Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tasty Tuesdays: Choose Dat Campaign's Hummus Recipe

The bateman team from my alma mater, Loyola University New Orleans, has launched a campaign to raise awareness about childhood obesity and healthy lifestyle choices.  The campaign is titled "Choose Dis, Not Dat," and is a play on the local dialect which I thought was so clever!  Their facebook page is filled with helpful tip and tricks about making good and healthy choices.  I know they would love your support - so hop on over and like their page!  

Here's their recipe for a healthy and delicious hummus.

The Moore's Family Secret Hummus Recipe

2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 (19 oz.) can chickpeas
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Combine all ingredients into a food processor and blend.

If you need additional liquid, add a bit more yogurt or olive oil.

Chill and serve with your favorite veggies!

I hope you'll choose 'dis recipe next time you're looking for a yummy snack!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Dear Baby Jane: Back to Work

Dear Jane,

How is it that fourteen weeks have elapsed since you made your way into our world? I have never had a more present understanding of the speed by which time passes until you arrived. It seems like just yesterday Daddy was carefully driving me to the hospital on the night that you were born.

And now, fourteen weeks later, I start my first full week back at work.  It occurred to me that if you go back to the very day I became pregnant with you and count the days we spent together through my maternity leave, you and I spent our days together for over a year.  Baby Jane, it has been the very best year of my life.  You have brought so much joy into my life.  You have taught me to love in a way that I didn't know existed.  Each day that I have seen the world through your innocent eyes has been like seeing it for the very first time. 

It is with very mixed emotions that I return to work.  On one hand, my heart breaks knowing that I will miss so much of your life.  I will miss our morning chats and our afternoon walks.  I will miss your big bright smile when you wake from your naps.  I will miss exploring our neighborhood with you.  I will likely miss your first roll over, and your first word, and your first steps.  Those are the things that make my heart ache.  Knowing just how fleeting these moments are, and the fact that I will not be a part of them, breaks my heart into two pieces.

Where I gather comfort is knowing that each and every day I will be dropping you off at my mommy and daddy's house.  Grandpa retired and will be looking after you four days a week.  The other day you'll be spending with your daddy.  This is what gets me through the day.  You are in the very best hands.  My mommy will play with you in the mornings until the very moment she leaves for work.  Then, you will get to spend your day learning about war history and cooking and gardening.  Your grandpa will take you for walks up to the lake where you will learn about sailboats and seagulls.  You will have the benefit of being loved by the two very best parents in the world - mine.  For that, I am eternally grateful.

For some, going back to work is a necessity.  For me, it is a choice.  It is not an easy one.  It does not make me a better mother.  It does not make me a worse mother.  It  is also a challenge.  It is likely the greatest one I have faced to date.  If there was a guidebook that instructed how to strike the perfect balance between work, philanthropy, friendship, and family, it would be worth millions.  Without one, I will have to navigate my way down this path without a map or a compass.  While I find myself anxious not knowing where it will lead, there is no doubt in my mind that I will always be able to find my way home to you, Baby Jane.

Jane, I love you more than I could ever say.  I will never be the perfect mother, but please know, that every day I will wake up trying to be better than I was the day before. 

Each day, there is no moment I look forward to more than the moment when I hold you in my arms again. 

I love you,


Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday's Favorite Pins

There was so much Mardi Gras Madness going on in our house last Friday that I didn't share my favorite pins from the week that was.  I went back to wotk this week, and as crazy as it sounds, I feel like our life is more ordered now than it has been in a while. Perhaps it's because I looked at a calendar for the first time in three months.  Anyway, given that I actually know what day of the week it is this week, and that it is indeed Friday, here are some very Pinteresting things I thought you might like...

I have found so much inspiration from this room.  I love the blend of styles - the MCM sofa with the contemporary acrylic table and the sweet southern chair.  The pops of color seem to bring it all together!

I had the best English grammar teacher in the world in elementary school (thank you Miss Schott)!!  This grammer quick reference quide is awesome!!  If only I could remember how to diagram a sentence I would never use a dangling participle.

With Lent upon us, I will be going to my first post-baby Weight Watchers weigh in on Wednesday.  This Skinny Taste recipe will allow me to eat one of my very favorite soups without racking up a whole ton of points.

Speaking of Weight Watchers, this dress has given me the best post-baby weight loss motivation!  I love the color, and while it is super short, the delicate lace sleeves make it feel demure.

It's so easy to take our time with Jane for granted.  This website (creativewithkids.com), and, more specifically, this post was such a lovely reminder of how lucky we are to have that little one in our family.  We have already started on this list, and even though she has no idea what we're doing, I feel like these kind gestures will help shape her into a person that spreads kindness to others.

