"I've discovered that my own little postage stamp of native soil was worth writing about and that I would never live long enough to exhaust it."
- William Faulkner




Wednesday, March 31, 2010

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?

* Some of these hysterical wine tags. (spotted on A Cup of Jo!)

* That when I tweeted a celeb, they would tweet me back!

* Big, beautiful ferns for my front porch. And some pretty flower pots, too.

* That someone would please explain Justin Beiber to me.

* This sweet little bicycle dress. I’m in love!

What’s your wish?

Monday, March 29, 2010

massive

I suppose I should be thankful for my big hair. I've had it all my life, and I've fought it for most of that time, too. Even my mom fought it until I was about 12, when I first began blow-drying it straight on my own. Since then, I've spend (probably) hundreds - if not thousands - of dollars on products trying to smooth it, straighten it, shine it and tame it. I've always dreamed of the elusive wash-and-go style, but sadly, it doesn't seem like it's in the cards for me. I'm not going to say that I'm ok with it just yet, but I'm working on it.

That said, I'm always on the hunt for the perfect product. Since MK convinced me to embrace the curl, I've been exposed to a myriad of new creams, gels and oils claiming to give me the perfect twisties. Problem is: I have horse mane for hair. It's long, coarse and makes an enormous ponytail. This is where you come in my friends! If you have a product you just adore that you think might work for me, don't keep it to yourself. Help a sister out!

Hope you had a good weekend! Until next time, America...

Friday, March 26, 2010

finally friday

Please note the shoes these little kiddies have on... I have on my TOMS today too! If you're not familiar with these comfy ground-grabbers, you can read about them here and buy them here or here... (PS - the founder is so darn cute I can barely stand it.)

What are your plans this weekend? I'm heading down to Natchez for a work conference, so I may or may not be appearing back here on the blog until Wish List Wednesday (wouldn't miss that of course). Don't forget about me while I'm gone. Promise?

Have a great one, friends.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?

* A new coffee table. Let me rephrase: a new cool coffee table.

* That for one day, TV stations would agree to air only old school commercials like this one

* That Ray LaMontagne would make a concert tour stop near me.

* Suggestions on an easy, savory, pick-up app recipe… Help me out here, peeps!

* These shoes for spring. Stop it right now with that adorable yellow! (thanks a lot, MK for getting me hooked on Frye…)

What’s your wish?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

birthday girls

Happy birthday to my very first friends!

Harris’s 25th birthday was Sunday, and I neglected to post about it. (Sorry, sis.) She’s about as stylish as they come, so check out her blog for fashion and beauty tips. I love her more every day, even though it took us growing up and moving apart to really appreciate each other.

And today is Laura’s birthday! I met yaya in the two-year-old nursery at church, and we’ve been friends ever since (the above picture is from our kindergarten play – I was Little Bo Peep, and she was Little Miss Muffet). In fact, I was at her 4th birthday party when my mom came home from the hospital with little Harris. We probably couldn’t be much more different than we are, but it totally works for us. Love you, yaya!

“A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.” Proverbs 27:9

Monday, March 22, 2010

boo hoo


Between the blasted Health Care bill passing (Pelosi makes me want to vom) and Greg Byrne leaving by dear Mississippi State and the dreary weather outside, I am way depressed. Got any good news out there to cheer me up?
I hope your weekend was better than my Monday.

Friday, March 19, 2010

tgif

(photo from youaremyfave)

I don't know about y'all, but this has been a crazy long week. I've been thinking it was Friday for about 2 days, but thankfully it's finally here.

If you're attending any Mal's St. Paddy's Day Parade activities and need to bring a treat, these are perfect... (I am blowing up the recipes this week, by the way!)

Del's Marinated Crackers

1 box saltine crackers - you can use white or wheat (I only use Premium. They are far superior)
1 1/4 cup oil
1 pkg. dry Ranch dressing mix
2 tbsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
dash paprika (for color)

Mix last 6 ingredients well and pour over crackers in a big Ziplock bag. Let sit for 15 minutes, toss, then let sit another 15 minutes. The longer they sit, the better!

Have an excellent weekend!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?

* That I lived closer to a HomeGoods.

