Aug 31, 2009

Party in the USA

Why can I not stop (a) listening to this song? or (b) not singing it in my head while I am not listening to it?

I am sitting at my desk, in my suit, reading legal documents, yet singin (in my head) "definitely not a Nashville party, Cause’ all I see are celebs, I guess I never got the memo". I think that's the lyrics. Seems like I would have them down by now. Damn you Miley Cyrus.

Updated to add- please watch this video right now!!

Hurrah! Another Peanut!

I am beyond thrilled becuase I just found out one of my best friends, Dids, is having baby #2 in April!!

Her first, AH, pictures here turns two today!! Happy birthday AH!

If AH is any indication, Baby #2 is going to be a doll as well.

However, I'm glad Dids waited and was not brewing that baby back in February. Due to raucous times in NOLA for my bach, it would surely be deformed in some way. I've heard that mass amounts of alcohol aren't good for buns in the oven.

Aug 30, 2009

New York! New York! Or why I am possibly the best wife ever!

Hubs' 30th Birthday is coming up next month. I am so excited for his SURPISE present.

He thinks we are going to Athens for a Georgia game and to see all my college girlfriends. In reality I am whisking him away for an amazing weekend in NYC. Mwah, ha, ha.

Hubs has never been to New York City. Yet he has been to Cooperstown, New York. I don't understand his family's travel priorirites. Regardless, he has always wanted to go to NYC. Thank goodness he married me.
Spetember 25th, we will hop on an airplane, arrive at La Guardia, and check into here:
After freshening, snacking and donning my theater garb we will be seeing this:

Starring these fine folks:

Marcia Gay Harden, James Gandolfini (!), Hope Davis and Jeff Daniels. (squeal!)
Then a post theater dinner of burger and fries for Hubs here:

Saturday in NYC's details to follow. . .

Aug 28, 2009

Apparently My Secret Single Behavior is Neither Secret Nor Single

My secret single behavior is apparently no different than my normal behavior. Southern mag- check! Random dinner improvised from ingredients on hand-check! Curling up under my quilt and indulging in Bravo-ish programming- check!

So I earlier discussed with ya'll my secret single behavior. Last night Hubs got home from Asheville, and I returned from work a bit after seven. It was a rainy night, and he wanted pasta. So (whole wheat) ravioli with spinach and cheese, a simple homemade marina, (chicken) Italian sausage. sauteed spinach and freshly grated parm. Yum!

A lovely cosy night, watching Jeopardy, me tucked up with my new Garden and Gun (hurrah!!), and Hubs enjoying his new Clay Travis book which was waiting to surprise him.

I had a review of South of Broad penned by Julia Reed to devour. She summed up my feelings exactly.

Such a fab mag! Seriously- G&G please hire me!

All of this topped off by a little Project Runway- loved loved loved this dress and coat. Did ya'll watch? Thoughts on the chicken and egg maternity duds?

images courtesy of Project Rungay

Aug 27, 2009

Dream House

This is a house I always make the Hubs visit when we are in Asheville. It's new construction but looks old with its varied roof lines (you can really see them above) and architectural details. This is pretty much exactly what I want to build. I love the combination of stone, wood siding, and shingles. I know the pictures are poor. They were taken last spring with a disposal camera I found in my glove compartment, out the window of my convertible.

I love the shed dormers, and house the house sits an angle instead of facing the road straight on.

I also want a covered walkway/dog run to the garage, like above.

So many details. Sigh. Too bad more details=more money.

Aug 26, 2009

Update- Henry's Modeling Career

Look at that pup in a tie!!

My mom just sent me her pics of Henry's first photo shoot for Southern Weddings Magazine. Such a stage mom.

Not to be outdone, Dixie got some attention swimming in the ocean for the first time with her beach buddy Tatter (a good family friend's Springer Spaniel puppy).

Sigh. Maybe I need to head down there to manage Henry's photo shoots.

Instead of hanging at the Beach Barn with the pups, I am writing operating agreements for limited liability companies. Snooze.

Mmmmmmm. I need to be sipping on post-beach greyhounds on the porch, and making seafood gumbo in the kitchen.

Instead I had a chocolate chunk oat cookie for dinner, and am scrubbing the bathroom floor. (I love my life, I love my life, I love my life.)

Orange Clothing Update

Here's my super-cute new Liz Claiborne UT orange sundress. I think Liz's new creative director, Tim Gunn, made it work! Plus it was on sale for only $30.

It also has a really cute open back. I attempted to capture this for ya'll. Unfortunately I am not a contortionist and extremely sore from my attempts to learn how to do a pull-up. Hence this.

You can kind of see my back in the top right corner. Just go to the link and look at the professional model photographed my the professional photographer, okay?

