destruction that the MRGO had caused and the potential hazard that it created is clearly negligent on the part of the Corps," said U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval Jr. in his ruling. "Furthermore, the Corps not only knew, but admitted by 1988, that the MRGO threatened human life ... and yet it did not act in time to prevent the catastrophic disaster that ensued with the onslaught of Hurricane Katrina."

In my opinion the Corps made the decision that it would rather risk the cost of losing one of America's great cities than paying the cost to protect it. Well the stakes just got raised, my friends. According to the Times Picayune "Duval's 156-page decision could result in the federal government paying $700,000 in damages to three people and a business in those areas, but also sets the stage for judgments worth billions of dollars against the government for damages suffered by as many as 100,000 other residents, businesses and local governments in those areas who filed claims with the corps after Katrina." With all the chips on the table, it looks like the Corps will have to fold it up. This was one gamble they should have considered a little more closely.

And so it appears that the Army Corps will have to pay it's Harrah's tax. They seemed to forget the most basic of gambling principles, "The house always wins."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

............Joint Ventures

Hi readers!!! Three of my blogging friend and I have joined forces and started a group blog. Come and check us out at . It should be fun to see where this new adventure takes us!!

Tasty Tuesdays - Crunchy Pecan Pie Bites

I think that if you are born below the Mason Dixon Line you are required to enjoy pecan pie. I will admit that I am very particular when it comes to this sweet treat. I do not care for a pecan pie that has a thick layer of sticky filling that tastes like pure syrup. I also do not care for mine warm with ice cream on top - it's too melty and the pie crust gets smooshy. I like mine with a crispy flaky shell, a filling overloaded with pecans, and the temperature that's not too cold and not too hot. The only exception to these rules is a slice of chocolate chip pecan pie right off the grill at Camelia Grill. Now that is a taste of heaven.

I set out Saturday to make two desserts for our Pre-Thanksgiving feast. One was the Pumpkin Pie Spectacular out of this month's Southern Living and the other was Crunchy Pecan Pie Bites from last year's November issue of Southern Living. The pumpkin pie fell short of "Spectacular" in my opinion. I think I baked it too long and the pumpkin filling overcooked, but it said it needed to cook forever! Really it was about an hour and fifteen minutes, but still that is a serious oven commitment when you have a turkey and sides to bake. On the other hand the Crunchy Pecan Pie Bites were delish and sooooooo easy to do. I highly recommend them as gifts or as the perfect treat to take with you to your next holiday party. I cannot emphasize how incredibly easy there were to make. I was only supposed to veer off my personal trainer imposed diet for Saturday evening, but just between you and me, I ate one Sunday morning - they were even better the next day!

Crunchy Pecan Pie Bites
Yield: Makes about 6 dozen
3 cups chopped pecans
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark corn syrup
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 (2.1-oz.) packages frozen mini-phyllo pastry shells
1. Preheat oven to 350º. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant.
2. Stir together sugar and corn syrup in a medium bowl. Stir in pecans, eggs, and next 3 ingredients.
3. Spoon about 1 heaping teaspoonful pecan mixture into each pastry shell, and place on 2 large baking sheets.
4. Bake at 350º for 20 to 22 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks, and let cool completely (about 30 minutes). Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Mini Pecan Pies: Substitute 1 1/2 (8-oz.) packages frozen tart shells for frozen mini-phyllo pastry shells. Prepare recipe as directed through Step 2. Spoon about 1/4 cup pecan mixture into each tart shell. Place tart shells on a large baking sheet. Proceed with recipe as directed in Step 4, increasing bake time to 25 to 30 minutes or until set. Garnish with currants, if desired. Makes 1 dozen. Prep: 15 min., Bake: 30 min.

I made these according to the "mini pecan pie" directions because we didn't need 6 dozen and those little tart shells get expensive. I found the exact mini pie shells the recipe references in the freezer section at the Bi-Lo. They were VIP brand mini pie shells. I don't recall the brand they carried that had the mini-phyllo shells, but they had those as well. Sometimes it can be difficulty to find these products, so shop in advance just in case. And DON'T use the Pepperidge Farm puff pastry shells. I made that mistake last year!!!

