Jul 31, 2012

A Cold and some J. Crew

I have a cold. I resisted getting this cold from Hubs for over a week.  I thought I was in the clear, then awoke yesterday aching all over with a tell-tale lump in my throat.  I hightailed it to the pharmacy and got the strongest expectorant I could find- where you have to go the pharmacist's counter and show your id.  I always get nervous that the pharmacist will think that I am a meth head (in my black shift, heels and pearls) and deny me my purchase.

So I am feeling sorry for myself, and indulging in a little online window shopping.  Just window shopping, since I'm being all French and elegant and shit.  I catch myself repeating "Must avoid disposable fashion!" when faced with temptation.  Anyway, J. Crew has some cute stuff lined up for fall.

I adore this little combo, although this half tuck thing is a bit ridiculous in real life, no?  It reminds me of middle school gym class, when your Salty Dog t-shirt had to be perfectly tucked and bloused out in the front of your umbros, while the back was all untucked rebel, essentially making a mullet shirt.  No need to bring that back, folks.


I really love these crepe tops as well, but now all I can see is the damn half-tuck.  Make it stop!

These scarlet Minnie pants might have to join my closet.  They're classic, right?  And in my favorite shade. . .



Source: jcrew.com via Samma on Pinterest



Source: jcrew.com via Samma on Pinterest


Horizontal stripes in casual and dressy.  Both are right in my wheel house.

And back to some elegance.  I covet this DVF dress- just the right amount of slouchy elegance.  It does have some bathrobe elements, but I think that's ideal for my current permanently tired state.


Source: dvf.com via Samma on Pinterest


What fun fall items do you have your eye on?

Jul 29, 2012

Nursery Tour!



 I have been meaning to show y'all my sweet girl's nursery for ages, and am finally getting around to it. As in, I finally picked up all her books off the floor, and put away her clothes and boxes of diapers in a mad five minute sweep.  Blogger is being a bear, so just click on each picture to see it full size.

Anyway, I'm just mad about this cozy little space.  It was so fun to design a gender neutral nursery, then add lots of little Miss Priss touches as I got to know her.
Like a Pepto Bismal pink sign for her viewing pleasure doing diaper changes, along with a mirror for self-admiration.


I love the pictures depicting various fairy tales above her dresser.  They were in my nursery, but the mats were dusty rose (naturally, as I was born in 1981).  My aunt painted them, and they are both beautiful and slightly scary- very Grimm Brothers, indeed.  I was telling Mama about how they scared me as a child, but in a  good way.  She scoffed at my dramatic interpretation.  We both lost it, when my brother walked in after we hung the paintings, and immediately remarked, "Oh, you put those creepy pictures in here?"  Ha!  If Dell Harper starts acting nervous in her nursery, I will be able to pinpoint the culprit.


I love all the little mementos on the antique shelf in the corner of the room  A picture of my grandmother Samma, various baby gifts, and a lion and a lamb from a famous Seagrove, North Carolina potter.  The wooden pull toys and blocks were the centerpieces at my fabulous ATlanta shower.


A picture of me and Ovella, a couple of chickens by a local potter (those were stolen from my Mama), and a silver baby julep cup.

A comfy glider, and all the essential electronics- noise machine, monitor up on the shelf, and digital clock with iPod hookup, perfect for books on tape (for me) or lullabies (for Miss Priss).
For all you nursing mamas, a basket with water bottles is a must for easy reach of your glider.



I love to look around at all her little knick knacks and fun artwork, as I feed, or rock, or whisper sweet songs into her ear before nap time.  Although the cutest thing in that nursery just gets bigger every day.

Look at that thigh!  Could you not just die!

Well, I am about to fall out, so there will be more to follow, but I love all your blog recommendations!  Thank you so much, and keep them up!


Jul 25, 2012

Be Prepared!

I like to sleep in my earrings.  This helps me stay prepared for an emergency. What if I am roused from my slumber by some necessity?  Well hell, I'm already accessorized!

I prepped Dell Harper's dinner for the rest of the week and weekend tonight- if only my own were as easy as steaming a bunch of carrots and broccoli.  That girl is pretty happy gnawing away at solid food, and flinging food about like nobody's business.  There have been some gagging instances, that have scared the bejeezus out of me.  Crouched like a wild panther, I'm prepared to spring at any moment and rip that child from her high chair, and thump her on my knee.  I am hoping that the paranoia will cease the more accustomed I get to her swallowing large chunks of bread or zucchini or whatever.  I've got to admit the gagging is a bit panic inducing.



