Tuesday, January 31, 2012

KINGED

I found the baby in the king cake today at work! I am SO pleased with myself, you'd think I grew wings and took flight or something else that's actually hard.

According to legend, this feat means I am Queen for a Day (obviously), will be the next to have a baby (HA) or I am supposed to bring the next king cake.

I CHOOSE to believe that it simply means that babies naturally flock to me and I will be a good aunt.

Monday, January 30, 2012

PHOTOGRAPHED

A few weeks ago when I was home for peanut's baby shower, I spent some time with my beautiful friend Kathryn, who has turned her love/hobby of photography into a growing business. Now we all know people with nice cameras that think they are a photographer. Kathryn is not that kind of photographer. She's really, really good. Look what she did with me using only sunlight, 45 minutes around her neighborhood and a few keystrokes on her computer:
Check out her website to see more of her amazing work and be sure to remember her next time you are in the market for some professional photography! If you tell her I sent you, she'll throw in a photo op with one of her beautiful little girls. Perhaps that's a simple offer now, but you won't regret it when they are professional models one day:

Sunday, January 29, 2012

PROUD

Guess what you guys? I've decided that I am a VERY good cook. I know so because I have a terrible, terrible stove. I would have an easier time cooking with a hairdryer and some Bic lighters than I do with this flinging flanging stove. The past three times I have cooked something stovetop, the smoke alarm has gone off and don't get me started one what a traumatic experience that was the first time it happened. All I know is that the eye should not be red-hot when you have it on medium heat, amiright? All of that to say, I bet when I move out of this joint, I will like cooking a lot more because things won't burn to a crisp 30 seconds after impact. As was the case with the chicken I made for a Thai Chicken Pizza last night.
My sister made this for me when I stayed with her once and holy cow is it yummy. She does about half the steps that this Rachel Ray recipe calls for so it is super easy and delicious. And, just like half-marathons, if I can do it, SO CAN YOU!

To make our version and not Ray-Ray's, you'll need:
1 pizza dough, any brand (that Pillsbury pre-made stuff in a can works)
1/2 cup duck sauce (we like Saucy Susan!)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (I used more than this)
1 package (2 cups) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 rounded tablespoonful peanut butter
2 teaspoons hot sauce
2 teaspoons grill seasoning (recommended: Montreal Steak Seasoning)
4 chicken breast cutlets, 1/2 pound (I used three)
4 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped peanuts (unsalted if you got 'em)

Go ahead and mix up your soy sauce, steak seasoning, oil, hot sauce and peanut butter and then coat your chicken in it. While that sits and marinates, preheat your oven to 425. Take a cookie sheet, spray it with Pam and spread your Pillsbury dough out into a nice large rectangle. Pour the duck sauce on it and spread it around like pizza sauce. Top with cheese and red pepper flakes. Put it into the oven for 15 minutes or so, or only 10 minutes if you have a mutant oven like mine.

Once that's in the oven, cook your chicken over medium-high heat. Pour some wine because the smoke alarm will go off and you will want it to calm your nerves. Cut the chicken up into smaller strips about halfway through. While the chicken and dough are finishing up, cut up your scallions and chop your peanuts. Remove dough from oven, top with chicken, scallions and peanuts. ENJOY!

Friday, January 27, 2012

JAMMED

My two new favorite songs. CAN'T STOP PLAYING THEM!!!!




Happy Friday! Jam out and enjoy your weekend!

Monday, January 23, 2012

RUNNY

On Saturday, I participated in my first race since 2008. The Zoo Run Run was also my first race ever, so it was neat to kick off this whole I-guess-I'm-running-again? plan with a race that's near to my heart.

Speedy Gonzales and I got our bibs and he was none too happy about his assigned number. Red flag much?
Once it was time for all the participants to line up, I shooed El Diablo off to the front to run with the fast people. His kind. Meanwhile, I hung back with the walkers until all the crazies were 1K in, then took off.

Just like last time, we ran through the exhibits and I saw elephants, horses, TIGERS!!, a snow leopard and some flamingos.

I was proud of my time: I went running three times this past week and finished one minute slower than 2008, when I had been running 3 to 4 times a week for three months.

Someone had time to cool off, take a nap, get something to eat, make a few calls and warm up the car stood patiently and waited for me to near the end of the race, and then jumped in and ran the last 10' with me to the finish line.
Official party line: it's not that I couldn't have kept up with him, I just didn't want to run anywhere near #666!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

BUMPY

Want a "bumpdate" on my little precious prince of the world nephew baby angel love?