And just in case you're ever in New Orleans and ordering a slice, you would ask for "pecawn pie." We don't say it like Paula Dean does!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Take Me Back to Manhattan

In just eight days, we will be boarding our direct flight to NYC!!!!! I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am for this trip. The only thing I love more than New York is New York all dressed up for the holidays. We have had all of our dinner reservations booked for weeks now, we have our tickets to see a show, and we have all of the details settled for the Allen family food tour of SOHO. Now I have to resist the urge to plan every minute of what's left of our trip. If it was up to me, I would schedule everything from naps to walking times in Central Park. I have a hard time leaving anything to spontaneity. As a result, I have been trying to find the perfect place for us to have lunch on Wednesday, our free day. I think I have the solution - Mariebelle. I love the lunch menu and they also have a hot cholocate menu. Enough said, right!!! I think it sounds perfect for a clear but chilly day. Yes, I have also been following the weather on accuweather's 15 day forecast for about a month now. Fingers crossed for mild temps and no rain. This girl's ready for a parade!

A New Addition

Late last week, our office manager sent out an email with the subject "This Doggie Needs a Home." Never in my whole life have I been tempted to open an email like that and decide that we would make the perfect parents for another dog. But, I opened the email and saw the sweetest little face I'd ever seen. "Puppy" had appeared on the steps of a little shop in our town and after a great effort to find her parents, the shopkeeper concluded that "Puppy" had been abandoned. The shopkeeper loved "Puppy" but was not sure they wanted to keep her. I sent the email to Mark, and at first he thought I was crazy. The more and more we talked about it, the more we started thinking that maybe we should just take the plunge. I woke up Friday and told Mark I wanted to adopt the puppy and name her Beignet. So Saturday she came over to meet the current master of our house, our almost 16 year old Jack Russell, Annie. They seemed to get along well, and Beignet was just too cute not to fall in love with. She really is just the sweetest little thing who loves to play and cuddle and jump. We aren't sure exactly what we're getting into, but we've decided we're up to the challenge of crate training and managing separation anxiety. If you could see her face you would just melt!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fridays Five Favorite Things - Musicals

I realized just now that in exactly two weeks I will be sitting in Orchestra seats at Bye Bye Birdie on Broadway!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have always loved old movies, but most especially musicals. There are several that I could probably recite word for word if I tried. I have been singing songs from Birdie in the shower, in the kitchen, in the car... so I thought I'd fill you in on a few of my favorites musicals!!

  1. Rent - My FAVORITE musical of all time. Not traditional in any sense of the word, but it is brilliant, poignant, irreverant, and intellectual. The music is amazing and the message brings a tear to my little bleeding heart.

  2. Jesus Christ Superstar - What a beautiful show. It takes an incredibly talented performer to be able to hit some of the high notes that actor who plays Jesus must hit. But when it's done right, you will get chills. I happened to perform in just such a rendition at St. Luke's in NOLA and I can tell you there was not one dry eye in the house when the show ended.

  3. Anything Goes - This is such a fun musical with absolutely fantastic chorus sequences and great comedic dialogue. The major musical numbers are showstoppers and will bring down the house when done well!

  4. Chicago - I first saw this show at Jesuit High School when I was a freshman at MCA. I was hooked. I love the costuming, the music, the choreography, and the fact that there are so many great roles for female performers. I'd give anything to play Big Momma Morton just once!!

  5. Bye Bye Birdie - This musical has such a special place in my heart. My mom and I used to stay up late watching old movies on AMC. One night we watched Ann Margaret star in one of the best movies I had ever seen - Bye Bye Birdie. I wanted to be Kim McAfee more than anything else in the world. I could recite every line and sing every one of her songs. And it came in handy because the summer after my senior year in high school, a friend of mine was casting for the musical and asked me to play Kim! I had been in many a musical but had never had a part as significant as Kim's. Not to mention that I had imagined playing this role since I was about ten! It was one of the greatest experiences of my life, and to this day, I can recite all of her dialogue. I cannot wait to get to NYC and sit in a beautiful theatre and watch some amazing performers bring, Kim, Albert, Hugo Peabody, Rosie, and of course Conrad Birdie to life. Poor Mark, I have a feeling he will be hearing my rendition of "How Lovely to be a Woman" quite often over the next few weeks!!!

