Thursday, January 26, 2012

Dear Jane: Big Lights Will Inspire You

Dear Jane,

Let's hear it for New York!  Tomorrow, Daddy and I are taking you on a trip to New York City.  There you will get to see your Nana, Uncle Barn and Aunt Alissa, Uncle Tommy and Aunt Jen, and Aunt Marie again.  You have grown so much since you last saw them.  You will also get to meet your Uncle Gabe and Aunt Liz, Uncle Trevor and Aunt Alexis, and Aunt Kat.  Most exciting, you will get to meet your brand new cousin, Connor.  I get butterflies in my tummy when I think about how special it will be for you to meet all of these wonderful people.  I love that your world, which is already so full of love, will grow even more full.

Janey, New York is a place you have to experience to truly understand it.  It is a magical wonderland that comes alive the second your feet hit the ground.  It's hard to describe, little one.  When you walk the streets of New York, you can feel the energy of the city running through you.  From Central Park to the Highline and from Fifth Avenue to Bleecker Street your eyes will dance with the lights of the city.  I cannot wait for you to get to experience it for the first time.  I know you will never remember this trip, but we will always remember your it.

There is no place in the world more inspiring than New York.  I can't wait to see your sweet face light up when you see it!

Mommy and Daddy

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Trendy Wednesday - Bathing Beauty

In my opinion there is nothing more wonderful than a long hot bath.  Since having Jane, I have taken baths as often as possible.  I love my time with her, but every once in a while I take advantage of daddy/daughter time and sneak off to enjoy a moment of solitude.  Here are a few tips I have found helpful in creating the best bath time experience.

Who doesn't love the luxury of a bubble bath?  With the Laura Mercier almond coconut honey milk bath, you simply swirl the honey dipper into the product and place under running bath water.  The scent is divine!

Bath Salts
A bath is the perfect time to exfoliate your skin.  If you're taking time to relax and renew your soul, you might as well renew your body's glow!  This product pairs so well with the milk bath mentioned above.

I like to turn the bathroom lights off and light a candle or two.  Their glow is so peaceful, and they add another dimension of fragrance.  My candle of choice is the Capri Blue Jar Candle in Volcano.  It has the essences of sugared oranges, limes, lemons, and tropical fruits.  It reminds me of being in a spa in Mexico or the Bahamas.  The second it starts burning, I drift away to a tropical paradise.

Rolled Towel
For ultimate comfort, I like to roll a hand towel into a pillow to rest my head on.  I recently went to the Ritz Carlton spa here in New Orleans care of a birthday gift from my parents.  It is truly the most wonderful, heavenly place in town.  There is absolutely nothing softer than their towels.  Next time I'm there, I'm going to get some from their spa store.  You can get them online if you don't have one nearby.

I have not always been a fan of lotion.  I found it would leave me feeling sticky and oily.  And then I discovered Bliss Spa's Vanilla and Bergamot Body Butter.  I  would lather this stuff on ten times a day if I could afford to.  It has all the creaminess of other butters but leaves your skin feeling light and soft.  There is certainly a fragrance to it, but it is never over powering.  It's the perfect end to your bath.

Comfy PJs
Right before I had Jane, I stopped by the intimates shop, Basics Underneath, around the corner from our house to pick out sleepwear for my post-delivery hospital stay.  The best advice they gave me was to find something colorful rather than something black.  The store owner said that while black is often thought of as the more flattering option, something colorful adds vibrancy and joy to your whole outlook.  I left with a fabulous turquoise knit gown and this adorable Missoni-inspired robe.  It is incredibly comfortable and so playful.  I was so happy I chose something I really loved that I could wear in the delivery room and enjoy slipping on after each relaxing bath I get to enjoy!

Of course there is no bath time better than Jane's.  What is it about baby baths that are absolutely adorable.  After her baths, I snuggle Jane up in her ducky robe, and we rock in her glider until she is warm and cozy.  I think it is my favorite Jane activity.