Now in more adult preparation, I feel quite happy to have these delicious and easy baked burritos residing in my freezer.  They are from Rebecca Lang's excellent cookbook, Quick Fix Southern, which is surprisingly not some mishmash of canned biscuit dough and cream of blergh soup recipes, but fresh and quick dishes.


Baked Chicken and Spinach Burritos

Ingredients:

  • 1 rotisserie chicken
  • 1 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
  • 1 can rotel, drained
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 and 1/2 cups sour cream (plus more for topping!)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups of shredded cheese (I used a combo of cheddar and monterey jack, or you can buy mexican pre-shredded, if you must)
  • 18 6 inch flour tortillas
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Lightly spray 4 8x8 baking dishes (or 2 9x13's) with cooking spray
Pull the chicken off the bone, and shred
Stir together the chicken, cottage cheese, sour cream, salt, 1 and 1/2 cups of cheese, spinach and tomatoes in a large mixing bowl.
Spoon about 1/4 cup of the mixture down the center of each tortilla.  Roll up and place, seam side down, in the prepped baking dishes.
Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of each dish.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned, and serve with sour cream, and salsa!

If frozen, thaw in the fridge overnight and bake for 40 minutes.


I used lower fat cottage cheese and sour cream, and made up for it by adding avocado on top. Also, if you aren't nursing a phobia of spices like myself currently, add 1/4 cup of pickled jalapeño slices in the mixture.  These are super simple, and a delightful dinner to have on hand.

So, if someone came to my house right now demanding a lovely little dinner, I could just pull these out and not break my stride. After all, my earrings are already on, and my lipstick is on my bedside table. I'm at least prepared for an emergency midnight dinner party. . .

Jul 24, 2012

The Joy of a Fussy Baby


In all honesty, I had a crappy pregnancy- I felt terrible, I had a higher risk pregnancy, so therefore  I had lots of restrictions. People would tell me "difficult pregnancy=easy baby". 



"Good."  I thought.  "I deserve a sweet, little, chill, docile baby, who sleeps when it is supposed to, and it will be quiet and smiley, and allow me to tote him or her wherever I need to go without complaint."

Instead I got Miss Priss.  Incredibly adorable?  Without a doubt!  Easy?  Hell to the no.

When meeting a friend's 2 month old baby the other day I felt a pang of envy.  The baby was so good- carted around in his carrier, alternating between light snoozing and gently sucking on his pacifier, without making a peep.  Miss Priss is far less fussy now, but especially during her first four months, leaving her in her car seat anywhere was a bit of an impossibility.  Thank goodness for the Baby Bjorn, or else we not have a lick of food in the house, after the first grocery store experience in her car seat.  I was constantly on tenterhooks, waiting for a meltdown.  Although, to be fair, Dell Harper is far quieter and better behaved in public than she is at home.  And when she is happy she is very happy, smiling with her whole being. 

She cries with her whole being, too.

We are finally starting to grow out of the reflux (knock, knock, knock on wood!), and its management has been key (thank you, Prevacid!).  Upon reflection, and almost six months survival, I am grateful for my fussy little reflux baby.  She is immensely curious, and will concentrate for long periods of time playing with a watch, or watching bees eat from a flower.  She is always on the go- ready to wiggle or roll.  Yes, she cried a lot.  However, she also laughs and smiles a lot- with my little drama queen there is never a dull moment.  Maybe a "good" baby would have bored the pants off me.  After all, I have been know to be rather vocal and dramatic myself.  We just like to keep things interesting around here!

I like how vocal she is- she lets her presence be known!  Her voice is slowly becoming a little less reflux raspy, and her pain is decidedly less.  I remember talking to one of the nurses at Dell Harper's doctor.  "Why is she still colicky at four months?"  I complained.  "The books says it ends at three months!  Why is she fussing like this?"

"Oh, honey, you got another few months.  Six months, it'll get better.  You just gotta wait."  she patiently replied to me.

