Saturday, November 13, 2010

On the blog again

It's been a long while since I've blogged and I've decided to give it another try.  I took a little break and have to admit, I missed it.  And, if anyone still reads, I'm glad you're still here!

Blogging definitely helps capture the everyday family moments that my mommy brain keeps me from remembering . 

It's amazing how many times I think to myself during the day ... oh, I need to write that down or I wish I had taken a picture of that!  I've even gone back to this blog and looked up a few recipes that I can't find in my cluttered cabinets. 

So, here I am.  Little Mama ... on the blog again :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Holy Lemon Squares!

Sunday, we stayed home from church since the girls were under the weather. But, that evening I was able to head to  my Bible study. I look forward to our meeting every week and we have such an awesome group of girls! 

This Spring, we are doing Beth Moore's The Inheritance and like the others I've done, it doesn't disappoint.  Did you know I'm an heiress and so are you ?  :)

This study is a little different than the ones I've taken before because it has no homework.  I tried to embed the Inheritance promo video, but no such luck.  But, you can see it here! (You'll need to scroll down about halfway down the page).  If you have a chance to join a Beth Moore study, you won't regret it!

Each week, we take turns bringing a meal for the class. We have enjoyed some of the best food! This Sunday, it was my turn to bring one of the desserts and I tried a new Lemon Square recipe.

My old standby is from our local Junior League cookbook, but it hasn't turned out right the last few times I made it. The lemon filling doesn't set as firmly as I would like.

So, I broke my cardinal rule and tried a new recipe for the first time before bringing it somewhere. Yes, I'm living on the edge :). I made the Lemon Square recipe in this month's Southern Living and it turned out great.

I have some ideas for a little tweaking (like adding a little more lemon zest), but the problem is I would have to make another batch.  And, well, considering lemon squares are one of my favorites, I'm pretty sure I would embarrassment myself with the leftovers!  :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Happy Monday!

Happy Monday!  This last week has been a rough one!   The sinus sickness hit our house in a big way.  We've gone through shots, anitibiotics, prescription changes, you name it.

The girls have the worst of it, but seem to be on the upswing ... finally!  Yay! They have been such little troopers and I'm so proud of them. 

We've pretty much been housebound.  But, while we've been inside, Spring is finally peeking out all around us!

I've been fascinated with the silhouettes of trees lately from a photography standpoint.  At sunset, I'm amazed at the intracies of the branches - how each tree is so different from another. 

I noticed last week that one of the silhouettes is changing ... the beginnings of leaves are starting to appear!

If you look closely, you can see the little buds at the end of the branches.  Spring is coming!!!


Next year I want to learn to take these the right way.  You know, work on shutter speed, use a tripod, etc.

I did get a little break away from the house on Saturday while Big Daddy manned the fort.   I actually had a manicure ... my first one in two years.  It was so nice and relaxing!  I went with a crazy color that I just love ... Chinchilly.  It's a really soft, light gray.

This Chanel polish, Particuliere, was my inspiration!

Afterwards, I met up with my friend J and we hit Forever 21.  I picked up this cute cheeta trench coat to wear with jeans and red sling backs. 

I also got this little necklace.

The best part was that my bill only rang up to 98 cents thanks to the gift card my sister gave me for Christmas!

Don't you just love giftcards?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tarjay and other musings

This weekend was pretty quiet, which was nice!  I had a chance to go to Target alone for a little bit and I racked up on a few great finds. 

I found these cute green and pink melamine plates for $2.50 a 2-pack.  My motto these days is one can never have enough non-breakable plates with kids!

I haven't had a chance to get to Target lately, so I've been missing my favorite sparkling lemon water.  At only a little over a dollar a bottle, it's like Pellegrino on a budget!

And, it always tastes better in a crystal glass!

I think my favorite find was this Wonder Woman notebook for my To Do Lists. Isn't this fun?

I already feel inspired to knock out my to do list with my magic bracelets and invisible jet! :)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Southern Gardener's Diary

I don't know about you, but I'm longing for Spring.  We've had the coldest winter here in nearly 20 years.  And, this Southern girl is ready for wamer weather!

I'm itching to get outside and start working in the yard.  I love to garden, but I'm definitely a novice.  I have so much to learn!  But, isn't that the fun of it?

Our yard is a mess right now showing the bruises of a harsh winter.  What looks like sticks hopefully will recover and bring back some of my favorites.