Do you have any favorite bath time suggestions?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Girls Night In

I'm sure that after my maternity leave ends and  I go back to work I will not feel this way, but for the last few weeks, I can honestly say that Monday is my favorite day of the week.  While I love our time spent as a family, there's something very special about the time I spend alone with Jane.  After busy weekends, Mondays seem to give the two of us a quiet time to catch up.  

Mondays also give the two of us two reasons to stay in, cuddle up together on the couch, and get our fill of girly drama.  

I know its stale and they keep reusing the same "characters" over and over again, but I cannot help but watch The Bachelor.  Even when I'm not really enthralled with the candidates, it sucks me in.  And two weeks ago, without fail, I surrendered my Monday evenings to Bachelor Ben and his lovely ladies.  

DSS should probably come and take Jane for me subjecting her to this kind of television, but I take it as a learning opportunity and tell her things like "Janey, you do not need to measure your worth by a man," "Janey, rather than tear down other women, let's try to build them up,"  and finally, "Janey, if Mommy knows you are accepting a key to anything called a fantasy suite you better believe I will be on the next plane there to drag you from that den of sin!"

After wrapping up two hours of dates and rose ceremonies, I then quickly turn to my favorite network, Bravo, to watch the drama of Beverly Hills unfold.  I imagine tonight's finale will be incredibly sad as the ladies talk about the passing of Russell, Taylor's husband.  It has been very interesting to see how they have treated that very sensitive subject this season.  I hope for her that after this episode airs, she can find some closure in this chapter of her life.  I also think this episode will be filled with joy as a result of Pandora's nuptials.  I am sure that Lisa will stop at nothing to make it the grandest celebration in all of Beverly Hills.  

Will you be watching either of these guilty pleasures?  What's your guiltiest of television pleasures?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Trendy Wednesday - Ballet Flats

A few years ago, I started getting cramps in my feet every few days.  I figured it was a result of wearing ridiculously high pumps to work.  I was willing to suffer for fashion until I found that the cramps were waking me up in the middle of the night.  While I wasn't ready to give up on the addition four inches of height that my heels provided, I did decide to wear a pair of flats every so often.  The good news is that designers are creating flats with so much character and charm that they really can add something sweet to an outfit.  And as a girl who took ballet for most of her life, I have to say that there's something special about throwing on a pair of ballet flats that takes me back to my dancing days. 

Here are a few pairs that I am loving...

I love the blush tone and the sweet little diamond bows!

I love this two-toned pair.  They feel very Chanel without the hefty price tag!

I love ankle straps on any shoes, but on ballet flats, I find them pure perfection.

Again, I am drawn to the ankle strap flat.

The color combo of apple green and navy is just adorable.  These would add the perfect pop of color to jeans and a white tee.

This pair covers two trends in one - ballet flats and animal prints!

This would be my big splurge pair.  I love the belt details.  The handbag that matches these is GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!!

I think Jane will love all of these when she gets to be a big girl, but for now, she seems pretty happy in her ballet flat tights!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tasty Tuesdays: Honey-Glazed Pork with Wilted Greens

It is hard to believe that Jane turned 8 weeks old yesterday.  Most days I feel like we were just seeing her ultrasound image for the first time.  When I found out I was pregnant last spring, I promised myself that I would try to be as healthy as possible throughout my pregnancy.  I ate well, drank a lot of water, and did something active daily until I was about 37 weeks.  I was lucky in that my weight gain was relatively low, and I lost most of it right after Jane's delivery.  Within the first few weeks, I had shed the 27 pounds I gained while pregnant.  Now, comes the tough part.  I need to lose the ten to fifteen pounds I had been promising myself I would lose before getting pregnant.  Because of a post-delivery complication, I have been unable to exercise.    So eating healthy has been my main focus.  Recently, I've been eating bananas for breakfast, salads for lunch, and trying to have a lean protein paired with veggies for dinner.   I love this recipe for honey-glazed pork with wilted greens because it is an easy to prepare meal that is both flavorful and colorful.  I find that a plate appears boring makes me feel like I am missing out on eating what I really want, but when I see a plate full of color, I am more excited about dinner.  I hope you find this dish tasty and satisfying.  (And I hope that I find the motivation to keep on keeping on and lose a few pounds each week so I go back to work and enter tax season feeling great!)