And it has gotten better.  My little girl is constantly giggling to herself, and will chill out if needed.  I can take her places now without the fear of having to hustle her out in a hurry.  And, good Lord, how she entertains me!  Since having a fussy baby, I feel more confident in my mothering abilities. I got put through a bit of a ringer, and I could handle it.

I feel like sometimes we are scared to admit to a having a colicky baby.  After I rather sheepishly tell friends that Dell Harper is a bit tough, I hear stories of their colicky kids- news to me!  No one likes a whiner, so we don't want to go on about how our adored babies are fusspots.  However, I have decided that I am proud of my reflux baby! We have a rough go, and are stronger for it.  I appreciate her good moods so much more after experiencing the bad moods.  In all fairness, dealing with my own reflux puts me in a bad mood as well, so I can understand her distress.

Also, I must add that Miss Priss has and continues to be an excellent sleeper (for the most part), on schedule and in her own bed.

So, I am the proud mama of a colicky baby, and love her all the more for it.  After all, I do love a challenge!



That being said, I will not complain if my next baby is a reflux-free angel baby. 

Hee.

Jul 23, 2012

Roll Call!

So, I am in a blog rut- I would love some new ones to read!  Give me design, cooking, babies, fashion or a mish-mash of everything. Who do I need to be reading?


Tell me about your blog, or your latest and greatest discovery.  I'm ready to read!

Jul 19, 2012

Wild Nights






Jessie and Clinton's party was an amazing tribute to the twisted genius of Anne.  There were flame thrower-eaters, a mini casino, and an ice luge.  Oh, and cigars with the happy couple's faces printed on the tags. When everyone continued the party and went out, I had to make it home to my pjs, although I rallied and hung out at 2:30 eating pizza and chatting for an hour or so.  Miss Priss has trained me well to middle of the night hang-outs, but not for continously staying awake past 11 or so.  We all have our strengths, I suppose.

In other wild night news, please check out these long lost photos of the Rolling Stonesthat were taken right about when Exile on Main Street came out.  Aren't they simply fantastic?


Source: vulture.com via Samma on Pinterest




Source: vulture.com via Samma on Pinterest



Source: vulture.com via Samma on Pinterest




Source: vulture.com via Samma on Pinterest


Please note Keith Richards beverage above.  Just a little hydration before the show.  He definitely wouldn't let a little baby stop him from having a wild night.

Jul 17, 2012

Well, She Was Just Six Months Old*


Dell Harper and I had some rainy day blues the other night, and went a little wild in the Target.  I couldn't resist this dress- I think it makes her look like a superhero.


Super Sweetie to the rescue!

I also picked up some sun essentials for her- her godfather brought her this adorable hat back from Nantucket, so now we are ready to show it off (if the rain ever ceases- I know we need it, but I need to get some sun on these white trash legs of mine).

I put sunscreen on Miss Priss once, but have been trying to wait til six months to really lather it on.  We're almost there, so I think it time.  Swim diapers and a new suit- just bring on the sunshine!

In other six month preparation, I am so excited for this beauty!


Baby led weaning begins around six months, although as evidenced by Miss Priss' cantaloupe eating, she is ready!  I also ordered some baby glasses on the recommendation of my friend Ella, who runs a Montessori school.  Dell Harper is constantly reaching for my glass, and trying to gnaw and take sips out of it.  When I ordered her own baby sized glasses (they look like shot glasses), I got sucked down into a worm hole of Montessori supplies.  Everything from miniature child sized gardening equipment to cooking supplies.  I was entranced, and luckily restrained myself.  I have always loved things that worked- any other Louisa May Alcott fans out there?  One of the kids in Little Men had a play stove that worked!  Oh, I would have just died and gone to heaven if I had one like that.  Or an EZ bake oven?  Just longed for one, but Mama wisely taught me how to use the real oven instead.  Anyway, I can't wait to get Miss Priss all set up in her Dr. Evil chair, drinking water out of glass and smashing avocado all over the place.  It's going to be a hoot and a half!

*She's not six months for another two weeks.  I'm just excessively excited about this food thing for some unknown reason.  Possibly her red mod high chair? 

Jul 16, 2012

Attempts at French Chic



So, for Jessie's party in Atlanta this weekend, I donned my limp, old black linen dress with a rather rumpled sigh, then decided to get all French on the situation.  Brigette Bardot amounts of eyeliner, and some false lashes.


