Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Exciting Announcement for Moms

In just six short days, moms, grandmoms, and moms-to-be will have access to a fantastic new resource.  The New Orleans moms' blog will be launching!!!  You can click HERE to follow along.

I have been asked to be a contributing writer!!  I am looking forward to sharing the challenges and rewards of being Jane's mom.  

Whether you're a mom in New Orleans or a mom in New York, I think you'll find that the diverse group of women have so much to share. 

I hope you'll join the other moms and me as we embark on this amazing adventure!!!

You can also like us on Facebook to see sneak peaks of upcoming posts and giveaways.  Click HERE!!

What would you like to hear about as a reader?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bunny and Jane are headed to St. Louis!

Before we moved to Beaufort for Mark's US Navy commitment, I had never lived outside of New Orleans and without my family for more than three weeks.  The thought of leaving behind the city and the people I loved so much crushed me.

Thankfully, what we found in Beaufort was a home away from home and friends who became our family.  One of the very first couples to welcome us into their family were the B's.  We became fast friends and shared many evenings in their living room eating delicious meals and playing board games and reading Pajama Time.  When they moved back home to their beloved St. Louis, a little part of us left too.

Today, we are headed there to see them and to introduce Jane to their children.  Bunny is coming along too!  Their daughter E received a Bunny when she was a little baby, and she mailed one just like hers to Jane when she was born.  I cannot wait for both bunnies and both girls to get together!  I also cannot wait to see their little guy, T.  He is the only Saints fan in St. Louis and I love him for that!!!

And of course, I cannot wait to see Dr. and Mrs. B!  Knowing them made moving to Beaufort complete.  From them, we learned how to be the kind of parents we wanted to be.  They are amazing, and I cannot wait to see what this weekend has in store!!

Hope you enjoy yours!  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

HELP: We've got a skeeter situation

When I'm rocking Jane to sleep at night, I like to tell her little things about how much I love her.  Like, "Jane, I would love you even if you wore socks on your ears and earmuffs on your toes to keep warm."  Or, "Jane, I would love you even if you decided you hated Mardi Gras and loved the Atlanta Falcons."  Or, "Jane, I would love you even if you were green and were covered in polka dots."

Well, my silly little banter backfired, because as of yesterday, Jane was indeed covered in dots.  The dots I speak of are care of the terrible, awful skeeter situation we have here in New Orleans.  With no winter freeze, they are worse than ever!  The second we step outside, they swarm around Jane.  I counted ten bites including one on the bottom of her foot and one on her ear...

We've got this bug repellant sunscreen from Whole Foods, but it turns her into a citronella candle and doesn't seem to do anything.

Readers. I NEED YOUR HELP!!!

What do you use to keep these icky pests away?  What do you use to help your little one once they've been attacked?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tasty Tuesdays: The Best (and Easiest) Baked Beans Ever

Photo and Recipe Courtesy of The Pioneer Woman

I am an Olympics FANatic!  I love the pomp and circumstance, I love the athletic competition, and I love the human interest stories.  So to celebrate the upcoming games, I have been up to some party planning!!  I am helping to host an international luncheon at my office where we have all been asked to bring a dish from our country of origin, a country we admire, or a country whose food is just plain yummy!  I am also hosting an All American Olympic Opening Ceremonies Celebration for a few friends.  
Here's the thing...  I need to make a delicious dish representing the Grand Ole US of A, but I will be at a conference in Vegas and returning in the wee hours of the morning on Thursday.  So, I have to make a dish packed with fabulous flavors for both parties that can be whipped up in a hurry on Thursday night.  
When I'm in a food prep pickle I find that the Pioneer Woman always has a solution.  For Memorial Day, I made her baked beans and couldn't believe how incredible they were.  They loved up to their name and were without a doubt the Best Baked Beans Ever!!!
Quick Southern-Style Baked Beans
recipe by Pam Anderson
Serves up to 18
8 slices bacon, halved
1 medium onion, cut into small dice
1/2 medium green pepper, cut into small dice
3 large cans (28 ounces each) pork and beans
3/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup distilled or cider vinegar
2 teaspoons dry mustard or 2 tablespoons Dijon
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Fry bacon in large, deep sauté pan skillet until bacon has partially cooked and released about 1/4 cup drippings. Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels. Add onions and peppers to drippings in pan and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add beans and remaining ingredients bring to a simmer. (If skillet is not large enough, add beans and heat to a simmer then transfer to a large bowl and stir in remaining ingredients). Pour flavored beans into a greased 13-by 9-inch (or similar size) ovenproof pan. Top with bacon, then bake until beans are bubbly and sauce is the consistency of pancake syrup, about 2 hours. Let stand to thicken slightly and serve.

I think they are definitely a gold medal dish!!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Drew Dat!!!

Ever wonder what one hundred million dollars gets ya? 

It gets you this guy right here!!!!!