His Birmingham baby shower was weekend before last and my goodness did the little fellow collect. So many cute little outfits, toys, a homemade blanket from one grandma and a homemade baby blue feather boa wreath for the hospital door from the other (I'll let you guess which grandma gave which). It was a really precious time with some of my sister's close friends as well as women who are important not only in Jennie's life, but mine and mom's as well. Booboo is already so loved! But the line forms here to snuggle him, ladies; let's just be real.

Also, he has a name. Mimi, Bebop (don't ask) and Aunt Nin had to play a little word scramble to figure it out, which was pretty clever way to reveal it, if you ask me! Four minutes in (a terrible time, we'll have to be faster for baby #2), we finally solved the puzzle and were thrilled to have a name by which to call him! Not that I can share here, of course (hence, smiley faces where his initials should be). But trust me, it's cute. Just like he will be!
It was so weird saying goodye to my sister that night, knowing the next time I saw her, she'd be in labor. Would you believe me if I said I've already started my list of what to pack? Yes, even aunts need a hospital bag!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

CAKEY

Every once in a while, a recipe comes along that you picture yourself making at least five times a year until you die. This cake and I will have a long, long relationship, I just know it. This will be the cake my kids and grandkids beg for on special occasions. This will be the cake little old church ladies will ask me to make for the potluck. "Lindsay's gonna bring one of her chocolate cakes, naturally; Gladys, what will you bring?"
My friend (and fellow adviser) Allison brought this cake to our December board dinner. I didn't even eat the dessert I brought to share with everyone, I was so consumed with this cake. So using my KitchenAid + new SUPER HANDY glass mixing bowl with a spout and new bundt cake pan, I made this for Evan who joined me for dinner and the Golden Globes on Sunday evening. Since I am a lady first and chef second, I won't say who ate what but I will point out he took some with him to nibble on later. Either way, this is what two people did to this cake:
YEAH. It's that good.

What's that you say? Your new year's resolution was to eat a cake all by yourself? Okay - here you go! This will fix you right up.

1 box of Duncan Hines Butter Recipe Fudge Cake Mix
16 oz. Sour Cream
12 oz. Chocolate Chips
4 Eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 pkg. Instant Chocolate Pudding

Dump everything into a bowl. Mix and pour into a bunt cake pan. Bake at 350 until done (approximately 60 to 90 minutes).

And they lived happily ever after!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

RUSHED

Crickets.

Crickets.

Crickets.

I just renewed this domain name for another year. Did I just waste $9?

So, fun update. I helped out quite a bit this week with sorority rush recruitment at Vanderbilt. I am LOVING being an adviser, by the way. Since 99% of you probably went through rush in August like me, I have to tell you how different it is. In previous years, school started on a Wednesday, henceforth rush was Monday, Tuesday, Thursday night and Saturday night, with Bid Day on Sunday. This year, it changed and rush was from on Friday and Saturday nights, two weekends in a row! In January no less! Don't get me wrong, I sure hated being a sweaty betty running all over the hill in the Auburn August heat. But it's like 15° outside up here. The poor PNMs have to line up for the parties outside the houses and quickly throw their coats off at the last minute. Brrr!

I missed all of last weekend's activities since I was in Birmingham for my sister's baby shower, but I pledged to help out as much as possible this week. I was at the house Wednesday night to help with the "Entertainment Round" preparations, including seeing their brand new skit, which they were so proud of! On Friday night, the last party ended at midnight. I didn't go to bed until 3 am! Pref parties were yesterday and I spent lots of time washing and rewashing tiny cups and plates in between parties and talking to girls. I answered questions about everything from rush at Auburn to job and career advice.

Someone recently asked me if it was worth it to have the extra "drama" in my life that a sorority house brings and I couldn't answer YES fast enough. I love being a friend to these girls and maybe a positive role model. I'm young enough to still get it, but old enough to have a different perspective on certain things. One girl has already asked me to be reference for her upcoming job search. This may be my favorite thing I have done in Nashville. I wish I had signed up sooner!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

PINTERESTED

If you haven't heard of Pinterest by now, I hate to ask where have you been? but seriously. Where have you been? I will cut the guys some slack since all of us females know Pinterest can skew a little bit on the feminine side at times. But Evan, Elliott, Wes and lots of other guys I know hang right there with us, dotting my page with exquisite men's fashion, recipes and other handy little tips and tricks that I've been known repin myself.

Over the past few days I tried my hand at two Pinterest projects: one in the kitchen and one on the floor, I guess (where do you do your gift wrapping?) Neither of these were my first Pinterest project, mind you, but two that I tried more or less on the fly and was pleased with the results.

