Nov 30, 2012

The Look for Less- Holiday Tables

So I was perusing the stack of catalogs that come in the mail daily this time of year (my joy at this exceeds no bounds- I adore going to the mailbox to be rewarded with magazines, cards, invitations and catalogs), and these festive placemats from Ballard Designs caught my eye-

They reminded me of this lovely table I spotted on Pinterest-
Source: via Samma on Pinterest

Anyway, we're having Christmas Eve dinner at our house this year (Mama, have we dicussed this?  We'd be too rushed at your house trying to get Dell Harper to bed, plus you overcooked the tenderloin last year, hee).  When I spotted these at World Market, I was just thrilled-

Ten dollars cheaper than the Suzanne Kasler ones, and just as cute- I'm pretty excited to set my table now.

Nov 29, 2012

Wish List- Home Edition

Dear Santa,

I would really appreciate a Hickory Chair Jackson Skirted Wing Chair.
It's just what my living room needs.  In fact, let's make it a double?

While we're on the living room, I'd like to switch out my current coffee table (which has been exiled to the dining room for play space for nanny and 2 babies) for this fun little number from World Market.

And let's not neglect the dining room.  I think the off-center random light fixture that I completely ignore should be replaced with this lovely lantern from Shades of Light.

It's on sale, too!  What a stocking stuffer!

If you can't tell, the redecorating bug has bit me hard.  I am craving some changes around the house.  Poor Hubs better watch out- this is normally around the time when I start hauling in projects that sit in our carport for years.  Let's hope Santa delivers instead!

Nov 28, 2012

The Haps

I was so thrilled to pop down to Atlanta Monday and meet this adorable little one- I can't believe I'm holding Anne's son!  Such a cuddle bug.  I am, of course, plotting Dell Harper's wedding to him already.

In other news I am using the L'Oreal BB Cream, and LOVE it.  My skin has been looking dewy and clear lately.  I am attributing it to the magic of BB cream.  I love not putting on foundation, and it evens out my skin.

I am  bummed out about this, but we are not getting a tree this year.  Miss Priss is pulling up on anything and everything, and with her nanny watching two babies, it's just too much of a hazard.

Source: via Samma on Pinterest

So, send me pictures of mini-trees.  I have to have something sparkly and twinkly!

So it will have to be a Charlie Brown tree for us this year.  I am planning on keeping my other decor simple, natural and crisp.

Source: via Samma on Pinterest

Y'all might remember how funny I am about holiday decor- tree, wreath, garland, nativity and done!  I get overwhelmed with the holidays- Christmas creeping closer to Halloween each year.  It really makes me sad, because it ruins Thanksgiving for me, as well as Christmas.  I want to decorate myself in autumnal hues until December, when I want velvet, glitter, and jewel tones!  Retailers- quit pushing  Christmas forward.  I will still buy stuff.  I promise!

Okay, random rant over.  Have y'alll used a BB Cream?  Tell me about your glorious, ornament-laden, enormous Christmas trees, and let me drool with envy!

Nov 27, 2012

Buttered Bread

 I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving with your families!  We certainly did, and actually managed to get a halfway decent family photo.  Miss Priss loved all the food, and burned off all the calories she consumed.  Constant motion.  Standing up, crawling, moving and grooving.

It's amazing how much she has changed in the last six months.

My lap is growing smaller!  I loved looking back at these pictures from our family trip in May.  I thought she was so big then.  Now she looks postively minature compared to her current self!

Ha!  Can you tell how she has taken to solids?  Look at that fat little face!  She looks so teeny in the pictures from the beach in May.

She is definitely more fun to be around with her crawling, toys, pulling up, and constant activity.  She was thrilled with new toys for the Beach Barn from her grandparents. 

And of course, they were pretty excited to see her.  Dell Harper had lots of stuff to show her Granddaddy and GiGi- a new tooth, pulling up, and clapping on cue.  She also added a new word to her repertoire.


I swear on my mother's grave. My child said Granddaddy on two separate occasions, to my father.  She can't get out a mama, but she can say Granddaddy?

Law, that child knows where her bread is buttered, I swear.

Nov 20, 2012

Well, My Mind is Going Through Those Changes*

So I'm starting a new job at the beginning of the year.  This means I had to quit my current job, which was agonizing.  The only job I have ever truly quit (rather than moving on in a natural sort of progression) was Senior year of high school when I spent one day as a telemarketer calling elderly people trying to get them to come in for a free chiropractor session in a smoke filled basement.

My current job was a bit more difficult to leave.