It's hard to believe that this ...

will become beautiful Chinese Indigo.

Or that my Belinda's Dream roses will ever recover and show me these again ...

I'm really missing some of my old friends from last summer

I was so excited when the new Southern Living came in the mail today.  I saw the cover with gardenias and it was instant happiness!

Anyone who knows me well, knows that gardenias are my favorite flower.  The flowers are so beautiful and delicate.  And, there is nothing more Southern in the garden to me than the scent of a bush full of gardenia blossoms.


But, I can't grow gardenias to save my life!  I've tried, but they don't like it this far South and are tricky.  But, this is my year.  I can feel it.  I'm going to conquer gardenias!

Dreaming about my garden made me think that I want to start keeping a gardening diary.  And so I am!  (Even if it's just a few blog posts here and there).  Every good project needs a plan, right? 

Oh, I'm ready to dig in the dirt! Come on in Spring!  I've been waiting for you!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Blue and White China

I love this week's Show Us Your Life topic - collecting! 

Since college, I've been collecting Blue and White Transferware dishes. 

I used to have these pieces in several areas around the house.  But, my mom convinced me to move everything to one place.  And, I'm so glad she did!

One of the things I love about collecting Blue and White is that it's easy to find, there are so many patterns to choose from, and you don't have to break the bank to buy it.

All of the pieces I collect are English.  You can tell by the mark on the back of the piece.

In fact, the mark will tell you about how old the plate is and who made it.  I like 19th century pieces, so I look for ones marked "England" versus "Made in England. 

One of my favorite things about my collection is that 90% of it was given to me as a gift. 

We received this Blue Willow platter for a wedding present from one of my mom's good friends.  This is Wedgewood from about 1870 and is probably the nicest piece I own.


This oval bowl was given to me when I graduated from college.

My mom gave me most of my pieces.  She worked for years in an antique and gift store and that's where I first saw the Blue and White.  The owner would bring back pieces from England for the shop and I just loved how different each pattern was from another.  To me, they are really works of art!

I have several pieces of Blue Willow (pictured above) and the scene depicts a Chinese love story.  Many manfacturers made Blue Willow, but one piece is always different from another.

This piece is a Flow Blue Blue Willow.  You can tell because the blue is more intense and "blurry."

Here's a regular transferware Blue Willow plate.  You can really see the difference!

Some people, just collect Flow Blue

Some people only collect certain patterns, like this one - "Peony" from Johnson Brothers.  (This was actually part of my great-grandmother's dressing set).

Some people don't like pieces with crazing

But, I love it all!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!  To link back to Kelly's Korner, click here.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I love Mexican food, especially Tortilla Soup.  So, I was really excited when I found this recipe!  I made a few modifications to make it even healthier and it still tastes great!  (This recipe is based off of Emeril's Favorite Tortilla Soup recipe).

Chicken Tortilla Soup
Yields 4 servings

Weight Watchers Points: 3 points per serving
(calculation does not include avacado)


1 cup chopped onions
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped, or green bell pepper and 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tablespoon tomato paste
6 cups organic, lower sodium chicken stock (I use Swanson's)
*1 pound chicken breast, cooked and prepared as directed below 
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice (more if desired)
Chipotle Crema, recipe below
1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and chopped, for garnish (optional)

Spray a Dutch oven or large heavy pot, with Olive Oil cooking spray.  Heat pot over medium-high heat.  Add the onions, garlic, peppers, salt, and cumin for 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add the chicken and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cilantro and lime juice, and stir well. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

Chipotle Crema 
Weight Watchers points: 1 point for entire recipe!

Note: I substitute  Fage non-fat plain Greek yogurt for sour cream.  It's rich like sour cream, fat free, and a good source of protein

1/2 cup Fage 0%  plain Greek yogurt 
1 teaspoon chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1/8 teaspoon salt
In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine all the ingredients. Process on high speed until smooth. Serve with the soup.
Yield: 1/2 cup

Note: Chicken
I usually use bone in, skin on chicken breasts for all of my chicken recipes. I learned this from the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks. The meat is much more tender this way.  (But, I do remove the skin before using).  Plus, these are almost always on sale.  I just bought some for 99 cents a pound at Winn Dixie.
For this recipe, I rubbed the breasts lightly with olive oil, then seasoned them generously with Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime seasoning.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  Let cool, remove the skin, and cut the meat off of the bone.  Cut into 1/2 inch cubes.