Thursday, May 31, 2012

Finding My Center

Since Jane's arrival in late November, in many ways, I have never felt more personally fulfilled.  However, I couldn't help but feel that I struggled daily to keep everything together.  My closet was a total disaster.  Why?  Probably because I have yet to really commit to a post-baby diet leaving me to find an outfit or two I can squeeze into and everything else on the floor.  I had stopped cooking meals from scratch, and I found every excuse not to exercise.  I felt like I had just given up and had lost control of my health, and honestly, myself.  

Until this week, that is...  I decided to completely clean up my closet.  It sounds like a small step, but it was the first step into getting back on the right track.  I started counting my points again, and I will weigh in next Wednesday.  Most importantly, I took my first pilates reformer class in more than two years.  It was AMAZING!!!!

I first took pilates in Beaufort with one of my best friends and the world's best trainer.  It was one hour every other day that I looked forward to from the moment I woke up.  This year for Christmas, my parents got me a gift card to Romney Pilates, and I couldn't think of anything better to reset my mind and my body.  

Tonight, I went back for my second session at Romney, and I think, no, I know, that this is what I was missing.  I needed to find an outlet that allowed me to close my eyes and focus on me.  I know that sounds ridiculously selfish, but I think I have tried to focus on everything but me assuming that's what good parents do.  But, somewhere in there, I lost myself.  And in two brief, but very important, hours, I found my center.  And I found my motivation to get back to normal.  And it feels really, really good. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tasty Tuesdays - Zucchini Oven Chips

I have mentioned before how much I love getting our weekly produce from the Hollygrove Market and Farm.  They are open Tuesdays from 2-6 and Saturdays from 10-2.  We are among the Saturday crowd.  I get my basket of produce for $25 and spend Sunday lining up recipes that call for what's in the box.  This upcoming Saturday's box will feature:

-Plums or Nectarines (Jones Farms, AL)
-Peaches (Jones Farms, AL)
-Blueberries (Poplarville, MS)
-Shiitakes (MSNP, MS)
-Zucchini (Monica's Okra World, Garyville, LA)
-Yellow Squash (Grow Dat Youth Farm (NOLA)/Monica's Okra Word (Garyville, LA))
-Eggplant (Hungarian Settlement, LA)
-Microgreens (NOLA)
-Bell Peppers (Hungarian Settlement, LA)
-Cherry Tomatoes (Ponchatoula, LA)
-Red Potatoes (Holden, LA)
-Grits/Rice (LA)

I thought this recipe for zucchini oven chips would be a perfect use of some fresh zucchini.  


  • 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free milk
  • 2 1/2 cups (1/4-inch-thick) slices zucchini (about 2 small) 
  • Cooking spray 

  • Preparation
  • Preheat oven to 425°.

  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Place milk in a shallow bowl. Dip zucchini slices in milk, and dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Place coated slices on an ovenproof wire rack coated with cooking spray; place rack on a baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes or until browned and crisp. Serve immediately.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Happy Six Month Birthday Sweet Baby Jane

Dearest Jane,

On November 21, 2011, as I held you in my arms for the very first time, I knew I had never loved anything so instantaneously and so completely.  Tonight, exactly six months later, as I held you in my arms before you drifted off to dreamland, I know in my heart that I love you more today than ever before.  And I will love you tomorrow more than I did today.

Six months ago, when I looked down at you, I slipped my finger in your tightly clenched hand and imagined all of the moments that you and I would spend together, hand and hand.  Tonight, as I held your bottle, you looked up at me and reached up and purposefully wrapped your chubby little fingers around mine.  And my heart melted.

You are my sweet, precious baby girl.  I wake up every day looking forward to the moment when I see your little face and hold you close to me.  I cannot wait to kiss your cheeks and blow bubbles on your tummy.  I live to see you smile and hear you laugh.

Jane, you have made these last six months the greatest time in mommy and daddy's lives.  We have never been happier than we have been with you here in our family.  Thank you for being the amazing person you are!








May 21, 2012 - six month birthday "rice cereal cake"
Jane had her first bite of real food on her six month birthday.  We served it in her fancy baby china and even lit a candle and sang the birthday song.

She didn't exactly love rice cereal...

But she loved eating like a big girl!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Trendy Wednesday: In the Navy

A few weeks back New Orleans celebrated New Orleans Navy Week 2012.  It has been close to two years since we left the Navy and Beaufort, SC to return home, and I miss seeing men and women in uniform every day.  Seeing them enjoying my home town was for the week was so exciting.  Part of the celebration included a few "tall ships" being docked along the Mississippi River.  The final Saturday of Navy Week, Mark and I took Jane down to the Quarter to see the tall ships up close.  They were incredible to see in person.  

I was just looking back through our Navy Week photos, and I couldn't help but think about how much navy I added to my wardrobe this spring, like this first dress...  I've added a few other items that I am coveting heading into summer.

This dress is so comfy and incredibly flattering!