* The new What’s New, Cupcake? book! A follow-up to the Hello, Cupcake! book I love.

* That I was handy. Like furniture-building, MITRE saw-wielding handy.

* This awesome, springy, summery vest. I think you could even wear it in the fall with boots and skinny jeans…

* That I were Irish today!
What’s your wish?

Monday, March 15, 2010

it's sinful...

...how delicious Nutella is. If you've never had it, you are so missing out. In fact, I try to keep it out of my house at all times. But when I stumbled upon this recipe, I had to just give in.


1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (about 3 small)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup low fat sour cream
1/4 cup oil
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup Nutella


Combine first five ingredients in a large bowl; beat at medium speed of an electric mixer until well blended. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to banana mixture, stirring until just combined.

Spoon half of the batter into a loaf pan coated with baking spray. With a spoon, drop 1/4 cup of the Nutella in dollops on top of the batter. Swirl a bit and then top again with remaining batter. Add another 1/4 cup of Nutella in dollops on top and swirl again.

Bake at 350ยบ for 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool ten minutes in the pan on a wire rack; remove from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack.

*Can bake mini loaves for 35 minutes or muffins for 18 minutes. (In my oven, the muffins actually needed about 20 minutes. They were even better the next day!)

Have a great week!

Friday, March 12, 2010

is it spring yet?

March = Spring to me, especially when the time is about to change. Through the end of February, I want it to look and feel like winter, but when March 1 rolls around, I’m ready to check out spring clothes and see the sun on a daily basis. But, technically the first day-o-spring is not until Harris’s birthday, March 21. And I’m constantly reminded by my mom that March “comes in like a lion and out like a lamb,” so it seems like happy days are not here again for good.

In that case, I’ll share one last cold-weather recipe before our state becomes a perpetual heat wave. But Louisianians eat gumbo year-round, right? That means we can too! And this one is WW friendly, so we can start getting our beach bods ready...

Seafood “Gum-faux”
(6 Servings at 4 POINTS per serving)

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1 bay leaf
Cooking spray
1/3 cup diced onions
1/3 cup diced celery
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 (10.5-ounce) can chicken broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
3 ounces tomato paste
1 small (5-ounce) package frozen cut okra
Splash hot sauce
3/4 pound catfish, cut into chunks
1 lb shrimp

In a small bowl, combine the pepper, garlic salt, Cajun seasoning, and bay leaf and mix well; set aside. Spray the bottom of a large pot with cooking spray on medium heat. Add the onions, celery, and green peppers and stir. Add the flour and stir until blended. Add the chicken broth and stir until smooth. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and okra and stir until mixed well. Add the hot sauce and seasoning mixture and mix well.

Bring the gumbo to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered. Add the catfish and stir to mix well. Cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve with rice.
*Serve with ½ cup of rice (add 2 POINTS).

PS - Best wishes to Carly and Marc, who are getting married tomorrow! God bless you!

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?

* That Stacy London and I were best friends and shopped together all the time.

* One of these S’mores Brownies from my girl Joy the Baker. And yes, I’d like a personal delivery, thank you.

* That I had been in college when the song "Tik Tok" came out. I can just see us getting ready to go out with this one blaring!

* That I knew what color nail polish Anne Hathaway wears in Alice in Wonderland as the White Queen.

* This swimsuit for my beach trips this spring and summer. Oh, and to look like the model IN the suit.


What’s your wish?

Monday, March 8, 2010

hello there, monday

I hope all my readers had a wonderful weekend like I did - I went to go see my sister in Birmingham! We had such fun girl time - shopping, eating out and Alice in Wonderland (also with Claire - a total must-see). Check out the kitty cupcakes I made for Harris's (early) birthday! (check out Hello, Cupcake! for details...)

I finished In the Sanctuary of Outcasts, and I've already recommended it to so many others. Neil White, after being convicted of a white-collar crime, is sentenced to a prison in Louisiana that also houses leperacy patients. His really down-to-earth writing style makes you feel like you know him and want to root for him. It's a wonderful story of family and friendship and all variations thereof. The characters are beautifully written, and for a Mississippian who's familiar with the territory, the story comes very much alive. Not to mention, the author is a dreamboat in his picture on the book jacket.