It's about dang time we got some good Saints related news.  I could not be happier that we have our leader back. 

What a great way to start the weekend!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Meet my new best friend...

Recently, I have had several AMAZING cocktails that listed elderflower liquor as an ingredient.  I decided to go out on a limb and buy a bottle of St. Germain.  Aside from Mark's occasional old fashion adventure, we don't typically dabble in mixology in our house.  But, I had become so addicted to the sweet and floral notes of elderflower liquor that I had to have it nearby at all times!

My go to spirit is to drop a little bit of St. Germain in a glass and top it off with a screw top bottle of Prosecco.  However, their website lists lots of new and exciting ways to incorporate this goodness into a glass.

Here a few I can't wait to try soon...

Have you tried elderflower liquor?  What's your favorite way to drink it?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tasty Tuesdays: Delightfully Fresh Mozzarella Watermelon Salad with Purple Basil

Having spent almost a week without seeing my parents, we were eager to spend time with them when we returned home from Beaufort Monday aftermoon.  We figured the best thing would be to have them over for dinner.  The trick was to find a low maintenance meal we could make that would allow us to keep Jane busy and unpack and reorganize after the trip.  Mark decided he'd like to smoke some ribs, so I decided to take on the sides.  We had two amazing side dishes at our friend's Fourth of July gathering that fit the bill.  The first was a grilled corn (I roasted it), tomato and avocado salad with a cilantro vinaigrette, and the second was a fresh mozzarella, watermelon, and basil salad.  Both were excellent and perfect to prepare ahead of time and bring out when my folks arrived. 

The watermelon salad is amazing!  I've tried several other, and this is by far the best.  I like that the flavor of the mozz does not take over the salad the way that feta can.  The basil added a certain herbacious goodness that was just right.  I must confess that I cubed rather than balled my watermelon to save time.  I also omitted the scallions.  Next time, I;m going to serve them on the side because I do think they'll add a nice punch for those interested.

Next time you're looking for an easy, healthy, and completely enjoyable side dish, this one's got your name all over it!

Fresh Mozzarella Watermelon Salad with Purple Basil


2 cups seeded small watermelon balls
2 cups fresh mozzarella pieces
1 cup chopped fresh basil (purple or green)
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
1 dash basalmic vinegar as desired


Toss together the watermelon, mozzarella, basil, scallions and oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over a bed of baby greens with crostini on the sides. Drizzle a bit of balsamic vinegar over if desired.

Servings: Serves 6 to 8

Monday, July 9, 2012

Jane's First Fourth

I hope you all had a wonderful Fourth of July.  We spent ours with our Beaufort family (when you're in the military, you're friends are your family!).  It was truly the most wonderful vacation.  I wish I could share lots of pics with you, but Mark's bag got stuck in Savannah, and our camera was in it...  

Here's a few phone shots from the weekend...
Waiting to board the plane.  

She's very proud of her ability to pull her bow off...

Happily having lunch with Aunt Silvia.

This is my favorite picture of Jane to date.  Could you get any more relaxed?  What else does a girl need at the beach than a stylish suit, a big floppy hat, and a bottle of the finest vintage (of Enfamil, of course).

Hope your 4th was fabulous!

Monday, July 2, 2012

The ABC's of Me

We are preparing for a trip to Beaufort, SC to go "back home."  It is the only place in the world I want to be celebrating the 4th of July!  With lots of packing left to do, I thought I'd post a fun little game that tells you a little about me!
A. Age: 31
B. Bed size: Queen
C. Chore you dislike: Hmmm...  this should read, "chore you like."  Then I could name just one.  I guess if I had to name one, I'd say folding Jane's clothes.
D. Dogs:  One fabulous little pug named Beignet.
E. Essential start to your day: Seeing Jane's smiling face when we enter her room. It melts my heart and makes me late for work almost daily.
F. Favorite colors: black with pops of color, but recently navy
G. Gold or silver: Gold 
H. Height: 5'7"
I. Instruments you play(ed): None, but I wish I could play the fiddle
J. Job title: CPA
K. Kids: Jane, 7 months
L. Live: New Orleans, LA
M. Mom’s name: Yolande
N. Nicknames: Jen, Duck
O. Overnight hospital stays: Jane's arrival
P. Pet peeves: People who are rude to waiters and picky eaters
Q. Quote from a movie: Fooooorrreeeverrr "The Sandlot"
R. Righty or lefty: Right.
S. Siblings: A sister, Stephanie, and a half-brother, Matt
T. Time you wake up: 6:15
U. Underwear: A lady never tells
V. Vegetables you don’t like: Carrots.  Ick!  I can't even smell them.
W. What makes you run late: Trying to do one last little thing while running out the door...
X. X-rays you’ve had: My wrist.  
Y. Yummy food you make: I would say my gumbo and my roast beefs po-boys are pretty darn tasty.
Z. Zoo animal you like: The monkeys!
Have a great night!


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