However, unfortunately, there is an inherent discord between the concept of billable hours and motherhood. Women's law groups and firms bemoan the low retention rate for women in the profession, but until serious changes are made to the system, mothers of young children are going to leave firms. 

My firm was wonderful about accommodating my new schedule, and the fact that I leave at 5 instead of 7.  However, I just couldn't bill enough hours to satisfy my own standards.  I constantly had that stress in the back of my mind that I wasn't doing enough, yet could not muster the ambition to quit playing with Miss Priss and go review documents.  When I stay late, I have to scramble for childcare and pay someone else to take care of my baby.  I miss her dinner and her bath, and the main chunk of time I spend with her if I get caught in the office.  Saturdays and Sundays?  They are for my family now, not playing catch-up.  The thing is?  I want more kids!  It's not like I will get through this year, and it will get better.  It's going to  get worse for the foreseeable future!

So, I made an incredibly difficult decision.  I am saying goodbye to something I have worked extremely hard at for the last 8 years (3 of law school, 5 of practice). And the goodbye is awfully final. For those of you who are not in the legal profession, it's quite unfriendly to those who take a break for a number of years, then desire to return.  Why would you want to hire someone with children and other obligations, who is unfamiliar with the latest practices, when you can hire a fresh young graduate without family, who is willing to work 60 hour weeks without complaint?  It's a no-brainer.

However, I will never let my license lapse, and will faithfully slog through my yearly CLE's.  Although going back to a firm is not really an option, I might practice law in some other permutation down the road. 

So, my new gig?  Keeping my father and brother in line at our family business.  I'll be doing a little bit of everything- HR, consulting and advising on various matters, some of the books, and corporate miscellany.   The amazing part?  I will be working from home.  Dell Harper will be going to Mother's Day Out one day a week, and the rest of my work will get done during naps or at night.  It's going to be an adjustment for sure, so I will need plenty of advice from those of you who work from home.

So that's my big news.  It's a bittersweet change.  I'm so thrilled to be in a more flexible situation, and to not have to put on a suit everyday, but sad to say goodbye to my be-suited, wheeling and dealing business lawyer self.  Now that I have finally made my decision though, I am excited to start this new journey.

Lady lawyers, working moms, stay at home moms, work at home moms, non-moms, dog-moms, (guys too- I just have, like, 3 male readers) what are your thoughts?  How can the billable system change to become more family friendly?  How do you make it work with life-balance?

*Have you ever listened to Buddy Miles?  "Them Changes" is a fantastic song.  Download it!

Nov 14, 2012

Bookcases are for Books!!!!!!!!!!!

Every time I see something like "Tips and Tricks for Styling Your Bookcases", I cringe inside.  For example, I adore this library.  I am dying to curl up with a cup of tea, and maybe something not-too-sweet, a cozy, worn quilt, and a new book.

BUT, WAIT, there are no books. Nothing to read at all. There are a few that look like the interior designer bought them by the yard.  An anathema to this reader.  Shudder.

Now, I understand that some people don't read.  Hell, a lot of my nearest and dearest are not readers.  I get it.  Well, not really, but I pretend to.  But why, if you don't own books, would you have a library in your home? 

On the other hand, I am dying to scan these shelves.

Source: via Samma on Pinterest

Source: via Samma on Pinterest

I am my mother's daughter, but I firmly agree with her belief that real art and books make a home.  I love my kindle, but miss the books- rereading, loaning, etc.  Hubs says I have enough books cluttering up the house as it is!  I think he would prefer me to "style" our bookshelves with knick knacks.  In fact, he mentioned his football helmet from high school would be an excellent addition.

(Not Hubs.  Just a random picture of his high school playing their top rival.)

Hmmm.  I think I will stick with the books for now.

Nov 13, 2012

The Secret Keeper

First of all, a clarification.  I am not pregnant.  Showing a picture from last year and alluding to mysterious happenings was misleading.  Apologies.  What's going on is a lot more boring, I swear.

Moving on, have y'all read any of Kate Morton's books?  I just love them all, and stayed up far too late last night finishing her newest, The Secret Keeper.

I just love a well-written mystery set in Britain on a cold, rainy night.  A perfect palate cleanser after listening to Lauren Conrad's latest tome on my ipod.  Hee.

Nov 12, 2012

Changing Times

So Margaret and Annie came up from Atlanta to visit this weekend- both Buddy and Dell Harper were in raptures having two aunts to love on them! After Dell Harper went down, we made Ina Garten's Parmesan Crusted Chicken and Five Cheese Penne.