Fun on Friday

Diana from Divine Home is having a fantastic giveaway!!! Simply visit her blog and post a quick comment and you are registered to win a treat from the Savannah Bee Company! You'll get a delish jar of Tupelo honey and a sweet little decorative honey jar too! How much fun!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Thought for Thursday - Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar

This weekend a few of my friends were telling stories about instances where their lunch or one of their co-workers lunches were swiped from the office refrigerator. This has to be one of my biggest workplace pet peeves!! Unless you brought what you are about to eat, slowly put the turkey sandwich down and walk away from the fridge!

When I was working at a big firm, we had a lady selling those tubs of cookie dough for her kid. Because you can never really say no to those kinds of things, everybody bought one. About six weeks later when she made the big delivery, our office fridge was stuffed to the brim with cookie dough of all kinds. That night one person forgot their tub of dough and some sneaky auditors who had been working late ate almost the whole carton of cookie dough. Well, the next day when the person discovered this, all hell broke loose in our office. HR was summoned, there were meetings and apologies. It was CRAZY!

I bought this jar of Klaussen pickles two weeks ago and put it in our fridge. I have eaten one of them so far. The other day I was looking for a quick and low-cal snack so I went to grab a pickle. What did I find - there's only one left!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have not said anything as my office is so small and I'd rather not make it that big of a deal. But I'm wondering, have you ever had your lunch snagged? Did you say anything? Thoughts??

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Trendy Wednesday - Sequins and Sparkles

With the 2009 holiday season upon us, it is time to start thinking about your holiday party wardrobe! And what goes better with the holidays than clothes and accessories that sparkle and shine. Is there ever a better occasion to pair a simple and tasteful black sheath paired with the perfect sparkly broach than to your office Christmas party? And isn't a great little sequin handbag just so festive ad fun!! From a simple sparkly top to the all-over sequined dress, you can decide just how bedazzled you want to be this holiday season. There are some absolutely beautiful pieces available this year, but here are a few I have my eyes on...

I love this Banana Republic Art Deco Brooch. I think you could add a touch of the holidays to any outfit with this broach. Check your closet for dresses or sweaters from previous season and add this piece. I bet it feels like a whole new look!

This BCBG Two-Tone Sequin Clutch is adorable!! If you rub all of the sequins one way it is a silver bag, and if you rub them the other way it is a gold bag - GENIUS!!

This Topshop Sequin Blouse is just so sweet and pretty. Pair it with dark jeans, neutral patent leather pumps, and a black velvet blazer or a cream satin scarf and grab dinner with your friends.

I happen to think Reversible Sequin Mini Dress would make the perfect NYE dress. I love the color combination and the fact that you can wear it as a v-neck dress or turn it around and wear it as a scoop neck dress. Add some black tights and some black leather booties - Perfection!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tasty Tuesdays - Cornbread, Wild Mushroom, and Pecan Stuffing (With Sausage)

For most New Orleanians, we grow up unfamiliar with the concept of boxed stuffing. Actually, we really don't even use the term stuffing. Instead, on almost any NOLA holiday table you will find "dressing" of some kind - most typically oyster dressing. It can be done inside or outside of the turkey, and it always moist and delicious (or at least most people think so).

I have never been the biggest fan of oyster dressing, so when I started looking at recipes, I wanted to find a recipe similar to a cornbread dressing my dad makes. I set out to find a recipe that would produce a richly flavored, deliciously moist dressing. And find it I did. This recipe will turn even the most ardent hater of stuffing/dressing into its biggest fan.

I have made a few adjustments to this stuffing, because I love how the flavor of pork sausage with sage adds a saltiness and heartiness to this dish. I'll give you the traditional recipe and post a note below with the steps I take to incorporate the sausage. I do not stuff the bird, so I add a little extra wine for extra flavor. Also, I know some people do not like mushrooms, but I highly recommend them. They soak up so much liquid and are really the key in making this dressing so moist.

Makes 8 cups
1 1/2 cups pecans
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 cups crumbled Cornbread - I use Jiff and bake it the night before
5 shallots, finely chopped
1 rib celery, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
10 ounces wild mushrooms (chanterelles, oyster, and shiitake)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup Homemade Chicken Stock (Oh Martha - how ambitious you are, I use canned stock)

**1 tube Jimmy Dean Pork Sausage with Sage


  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread pecans on a baking sheet. Place in oven to toast until fragrant, about 6 minutes. Set aside.