I'm now reading Family Affair by Caprice Crane, recommended to me by my (twitter) friend Jen Lancaster, author of some of the most hysterical books in print. Book review to come soon!

Have a lover-ly Monday!

PS - which Oscar star was your fave last night? No one blew my socks completely off (what's with all the ball gowns?), but I thought Maggie Gyllenhaal looked absolutely wonderful... And how adorable is that Stanley Tucci?

Friday, March 5, 2010

when life gives you lemons, make lemon bars

I’ve recently started to “take” (as my mom says) Southern Living, and I love it. I feel so Southern when I read it, and having a subscription to me is kind of like a rite of passage. I love everything about it. Well, except the gardening section. No amount of beautiful, flowery photography is enough to make me want to get out in my own yard and dig around.

So far, my favorite thing about the publication is the recipes. Each issue has so many, and most are totally do-able. I’ve made a resolution to make at least one recipe out of each issue, which is not a difficult task, considering Kell is more than pleased to be a taste-tester. This month featured two recipes for lemon squares, and wouldn’t you know it, Kell loves lemon squares. The recipes were “Mama’s Way vs. Your Way” variations on the treat, and I decided to go with Mama’s way only because I wasn’t sure if I could find lemon curd at Wal-Mart, and I don’t like the sound of lemon “curd.”

Don’t let the length of the recipe fool or intimidate you. It’s several little steps, but none is difficult. And in fact, I was pleasantly surprised at how well mine turned out (unfortunately, I’m not a good enough photographer to have taken this picture, but mine are honestly just as lovely). I mean, they looked as good as the ones at the MSU bakery. Joy the Baker would be so proud of me.

Southern Living Lemon Bars
Makes about 2 dozen (yeah, if they’re like an inch long. My batch made like 15.)

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, divided
½ cup powdered sugar
1 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
4 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (not that junk out of the lemon-shaped plastic thing)
½ tsp. baking powder
More powdered sugar (for sprinkling the tops)

Preheat oven to 350. Line bottom and sides of a 13x9-inch pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil or parchment paper, allowing 2 to 3 inches to extend over sides; lightly grease foil.

Stir together 2 cups flour and ½ cup powdered sugar. Cut in butter using a pastry blender or fork until crumbly. Press mixture onto bottom of prepared pan.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Meanwhile, whisk eggs in a large bowl until smooth; whisk in granulated sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Stir together baking powder and remaining ¼ cup flour. Whisk into egg mixture. Pour mixture over hot baked crust.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until filling is set. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Lift from pan, using foil sides as handles. Cook completely on a wire rack (about 30 minutes). Remove foil, and cut into bars, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

My notes: Kell’s only drawback for this recipe was that it wasn’t lemony enough. I think next time I’ll do ½ cup fresh lemon juice (ends up to be 2 whole lemons) and a little more lemon zest. As for the crust being “lightly browned,” I wasn’t sure what that meant; I just baked it for like 27 minutes and went to the next step. I figured I would be better off that way then charred beyond recognition. Also, I wasn’t sure my store-brand aluminum foil would do well as handles, so I used 2 sheets, and it was perfect. They're the tastiest when they've cooled completely and the flavor is set. I think these would make super cute little lemon pies if you baked them in the mini tart shells.

I’m off to see Harris in Birmingham this weekend, and I’m so excited. We have plans to eat, shop and see Alice in Wonderland with Claire. I cannot wait!

Have a great weekend, friends.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

wish list wednesday

What am I wishing for this Wednesday?

* That I could have located some of these Olympic mittens when I was in Canada last week. Everywhere I went was completely sold out. Are they adorable or what?

* That someone would come to my house and landscape me for spring.

* Pretty much everything in OldCrowFarm’s etsy shop. Reclaimed and vintage – what’s not to love?

* That you all could see my Mad as a Hatter nails! I LOVE them!

* A squatty orange vase for my mantle. I can’t describe it to you; I’ll know it when I see it.

What’s your wish?

Monday, March 1, 2010

heartwarming

You might know that Tim Hortons is an iconic coffee and donut chain in Canada, and evidently they make some pretty darn great commercials, too...



And if you think I didn't cry in the Canadian sports bar when I first saw this, you are dead wrong.
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