I decided not to worry about the effects of humidity of my hair, and go full out big.

A couple of my grandmother's charm bracelets, a spritz of Chanel, and voila!  My fatigued linen is now classic, my midsection is camouflaged, and my legs are lean thanks to some self tanner and 4 inch wedges.
I was definitely envious of everyone's trendy pieces at the party, but I kept repeating "simple and classic" to myself.  This new mantra and baby-mama budget will definitely take some getting used to. . .

Jul 13, 2012

Successes and Failures

 So, I made that "No Peek Chicken" that is circulating around Pinterest.  It was decent- good comfort food for a rainy night, and helpful since I could put in the oven before I left to interview a potential new nanny for Dell Harper (her current one is moving to DC, sob).

You take a box of Uncle Ben's Wild Rice mix (original recipe), a can of cream of mushroom, can of cream of celery, a can of waters, and mix in a greased 9 by 13 baking dish.  I added a pound of sliced mushrooms and a bunch of chopped celery which I sautéed, for a little fresh vegetables and flavor.  Put chicken breasts on top of the rice (I could fit four big chicken breasts).  Cover tightly, and bake at 350 for 2 and a half hours.  Serve with steamed broccoli.


I had really high hopes for this dish, because of how delicious the baked etoufee was.  Now, it was no baked etoufee, but will do in a pinch.




In other Pinterest recipe experimentation, I made that Chocolate Cobbler/Brownie Pudding stuff the other night.  I used the recipe off of Southern Plate.  It got thrown out.  Not to be ugly about it, but if something chocolate gets thrown out in this house?  Well, it's really not worth the effort.  It was bland yet overly sweet, and really lacked something.  I can't quite put my finger on it- a certain richness was just not there.  So make some brownies with hot fudge sauce instead.

In other news, have I told y'all about my cleaning strategy?  I put a guilty pleasure book on my iPod, and only allow myself a listen if I am cleaning, cooking, blowdrying my hair or exercising.  Right now, I'm about to finish up Mary Kay Andrews' latest, and I am enjoying it immensely! Pure escapist pleasure, and if I miss a line or two due to  interruptions, it's not like I have completely lost the plot.

So that's it for me!  I hope y'all have lovely weekends full of sunshine and trashy novels!  I'll be back with some Miss Priss product updates on Monday.


Jul 12, 2012

I Think I Have a Problem

It began to downpour yesterday afternoon, right as I was leaving work (yay for my flowers, boo for my walk).  After a quick mental evaluation of my fridge and the gloom and doom outside, I decided that grilled cheeses and tomato soup were in order.  Our next door neighbor has a fabulous garden, and is generous with his gorgeous tomatoes (note- retired agriculture professors make excellent neighbors).

Remembering having made some good tomato soup before, I checked the blog. 2 different recipes came up.  Both delicious, but neither was quite what I wanted- one used canned tomatoes, and the other took too long.  Google and Ina Garten to the rescue!  This recipe is perfect because it took about 45 minutes (including cook time), uses fresh tomatoes and basil, and is delicious.  Oh, and you don't have to peel the tomatoes.  Victory!


From the Back to Basics cookbook:

Ingredients


3 tablespoons good olive oil

1 1/2 cups chopped red onions (2 onions)

2 carrots, unpeeled and chopped

1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)

4 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, coarsely chopped (5 large)

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/4 cup packed chopped fresh basil leaves
3 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup heavy cream


Directions

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and carrots and saute for about 10 minutes, until very tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste, basil, chicken stock, salt, and pepper and stir well. Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are very tender.

With either an immersion blender, or by pouring it into a regular blender puree the soup.  Add the cream to the soup and reheat the soup over low heat just until hot.

YUM!

Of course by the time I loaded up Miss Priss, ran to the grocery store to pick up some cream, chopped the veggies, and set it to boil it was pretty outside.

I let Hubs at home while the soup simmered, and took the baby for a humid and sweaty walk.


The grilled cheese and soup were still mighty fine, sunny weather notwithstanding.  Now, it's raining again, so I will have a rainy day soup leftover lunch.
 
So now I have three tomato soup recipes on the blog.  It's a bit of an issue, especially since Hubs prefers Campbells above all.  Sigh.