I hadn't made either recipe in a few years, and they were just as wonderful as I remembered. 

Both ladies are expecting, so barely a dent was made in the bottle of wine, and we all lasted until about 10:30 before crashing.  Annie is due at the same time I was with Dell Harper.  We were marveling at all the changes a year makes.  A year ago I looked like this, and now I have a daughter who says "Dada" to Hubs, crawls at the speed of light, and stands up in her crib.
After the ladies left, Dell Harper and I both took solid Sunday afternoon naps.  I needed some rest, as my kindergarteners wore me out Sunday morning.  We are studying Daniel and the Lion's Den, so I re-purposed Dell Harper's headpiece and Buddy's costume for my students to use in a game.  I didn't mention that it was my baby's and dog's costume.  Although, to a 4 year old, wearing a baby's costume would likely be more offensive than a golden retriever's.

So, lots of other changes are brewing around here, which I will fill y'all in on as soon as I am able!  Until then, I am going to continue to simultaneously enjoy every second of life, while willing everything to slow down!  Quite an easy task indeed.

Nov 8, 2012

This and Thats

  • I am so thrilled that Annie and Margaret are coming up to visit this weekend!  Dell Harper is very excited as well, ladies.  She has been practicing waving, standing up, and crawling at the speed of light in anticipation.

  • Her nanny sent me this picture the other day.  How is my little baby pulling up all by herself?  it just can't be true.  My friend who I nanny share with has one of those little tables with a piano on it.  Miss Priss is obsessed apparently.  She likes to jam out on the piano and dance.

  • I have been cooking quite a bit lately, thanks to my new Barefoot Contessa cookbook.  This week I have made the meatloaf, winter minestrone, and asparagus with prosciutto, eggs and Hollandaise.  I have always been scared of hollandaise sauce (making it, not eating it).  The recipe for easy Hollandaise sauce is super simple.  Pictures and recipes will follow!

  • Can you believe it is Thursday?  Where has this week gone?  I feel like life is flying by way to fast lately.  I can't seem to catch my breath, or wake up!

  • Last bit of baby bragging (for today at least)- I just have to tell y'all about Dell Harper's thighs.  Those little ham hocks of legs are the so sturdy and scrumptious.  I think it is a blessing that they have to be covered up for winter, as I would have strangers gnawing on my baby's legs- they are just that squeezable.  All muscle- that girl never stops moving.  She is busy, busy, busy!

Nov 7, 2012

Dell Harper's Green Beans

Well, Baby Led Weaning is going swimmingly around these parts.  At Dell Harper's nine month appointment, her doctor was very pleased that she eats solely table food.  Ironic, since he was skeptical about baby led weaning at 6 months, yet wants her to be feeding herself by nine.  Hmmpph.

Anyway, based on her HUGE growth spurt, table food is treating her quite nicely.  She eats everything! 

A typical day is:

Toast fingers with jam (no sugar added), or Greek yogurt spread on top (1-2 pieces of whole wheat bread)
banana or blueberries

whole wheat penne with cheese and carrot or butternut squash or
baby mum mums spread with hummus, no salt added roasted turkey, and steamed broccoli and carrots

turkey meatballs
sweet potato wedges
green beans

Now, when I first tried steamed green beans with Dell Harper, she was unimpressed.  Then I doctored up those green beans with the following recipe, from that wonder Taste of the South Southern Suppers magazine that I keep telling y'all about.  The girl went crazy over the new green beans! She ate the whole darn batch.  I was proud as punch over my garlic loving green bean eating little chunk.

1 bag frozen green beans (thawed)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste

Sauté the thawed green beans in a tablespoon of olive oil for about fifteen minutes until they are browned.
add the garlic, lemon juice, sugar and butter, and cook on medium heat stirring often until the garlic is browned and the butter is melted- about 5-6 minutes.

This is a great recipe for these winter months, when you have had it to here with broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, and root vegetables.  Frozen green beans to the rescue!

Buddy is enjoying BLW as well.  Although yogurt is not his favorite.

Nov 1, 2012


One of the things I love about the blog is the ability to look back at what I was doing at any given time.  Apparently I did not celebrate Halloween in 2009.

Halloween 2010  was Creamy White Chicken Chili (YUM!) and a dearth of trick or treaters

Halloween 2011 was Pregnant Betty Draper.

Halloween 2012?

Sheer cuteness all around.

Hope y'all had a wonderful Halloween!  I'm sure it was better than Buddy's.  He was not into his super awesome mane at all.

Very disappointing Buddy.