  Honey-Glazed Pork with Greens


  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon plus 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 3/4 pounds pork tenderloin (about 2)
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced lengthwise into thin strips
  • 1/2 head escarole, cut into 2-inch strips
  • 1/2 pound spinach, washed well


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together 1 teaspoon mustard, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 2 tablespoons honey, garlic, rosemary, and 2 teaspoons oil.
  2. Place pork tenderloins in a shallow baking dish; pour glaze over pork, turning to coat evenly. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt; season with pepper.
  3. Roast in oven, spooning glaze over pork occasionally, until thickest part of pork reaches 155 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven; let rest until pork reaches 160 degrees, about 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, make vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine remaining 2 tablespoons honey, 1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar, and 1 teaspoon mustard. Whisk until honey is dissolved. Slowly whisk in 1 tablespoon oil until emulsified. Whisk in any accumulated cooking juices from baking dish, if desired.
  5. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a 12-inch saute pan over medium-high heat. Add fennel, escarole, spinach, and a splash of water; cook until greens are slightly wilted, about 1 1/2 minutes.
  6. Add vinaigrette and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to pan, stirring just to coat greens, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat; divide among four serving plates. Slice pork about 1/2 inch thick; arrange alongside greens. Serve immediately.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Golden Girls - My Favorites from the Golden Globes

Jane and I had our first mother/daughter awards show night last night.  I think she loved it as much as I did.  Like most people we enjoyed Ricky Gervais's witty puns and the winners touching speeches, but we were really in it for the fashion!

Here are my favorite looks...

From head to toe, she is my winner.   I thought she was just so perfectly styled.  

I loved the color of Jessica Alba's gown.  I couldn't find a close up, but her earrings were to die for!

I know that the nude color washes her out, but this dress is just glamorous.  If I was getting married, I think I would want my wedding gown to look just like this but in a cream color.

While I don't love her purple hair, I do love this dress.  The shoulders look great on her frame and accent her narrow waist.

She absolutely wins "best train."  I love the shape and texture of the gown!

I think this is the best she has looked in a long time.  The dress pops off the carpet and is perfectly accented by her red lips and satin bag.  Gorgeous!

You'd never know that she once headlined the wrestling circuit.  I thought she looked classy and stunning in this dress.  I'm hoping their relationship lasts through the rest of award season so we can continue to see her in dresses like this one!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Not at All Saints Day

Well, yesterday was simply not our day.  It's hard to win a game when you turn the ball over five times.  I applaud the Saints for hanging in there and coming about a minute and a half away from giving us one dramatic victory.  

I think we're all stick in a bit of shock after the defeat.  Getting us through the close of this year is the faithful anthem "there's always next year."  And the thing is that next year our fair city will be hosting the NFL's biggest game.  I think we are primed to be the first team to host and play in a Superbowl.  Next year is certainly worth waiting for!!

Here's a few pics of the best little Saints fan in Who Dat Nation...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Baby, it's cold outside!

After a warm week last week, Mother Nature has brought us some chilly weather for the weekend.  While summer clothes are fun and flirty, there is something about winter clothing that feels so elegant and timeless.  These are two looks I saw on Pinterest that I am dying over.  They make me want this weather to stick around for a while!

Isn't this coat gorgeous?!  I would love to know who makes it if anyone has any ideas!!

This look is so simple and so put together.  And her hair is spectacular.  

The other thing I love about winter is how cute Jane looks all snuggled up in her "Snug as a Bug" sack.  