  2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small skillet. Cut cornbread into 2-inch-thick slices. Place, cut side down, on a 17-by-12-inch baking sheet. Brush tops with melted butter. Toast cornbread until golden brown, 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

  3. Heat remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet on medium high. Add shallots and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper; cook until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add white wine; continue cooking until absorbed, about 1 minute. Add cream. Cook 30 seconds; remove pan from heat.

  4. Crumble cornbread into a large bowl. Add mushroom mixture and toasted pecans; toss.

  5. If you bake this stuffing outside the turkey, add chicken stock, and bake in a buttered 9-by-13-inch baking dish until the stuffing is crusty and golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Note 1- at step four, skip the butter and brown the sausage in a skillet. Drain until you have a few tablespoons of drippings from the sausage. Continue with the recipe as stated above.

Note 2 - when you add the 1/3 cup chicken stock, I add a little wine at a time as well until the stuffing reaches the texture I desire.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Fall Photo Update (In reverse order)

With all the traveling we've been doing this fall, our camera was overloaded with pictures. It was so fun going through all of them and reliving all the fun we've had. I have to say, it was quite exhausting too! These early morning flight on Mondays have made me so sleepy. It will be so nice to spend the next few weekends here in Beaufort with our wonderful friends. I hope you enjoy catching up with us!
If you hadn't heard, our Saints are 8-0!!! Our section was going crazy yesterday after the big win. What a way to wrap up a perfect weekend.
Mark, me, Barnaby (my brother-in-law), and Alissa getting ready to dance all night at the Gold Mine. Is there a better bar anywhere in the world? I don't think there is!
My sister-in-law Alissa, my friend Jen, and me at the Gold Mine
Me and the beautiful bride, my sweet Delta Gamma little sister.
Mark and me at Jenny and Jeff's wedding.
It wouldn't be a wedding weekend in NOLA without a trip to
Tropical Isle for a Hand Grenade.
Me and Mark in the best section in the dome - Section 631!

Enjoying every minute of the MNF tailgating with the best Saints fans I know!
Birthday lunch at Maximo's with the family!
What a wonderful birthday brunch!
Me with my Hibiscus martini at Commanders. My sweet friends Lauren, Christie, and Margaret surprised my with a bday card and a bday drink all the way from Beaufort to NOLA!!

Devil with The Blue Dress On...

Opening my bday gifts!!
My friend Jenny, me, and my sis celebrating the win versus the Giants at Lucy's!
Me, my sister, and my friend Beth at her engagement party

Me and Mark at the Blues and BBQ Festival.

Stay Tuned!

I'm hoping to get our pictures from these last two weekends uploaded and posted. I'm so bad about doing this, and since we have a night at home without meetings or other plans, I have no excuse - so hold me to it!!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

I'm leaving on a jet plane

Well, we're headed to New Orleans again. Crazy, right. I feel like we just got back. My suitcase was still packed from our trip last weekend. We'll be heading there for a wedding, and I can't wait to see everyone. My Delta Gamma little sis is getting married to one of Mark's fraternity brothers so it should be quite a reunion. The ceremony itself will take place near the gazebo on Fulton Street next to Harrah's Hotel, which is where the reception is. I can't wait to see how beautiful the outdoor ceremony is. Fulton Street is so unique and feels very New Olreansy - just perfect for a local girl!

My brother and sister-in-law will be there too!!! Yay! We have missed them, so it'll be nice catching up. Plus, my goal is to woo Alissa with all NOLA has to offer so that they come to visit us very often when we move home. It shouldn't be too hard!!