That's all for this Friday!  I hope you have had an amazing week.

Please join me and share your favorite pins by linking up here!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mardi Gras 2012 Comes to an End

I am sitting here, as I do every year on the evening of Fat Tuesday, watching the Rex ball.  In my opinion it is the perfect ending to a perfect holiday.  I love listening to the Marine Corps Band usher in the debutantes in their beautiful white gowns.  It is all so elegant and regal and steeped in tradition.

Speaking of traditions, this was a Mardi Gras spent celebrating old and start new traditions.  Here's some pictures from the weekend.

My fellow Muse, Amy, and me taking a pedicab from our Galatoire's luncheon to the Muses pre-party

My co-workers and me at the pre-party (Will Farrell made a guest appearance to introduce Patricia Clarkson as our honorary every-Muse)

A picture of my float riding down the Avenue

Mark and his fellow riders during their marching parade through the French Quarter

Jane and me on the parade route Sunday

My fabulous friends who came in town to meet Jane and enjoy their first Mardi Gras

Daddy and Jane on Mardi Gras Day!

The girls on the parade route

I have loved Mardi Gras for as long as I could remember.  During Mardi Gras, you are never too old to play pretend.  You put on your best costume and become a new character for a day.  There is a youthful innocence about the holiday that turns everyone into better version of themselves.  To see this holiday through Jane's eyes was amazing.  I feel so lucky to have one more reason to love Carnival season!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Krewe of Muses 2012: Theme Reveal and Float Sketches

Less than 24 hours to go before the Krewe of Muses takes to the streets of New Orleans!  I cannot wait to ride.  Each year I think, "Maybe this is the year that it won't be as exciting."  As it turns out, each year is just as amazing as the one before.

Our 2012 theme is...

Muses Go Shopping: Taking it to the Limit

Our parade follows the old Carnival custom of incorporating satire into our float titles.  This year, we played on the names and logos of some of our favorite stores...

Here are the sketches of our floats...
My float!  

Crooks-A-Million (our local politicians who have some hard time coming...)

Fossil (Daddy Warbucks)

Roach (Permanent New Orleans residents)

Bed, Bath, and Begone (Tribute to walks of shame and one night stands)

Airoportale (Ick!  I hate those airport xrays!)

Forever 44 (We'll never forget Superbowl 44)

Crate and Double Barrel (Pow! Pow!)

Build-an-Heir (A guide to creating your own prince or princess)

Toys 4 Us (Charlotte's favorite pet)

Adolescent and Rich (Can you smell the cologne from here?)

Things Forgotten (Paying homage to all of our city's favorite landmarks that have closed their doors)

Banana Republicans

Bald and Noble (We love Mayor Landrieu)

Wombs to Go (Surrogates Wanted)

Sayless (Sometimes less is more)

JCPenniless (Day late and a dollar short)

Bourbon Outfitters (We all love to hate the cheesy Bourbon Street tshirt shops)

Smears (It's campaign season)

Circus City (You can't please 99% of the people all of the time)

The Sharper Image (Governor Jindal's gotta keep up his image)

J Crude (I like my oysters without oil in 'em)

Sirens Float - It is truly a privilege to be a Muse

For those who will be joining us on the route, I'll be riding on the title float (#3), driver's side, bottom level, 2nd to last rider in the well.

Hail Muses!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dear Jane: Twelve Weeks of Firsts

Dear Baby Jane,

For the last twelve weeks, you have blessed our lives more than I could ever say.  To share with you all of your special moments would take as long as it did to live them.  So to help me summarize things a bit, I thought I would document your "firsts" in photos.  Here goes...

Jane's First Day Home
I had imagined this moment for a lifetime.  I remember seeing the picture of my mother on the day she and my dad took me home and thinking "that'll be me one day."  I had no idea then how incredibly special it would be to welcome a new little being into our world.  From the day you arrived, you changed our lives forever for the better.

Jane's First Thanksgiving
Just a few days after your arrival, we got to share a family tradition with you.  We watched the Macy's parade and shared a lovely meal.  We couldn't have more grateful for anything in the world than having you.

Jane's First Bath
You were just so tiny that we were convinced we'd break you!  Because you still had your cord stump, we had to give you a sponge bath.  You hated it!!  We learned that day that you do not like being cold and wet.  I learned that one of my favorite Jane activities is wrapping you up in a big towel and rocking you in my arms after your bath.  