Here I debated what dress to get for the ever-important UT vs. UGA game. Went with the Alice and Olivia one, which came in the mail the other day. Whoohoo!

Here's the thing- it fits super cute, is flowy and has an empire waist (crucial for the amount of alcohol consumed on game days). However, the promised orange sash is red! There is a teensy amount of orange in the whole thing. Thoughts? Advice? Return or keep??
I'm contemplating a stealth trip to ATL this Sunday after Sunday school to return an online purchase to Anthro and try on the other dress. Then I can do a dressing room comparison.

Why a Long Distance Marriage Isn't Bad

Hubs is in North Carolina 4 days and 3 nights a week for work. This obviously is not ideal. However, it does have some perks. Namely, all the secret single behavior I get to indulge in.
Take last night/ Crispy ham, goat cheese, and mache quesadillas (with whole wheat tortillas natch) and dvr-ed West Wing episodes.

Followed a chocolate chunk oat cookie and the new issue of Southern Living.


Aug 25, 2009

Go out and buy these right now

Normally I think 100 calorie packs are a waster of time and calories. Of course, this realization came after 3 packs in a row of Cheetos puffs that were comprised primarily of air. Good gracious, I could eat 3 bowls of soup for that. Regardless, I was Targeting the other day (when I found my cute Peggy Olsen style ensemble), and picked up these delectable little guys.

My word, they are wonderful! Nuts are something that give you a nutritional bang for your buck, as opposed to Cheetos unsurprisingly enough. These are perfect to satisfy my sweet carving in the afternoon, yet not too sweet (I'm looking at you, Fiber One bars) thus not triggering an attack on anything sweet I can find in a ten mile radius. I fully endorse the 100 calorie idea for nuts because the are the epitome of a good for you thing as long as the portions are small. Go buy them. Yum.

Shrimpy Goodness Part 2

I forgot to update ya'll on the barbequed shrimp extravaganza. 20 people ended up eating- my shrimp reserves were stretched a touch thin. 20 people asked for the recipe.
We spread out the newspaper, ate til our bellies were full, passed rolls of paper towels to combat buttery fingers, then rolled the whole she-bang up and into the trash. My kind of easy Friday night party!

Aug 24, 2009

I will always take accolades!

Sarah from A Life More Exciting was kind enough to grace me with an award! Hurrah! Check out her hilarious blog. Thanks Sarah!

I will pay it forward and pass this on to the following lovely ladies:

Kristy at Le Petite Blog

Farrell and Lauren at The Plan

Vol Fans-

Polka Dots and Protein Bars

Preppy Southern Princess

and finally real life friend Shelley at Lil Miss Type A

Love ya'll ladies, and thanks again Sarah!

My Dog in Southern Weddings Mag?

So my parents and the dogs are down at the Beach Barn (our place in Watercolor) indefinitely (oh, to be somewhat-retired (Daddy) and an artist (Mama)). Mama is walking Henry, our beautiful rescue golden retriever, and sees a girl wearing a wedding dress and a man taking her picture. The photographer sees Henry and starts gushing. This picture does not do him justice- he is an incredibly handsome pup.

Henry is now starting his modeling career for Southern Weddings Magazine! He did a shoot walking down the beach with the "groom" on Saturday afternoon, complete with two people dedicated to shading him from the sun and heat.
Yesterday he did another shoot with the bride and groom. I don't know if his pics will make it, but I hope so! My dream is for him to replace Duke of the Bush's baked beans commercials, become a very popular modeling and acting dog, thus enabling me to quit my job in order to manage his career (and earnings).

So on to the weekend- shrimp was a big hit, and about 20 people ended up eating dinner. Eek. I forgot of course to take any pics, until the post dinner dance party. Here's AK and JM doing some dancing with little MC. Don't worry- MC's mom was dancing along and fully enjoying this.

After cleaning up Saturday morning, and consuming a large amount of Chick-fil-a to combat the effect of my wine spritzers (with lemon Perrier yummy!), I chilled by the pool. A smaller group came on over (we had about 30 people on Friday night and 25-20 Saturday, whew!). The girls brought delicious dips, and we all grilled out.

Tired from beer and sun.

We had filet burgers- ask your butcher to make these. Its the scraps from a tenderloin ground into burgers, wrapped in bacon. Yummy.

Burgers, sweet potato fries, and grilled okra. Perfect easy summer meal. Everyone hung out til late. Most of the ladies headed home at a decent hour, because 4 of us had to wake up early for church, as we are now commissioned as Sunday School teachers! Little MC's mom and I are teaching the 5 year old's together. I'm sure I will have many stories starting next Sunday.

Aug 21, 2009

Cute Target Outfit (aka I went in for face wash and spent $80)

So of course I could not find it on the website (because it sucks). However, I am totally digging my new Merona Mad Men vibe duo today. I love this because its structured, wearable year round, and I can mix and match since its separates. Also, digging the roll neck collar, and back pleating on the skirt (not shown obviously). It was a little pricey for Target, but so versatile I couldn't resist. I love me some plaid.