As excited as I am about our trip, I can't ignore how saddened I am by the Fort Hood shootings. There is no place in the world I feel safer than on a US military base, and it breaks my heart to think of the men and women who were killed or injured at Fort Hood. I imagine that those waiting in the readiness center had come to peace with the dangers that deployment brings, but to experience such a horrific thing on our own soil is just unfathomable to me, especially within the protection of a base. I cannot imagine if this had happened here at Parris Island or the Air Station or Navy Hospital. It is just so sad. I am hoping that the families of the brave men and women who were injured or killed are able to find some comfort as the days pass. I also hope that the family of the officer who committed this horrible act find peace as well. I am sure that they are grieving too. For all of the men and women who serve, we are so grateful of your generosity of spirit, your commitment to service, and your willingness to lay down your life for the cause of freedom.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Trendy Wednesday - The Winter Shift

As I have been getting more and more winter catalogues in the mail, I have been so excited to see the variety of simple shift dresses. From tweeds in wool, to floral in stretch jersey, they have all have a great shape and a number of ways to wear them. For day, pair your shift with a pair of tights, a matching cardigan, and some ballet flats, and you're ready for work. For night, keep the tights, switch out the the cardi for a Pashmina, and trade the flats for a pair of booties. It really is such a versatile look. Many of them are coming very short, so I think the tights are usually a must, but there's no reason you have to stick to the basics. Try a pair of tights in a wild color or a great texture. That's the best part of the winter version of this summertime specialty - you can add so many more layers of accessories to them. You don't have to worry about over-wearing a dress, because it can take on so many different looks. And who doesn't love an outfit that transforms perfectly from day to night!

Banana Republic Wool Shift - LOVE it! And I really love the little knit hat too!

Donna Morgan Floral Shift - Perfect for work or weekend!

Forever 21Prim Wool Dress - Their clothes don't always fit me well, but I have my fingers crossed on this one! And it's a steal at only $36.

French Connection City Sparkle Dress - perfect for a holiday party or NYE!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tasty Tuesdays - Green Beans Slow-Cooked with Bacon and Onions

I mentioned that from now until Thanksgiving I will be posting the recipes we use to make our Thanksgiving feast. This recipe for slow cooked green beans is as simple as it is delicious. I think with all of the chaos that goes with preparing a multi-course meal, it is important to have a few dishes that can be made ahead or that take little to no preparation and monitoring. This dish is definitely the latter. I typically buy a large bag of green beans from the farmers market and pre-wash and trim the beans the night before Thanksgiving. I also rough chop the onions the night before as well. I find the easiest and most efficient way to chop bacon is to stack a few slices together and cut the slices in half lengthwise with your kitchen shears. Then cut into cubes with the shears. I prefer this method to chopping the bacon with a knife on the cutting board - less gadgets, shorter time, and fewer dishes!

Turkey Day prep is all about ease and simplicity. You want you guests to feel relaxed and at home, and I think these tips and this dish will help you serve a meal that it delicious but not fussy!

Green Beans Slow-Cooked with Bacon and Onions

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 to 6 slices bacon, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 pounds fresh green beans
2 quarts chicken stock

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (Chicken Stock is salty so taste before adding more)

Heat a heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat. Add the olive oil, bacon, and onions and cook until the onion is soft, about 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the green beans and chicken stock; season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, and cook the green beans until they are soft but not mushy, about 30 to 45 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

PS - If you wanted to add a little crispiness to this dish for extra texture, French's fried onion would be a great addition.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Today's the BIG Day

Oh, and it's also my birthday. But that has taken a backseat to the Saints/Falcons game tonight. I cannot begin to describe to you the electricity in the air here. It is like nothing I have ever experienced before as a Saints fan. It is different than the great feelings of three years ago when the Saints re-opened the Dome. That was a feeling of pure joy and relief and redemption. It is different than the feeling on the day of the Saints/Eagles playoff game when the city was buzzing with hope and gratitude that out team was playing better than they actually were. Riding a wave of hope, they were a team of destiny. But today feels different. Today feels like we have finally arrived as the team to beat in the NFL. And as exciting as those other games were, no one expected greatness, we were just grateful to see glimpses of it. The 2009 team we are watching tonight is a team like we have never seen before. They are complete in every aspect of the game. They are exciting and energetic, but more than anything, they are just damn good.

It makes this day so special. Our friend's law firm is having black and gold day where they all get to go to work in their Saints apparel. Our other friend's law firm closed for the day so that everyone could spend the day tailgating with their families. Everywhere you go people are talking about this team and how they really believe that this is our year. And for the first time people feel like this season isn't the product of luck or hope or good karma, it's the product of hard work, determination, talent, and greatness. So here's to tonight. I can only imagine how insane the Dome will be. I feel so lucky to be in the number who will see this game from Section 631.

Can I get a WHO DAT?!?!


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