Jane's First Christmas Tree
We were so excited to take you on an adventure to pick out your first tree.  We found just the right one.  It was tall and full and filled the house with the smell of pine.  When you and I were taking a nap, Daddy and Aunt Sissy put the tree up in its stand.  Then Daddy lit it and added the star while we watched from the couch and cheered him on.  

Jane's Meets Uncle Barnaby and Aunt Alissa
When you were two weeks old, your Godfather and Aunt Lissy came to spend the weekend here in New Orleans.  The second they saw you, it was love at first sight.  We spent the weekend doing lots of New Orleansy things.  We walked to yummy lunches and dinners, we strolled around Magazine Street, and we ended the trip with a wonderful brunch.  

Jane's First Walk in Audubon Park
I had imagined strolling you through the park since the day we found out I was pregnant.  I couldn't wait to show you the Egrets perched on moss covered trees and the steeple of Holy Name peaking through the tops of the trees.  It was so darn cold during your first two weeks that I couldn't bare to take you outside.  This day was just lovely, so Daddy and I set out to explore the park with you.  

Jane's First Christmas Tea
When I was a little girl, we would get dressed in our fanciest outfits and have high tea followed by a performance of the Nutcracker.  It is a tradition we couldn't wait to share with you.  While we skipped the Nutcracker, we were able to have tea at the Roosevelt Hotel's Teddy Bear Tea.  Santa and his reindeer were there with the Ice Princess.  Mrs. Clause read Twas the Night Before Christmas to you and the other children.  It was truly magical!

Jane's First Visit to the Roosevelt
There are few places more beautiful at Christmas than the lobby of the Roosevelt Hotel.

Jane's First Christmas Morning
Jane you are the best gift we have ever received.  You made this Christmas more special than any before it.  We woke up and exchanged gifts before heading to my parents house for lunch with your great grandparents.  Imagine that - four generations at one table - pretty special!

Jane's First Christmas

Jane's First Trip to Cafe du Monde
Jane, while on that day you ordered three ounces of Enfamil Gentleease, one day you will sit down on the green vinyl covered chairs and tell your waiter, "an order of donuts and a cafe au lait."  And about five minutes later, you will be presented with a plate of powdered sugar covered fried dough and a mug of what must be nectar of the gods.  This will be a place we go to celebrate big occasions and nothing at all!

Jane's First French Quarter Day
Well, there you have it.  You are officially a New Orleanian.  That backdrop is the fingerprint of this dear city that you call home.  Every time you see it in an ad or on television or in real life, you will find it is as beautiful as it was on that very first day you saw it.

Jane's First Visit to the Audubon Zoo
For Christmas, Daddy asked for passes to the zoo.  We couldn't wait to take you there and show you the lions, tigers, and bears.  

Jane's First Roman Candy
While you're too little to eat this now, in just a few years, you will be begging us to pull the car over whenever we see the candyman's cart to buy you some taffy.

Jane's First Trip to New York
This trip deserves its own post, and I promise to write it!  Jane you got to meet all of your aunts and uncles in the coolest city in the world.  We took you on a ton of adventures, but here you are having a girls day with Mommy's friends.  We had tea and walked through Midtown where we stopped to admire the new Laduree on Madison Avenue.

Jane's First Muses Float Viewing
Jane we could not wait for you to get to learn more about Mardi Gras!!  It is our favorite of all of the seasons.  You got to go with us to see Mommy's float and to see the rest of the Muses floats.

Jane's First Float Viewing
Mommy was showing you the view from my spot on the float.  I was teaching you how to say "Throw me somethin' sister!"  My hope is that when you are old enough, you will get to join me in this incredible Mardi Gras tradition and ride in Muses.

Jane's First Parade
Jane, this was the big moment we had been waiting for.  It was a chilly day, so we bundled you and and head to St. Charles Avenue.  There you saw float and bands and beads and doubloons for the very first time.  I can't imagine what it is like to see and hear those things for the first time, but getting to see it through your eyes makes me think it is spectacular.

Jane's First Parade
Daddy is showing you the Krewe of Pontchartrain.  We think you loved it!

Jane's First Valentine's Day
Jane, from the moment we saw you, you stole our hearts.  While it is nice to have a day set aside to acknowledge those we love, we want you to know, that there is not a moment that passes that we don't love you.  Mommy and Daddy love each other very much, and together, we love you more.  You are our Valentine.

There are a million firsts and a million milestones it feels like I am leaving out.  One of the things I struggle with the most is living in those moments versus documenting them.  I hope you know that the moments not shared here (like your first big smile, the first time you clasped your hands, the first time you rolled onto your side) are all just as special.  We cannot wait for all of the moments we'll share together from here on out.

Mommy and Daddy


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