The scalloped pattern is so feminine, and the dress would be perfect for a summer soiree!

I snagged this incredible dress today!  It is precious and so well priced.

This top over white skinny jeans would be fabulous!!

If only my legs looked like this in shorts...  I'd certainly add these to my shopping cart.

I feel like cute navy shoes can be hard to come by, but this spring they are abundant.  These happen to be my very favorite!

This belt would be a huge splurge, but it is such a classic look that it would last forever!

I love a good cuff.  This one is the perfect accessory to any navy-inspired outfit.

Here are Jane and Mark by the tall ships.  She loved showing off her sailor dress while Daddy sported his Navy sweatshirt.

Monday, May 14, 2012

What I'm Watching - The Bachelorette

I just can't help myself!  I cannot get enough of this series...  And of all of the women who've vied for the love of The Bachelor, Emily Maynard is my favorite.  

I don't know that I'd go about finding love on The Bachelorette, but I know thing, I'll find myself parked in front of the couch every Monday from here on out!!

Are you watching?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tasty Tuesdays - Weight Watchers Cookies and Cream Milkshake

I have the sweetest sweet tooth in the world.  That makes dieting a little tricky.  I am always looking for low-cal/full flavor ways to satisfy my sweet tooth.  Pinterest can be a wonderful resource when you need a recipe idea that meets these criteria.  I have made "frozen banana" ice cream which is AMAZING!!!  I am going to try making dried strawberries this weekend.  I am also highly excited about a weight watcher recipe I found on Pinterest for a Cookies and Cream Milkshake.  I LOVE cookies and cream ice cream, and the closet thing I can find to it that's diet friendly is Skinny Cow bars.  I thought this milkshake would "shake up" our light and tasty sweet treat recipe list.  

For you point counters, 3/4 cup is 4 points!  Not too bad!!

Cookies and Cream Milkshakes

Monday, May 7, 2012

When I think of Mondays...

How, oh how, is it Monday already?!  Even though we had the laziest Sunday we've had since Jane arrived, I still feel like the weekend zoomed on by.  I hated getting out of bed this morning and kissing Jane's sweet little cheeks goodbye.  On my way out the door, I got a little sad when I thought about the five days that have to go by for me to spend my day with her again. 

And it was in the middle of that sad thought that I told myself to snap out of it.  I can't change the work week, but I sure can change how I see it.  I decided to think of all of the good things that come to mind when I think about the start of a new week...

When I think of Mondays, I think of football.   Which makes me think of my favorite season of all, the fall...

When I think of Mondays, I think of spending time with my colleauges.  Which makes me think of happy hours and fancy drinks like this...

When I think of Mondays, I think of getting organized.  Which makes me think of my love for office supplies...

When I think of Mondays, I think of starting fresh at work. Which makes me think of freshly cut flowers...

When I think of Mondays, I think of starting off on the right foot. Which makes me think of how lovely these are...

When I think of Mondays, I think of a clean slate.  Which makes me think of this gorgeous gray room...

When I think of Mondays, I think of new beginnings.  Which makes me think of my Sweet Baby Jane. 

Happy Monday.  I hope you are off to a great start to your week!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tasty Tuesdays: Lightened Up BLT Pasta

Last week, I had one of my Delta Gamma advisees over for dinner to discuss our plans for the 2012 new member season.  I wanted to serve her something warm and inviting and perfectly home cooked.  I remember missing home cooked food so much in college.  However, I needed to keep my weight watchers goals in mind.  I went back and forth on what to make before settling on a BLT pasta and a big salad.  Weight watchers and BLT pasta, you're asking!  Why, yes.  It's possible.  Below is the original recipe with my changes in parenthesis...
  • 12 slices of bacon, divided (six slices of lean center cut bacon - Whole Foods butchers can help you get the leanest slices available)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2-14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 12 oz uncooked linguine pasta (I used whole wheat bowtie pasta)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh parsley, chopped (I used basil from my dad's garden)
  • 4 oz cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat)
  • 1 oz Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Halved grape tomatoes (1 pint)
Slice the bacon cross wise into strips.  Cook in a large skillet with high sides for 8-9 minutes, or until crisp.  Remove bacon and drain on paper towels.  Drain skillet, leaving 1 tbsp of bacon drippings in the skillet.
Place broth and diced tomatoes in a large bowl.  Microwave, covered, on high for 6-8 minutes or until hot.  Return skillet to heat and add onion and red pepper flakes.  Saute for 2-3 minutes or until tender.  Add garlic and cook for 10-20 seconds.  Add broth mixture, pasta, salt and half of the cooked bacon.  Simmer covered for 9-10 minutes or until pasta is almost cooked by still firm.  Stir occasionally.
Remove skillet from heat and add cubed cream cheese, grape tomatoes and parsley, reserving 1 tbsp of parsley for garnish.  Cover and let stand for 5 minutes or until pasta is tender and sauce is thickened.  Serve with remaining bacon, grated Parmesan cheese and reserved parsley.


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