Shrimpy Goodness (or why I would be horrible at keeping kosher)

I love shellfish and pork. I have been known to eat three types of pig at one meal (most egregious example of this was one very hungover morning at WaHo where I consumed hash browns which included ham, bacon, and a sausage egg and cheese sandwich). Probably shouldn't tell people that.

Anyway, I also adore shellfish. Any type. Favorite meal hands down, is a dozen raw oysters and a beer (or glass of white wine depending on the establishment).

So my friend TY and I have been texting this morning about her favorite dish that I make. Luckily for her I went to bed last night craving the shrimpy goodness, so it'll be on the table tonight.
Warning- this is one of those recipes you would rather have someone else make for you. That way you can pretend it's remotely healthy. As the chef, there's no escaping the truth.

I have made this recipe a trillion different ways, depending on the crowd, mood and what's on hand. For example, if I am working on a bottle of chardonnay, I'll fling some in instead of the beer. Although, I do hate to waste any of my wine.

New Orleans Barbequed Shrimp (which has nothing to do with barbecue sauce, or a grill [for the Yankees])

8 sticks of real butter. (this is rather terrifying. If my arteries are feeling sticky, sometime I use 1/2 olive oil and 1/2 butter)

2 tablespoons Old Bay or creole seasoning to taste;

2 - 3 teaspoons cayenne pepper and 3 - 4 teaspoons black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons chopped rosemary leaves

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

6 ounces good beer

10 cloves garlic, finely minced (or as much as you like- just use fresh garlic, none of that jarred dreck please)

1 medium onion, very finely minced

3 - 4 tablespoons chopped parsley

Tabasco to taste

2 teaspoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice. I like the slice the lemons and use the slices in the pan. This makes your presentation look pretty.

5 pounds shrimp, heads and shells on

[This feeds 8-10 people, BTW ... cut it in half if you need to.]
  • Melt a stick of the butter in a skillet.
  • Saute the garlic, onions, parsley, rosemary and seasoning blend for about 2 - 3 minutes.
  • Melt the rest of the butter.
  • Add the beer (drink the rest of the bottle).
  • Add the sauteed stuff, Worcestershire and lemon juice.
  • Put the shrimp in a single layer in a baking dish, and pour the sauce over. Make sure the shrimp are covered in the sauce. If they're not ... melt more butter and add to the sauce. (just pretend you are Julia Child- butter is good!!!)
  • Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven until the shrimp turn pink, about 15 minutes.

I like to put newspaper down on the table, so people can just dump their shells. Clean up's a breeze, because you can roll up the paper.

Serve the shrimp with lots of sauce in big bowls. Serve with tons of good french bread, and a big green salad.

Not everyday food, but such a wonderful treat! Unless you keep kosher. I'm Presbyterian- fully in favor of bacon.

Aug 20, 2009

Legally Blonde

It's when I get my head shot back, and I look like the above is when I know I am a grownup. Still feel like I am playing dress-up though.
Hmmm, never played "I'm going to be a lawyer, and you be, blah blah blah" though.

Do you know Petro?

Unless you live in the East Tennessee area, you have never experienced the glory that is a Petro. First, let me explain their iced tea. Its called hint-of orange because it in fact has a major hint of orange. It's the best iced tea ever. Luckily you can buy it in gallon jugs (sure to make you the hit of the office party).

Next we have the Petro itself. Its similar to a Frito pie, but taken to the next level. I know, how you can you take a Frito(chili-cheese) pie to the next level????

There's your basic Frito pie. That forms the foundation of the Petro. Then you layer on the following:

Followed by your optional toppings:
And here is the final product.
Now comes the crucial step- the stir.

Every bite is a combo of gooey cheese, chili, sour cream, spicy jalapenos, maters and general yumminess. Normally I get marinated cucumbers on the side- my favorite snack. Cucumbers and onions marinated in a vinegar yogurt sauce. So great.
Also, if you are watching your weight, which I invariably am, Petro has "lite" varieties with low fat chili, fat free cheese and fat free sour cream. With all those ingredients you can't tell a difference at all.

A "Petro" bar is also a great entertaining idea. Every year my family has a Christmas chili party. My mama and I make chili for 100ish people, and set up a toppings station with Frito's, cheese, sour cream, salsa, black olives, jalapenos etc. It's a great party, especially for an open house style. After the initial do ahead work, it's perfect for the hostess because you can enjoy visiting with your guests. Preferably wearing reindeer antlers. (Mine light up).

If you ever attend a Tennessee Vols game, most of their concession stands sell Petros. Its heaven after a day of tailgating.