Hope you find something stylish or snuggly to keep you warm!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tasty Tuesdays: Lemon Wedge Jello Shots

Photo and Recipe Courtesy of E is for Eat

I don't know about yall, but all I can think about is the sports week ahead of us here in New Orleans.  It all starts tonight with the Sugar Bowl.  There are tons of Michigan and Virginia Tech fans swarming the city.  I love watching all of the coverage of sporting events hosted here.  The city always looks its very best.  

By this weekend, there will be black and gold as far as the eye can see.  The Saints take on the Lions Saturday  night on prime time in the wild card playoff game.  I spent the evening adding a little black and gold flourish to a gold sequin fedora I plan to wear to the game.  Who dat!!!!

And on Monday, the most hyped rematch in college football history will pair LSU against Alabama.  It'll be a home game for the bayou bengals.  Geaux Tigers!

With all of these visions of tailgates dancing in my head, I could not help but share a clever twist on a tailgating staple - the jello shot.  First of all, the presentation couldn't be cuter, and the thought of turning a traditional lemon jello shot up a notch by using sweet tea vodka or whipped cream vodka is just fantastic!

Lemon Meringue or Arnold Palmer Jello Shots

Use lemon peels as vessels for two delicious lemon jello shot combinations.


6-10 lemons (depending on size)
1 (3 ounce) package of lemon jello (I used sugar free)
1 cup boiling water
3/4 cup vodka (use whipped cream vodka for lemon meringue, use sweet tea vodka for Arnold Palmers, or use citrus vodka for classic lemon drops)**
1/4 cup cold water*
*to make stronger shots, use a full cup of vodka and omit the cold water


Cut each lemon in half, and carefully juice them without tearing the peel. (Save the juice for another recipe or a marinade).

Hollow out each half, taking care not to puncture the peel. Place the halves in a muffin pan to help keep them stabilized while setting.

Make the jello according to package directions, except in place of the cup of cold water, substitute 3/4 cup of whipped cream vodka (for lemon meringue) or sweet tea vodka (for Arnold Palmers), along with 1/4 cup of cold water. Transfer to something with a pouring spout (such as a liquid measuring cup) to make for easier filling. Fill each lemon half and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Once the jello is completely set, use a sharp knife to slice into wedges and serve.

**(Note: the photos are of the Lemon Meringue flavor. Because of the "tea" color of the sweet tea vodka, the Arnold Palmers will have more of a golden/reddish hue to them).

Monday, January 2, 2012

Jane's Newborn Photo Session with Twirl Photography

Well, hello blogger!  I have missed you.  My computer decided to take a winter break and freeze (literally) to death.  You know when you see that rainbow circle swirling around that you're in trouble.  It was stuck in limbo for the last ten days.  We finally figured out how to solve the problem, and I feel so relieved to have access to the world of blogging again.  

I have been meaning to share some of Jane's photos from her newborn photo session with the lovely, talented, and wonderfully patient Jennifer Zdon of Twirl Photography.  Jennifer spent three hours with us on Jane's fifth day of life to help us document how sweet those early moments are.  Jennifer has a way of soothing a baby into the most peaceful and restful sleep and also making moms and dads feel completely at ease during the session.  She captured moments of Jane that we will treasure forever.  Jane has grown so much already since her session making me so incredibly grateful to Jennifer for the time she spent with our family.  I cannot wait for her to join us again when Jane turns six months old!!

This is Jane's birth announcement photo!

Jane in the blanket her Nana made for her.

Jane and her Daddy

Jane and her Mommy

I will never have to forget just how small her little finger were...

I could look at these all day!

To check out more of Jennifer's photos, please visit her website

Tasty Tiger Treats

My sister has been busy in the kitchen baking up cake balls for some LSU Tiger fans who are already planning their tailgates for next week's BCS Championship.  

Here in New Orleans and looking for the perfect thing to bring to your tailgate?  Checkout her facebook page for flavor options and ordering information!!!  


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