Thursday night I was wrapping up some cute and tiny clothes for a baby shower gift for Baby G. I didn't have just the perfect shade of ribbon to match, so I pulled this trick out of my hat I saw on Pinterest once (via Anna). You take a scrap of paper, fold it twice, cut some slits and curl away. It makes a fluffy, funky bow that will surely garner attention at your sister's baby shower... especially if you talk about it quite a bit in advance! More pictures and better directions can be found here.
And now for a project with a little more consequence, brought to my attention via Elliott! I told you I got a crockpot for Christmas, right? Yesterday I made my first crockpot dish. I put all the stuff in there before work and lo and behold, that meat was cooked when I got home! Whaddyaknow! Here's the recipe for brown sugar and balsamic pork tenderloin, or, a fancy recipe for barbecue. In the words of Randy Jackson, "it was just aight for me, dawg." It looks a lot better in the pictures, but it was still yummy for my first swing at it. It better be yummy, I have about 1.75 lb of it left to eat. Now what all can I do with leftover barbecue? Let me just look on PINTEREST! Bam. Full circle.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

DELAYED

Friday night before Christmas, Mom hosted our family plus my uncle, aunt and Anne Heaton for dinner. It was fun to be together and kickoff the holidays!

And after the extended family left, we opened our presents. I was super excited to receive a Kindle, two DVDs, a Cam Newton/Carolina Panthers T-shirt, and lots of other fun things, most of which belong in my kitchen: crock pot, bundt cake pan, gift cards, food processor... exciting stuff!
The real highlight of the evening came when Mom unwrapped her last present. Earlier this summer, while my sister was visiting, we went shopping and found this amazingly heinous denim outfit that kindasorta looked like something Mom would wear. It was $2, which we paid for in pocket change, once we were able to stop laughing enough to do math. She kept it at her house until Christmas, when she wrapped it up and we got Mom's boyfriend in on the joke. He usually buys her clothes for Christmas anyway, sometimes clothes she's already picked out. That's what she assumed this was: something she picked out or something he saw and thought she'd like. Au contraire:
video

Everyone spent the night at Mom's house, which was a nice touch. We woke up Christmas Eve morning and lulled around the house for a while before heading separate ways: Mom to Greenville and the rest of us to join our other side of the family.

We hung out with my other uncle, aunt, cousin, husband and their son Tristan before going to the Christmas Eve service at the church where I was raised. Guess who kept one-year-old Tristan in her lap most of the service? I am going to be such a good aunt next year when we have TWO little boys, full of energy, that need "help" keeping quiet during the service. We had a delicious Italian dinner afterward that my aunt so kindly prepared for us. We used to eat Italian food on holidays all the time, thanks to my Granny. So it was nice to feel like she was there and reminisce about holidays gone by. Once we were stuffed to the gills, I followed my sister and her husband back to their house where I spent the night.

Christmas morning, Jennie prepared a delicious Paula Deen praline french toast casserole that was DIVINE. We got ready and once again, went separate ways: them to Jamie's hometown, and me to lower Alabama to spend the day with Mom. We visited with all kinds of friends and family, including a stop by Mawmaw's nursing home, before dinner with our second family, which has become a tradition that I enjoy so much! After dinner and a game, I drove back to Alabama and was asleep as quickly as I could be.

The next two days were a blur of Kindle reading, TV watching and sleeping in. But I made up for it on Wednesday morning, when mommy-to-be and I hit the ground running to knock out errands for l'petit chéri. We did the same thing Thursday. I think we made 20 stops over the course of two days. Then, it was craft time. Drawer liners from wrapping paper, dressing up some lamp shades, dressing up some mats for his nursery artwork, and my personal favorite: two loads of tiny baby laundry. The only thing that smells sweeter than a baby is a fresh warm load of baby clothes right out of the dryer. We sorted, folded, and tucked them into the drawers. They're only missing one thing now... and he will be here soon!

I left Birmingham on Saturday afternoon. It was nice to have 3 hours in a car on the last day of the year to do some thinking about the year that was and the year that will be. I had fun at Mary Byrne's house, watching the end of the AU game and ringing in the new year with a big group of friends.

But, 2012 is already showing shades of 2011. My car was broken into again NYE. Luckily, I had unloaded ALL of my things from the trip home or something might have been taken. When will he/she learn I don't keep nice things in my car? And just when I think things are straightening out at work, another huge wrench is thrown into the works, leaving absolutely no free time for blogging...

Hope your holidays were terrific and your first week back in the grind has been half as stressful as you thought it would be.

wordpress blog stats