Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday


MaryCollis went to her first Northeast pep rally of the year last Friday. The last time she was at NEJ, she was a mere 6 weeks old. Go Tigers!

With Gamma and Daddy Rah Rah

Baby Girl is cutting 4 teeth :(

Errbody loves MC




Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tasty Tuesday


Football season is upon us, and I have tons of dips to share with you guys. This one sounds like it might not be great, but it is so delicious. If you're scared of mushrooms, don't be! You can't even taste them in this delicious cheese ball.

Dried Beef Cheese Ball


3 blocks cream cheese, softened
1 jar dried beef, chopped
2-3 teaspoons Accent
1 can chopped mushrooms, drained
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 can chopped black olives


Mix all ingredients together; shape into ball; refrigerate. Serve with your favorite crackers! Tip: This is better if made a day ahead of serving.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Motherhood Monday

Picky Eaters Part 2


As mentioned previously, MaryCollis went through a picky stage. It was beyond frustrating. While we still occasionally have trouble with her at mealtime, it has improved dramatically. When she was REALLY picky, she wouldn't eat anything except Fig Newtons and pancakes. Now she still doesn't want to eat the jarred stuff but she is eating a lot more food, and she is a lot more independent about it.

One day she'll devour Cheerios, and the next day she won't touch them. The next day she will eat a whole grilled cheese and then won't pay it any attention for 3 weeks afterward. One thing is for certain, though. She L-O-V-E-S Fig Newtons. Like, loves them. Can't get enough.

She used to love ham and cheese, but now she won't touch it.
And she loves jarred green beans but won't eat the real kind. What is UP with babies??

Babies are so weird when it comes to food. MaryCollis won't touch pasta, but she ate a piece of Gerty's dog food the other day and loved it. What in the WORLD, kid?! So bizarre. I have to say though, I'm loving not having to buy baby food anymore. Praise God for the little things.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fabulous Finds Friday


We have tried every kind of sippy cup there is - and don't get me wrong, MaryCollis is not picky about cups at all - but in my observation, this is the best one out there. I love this Munchkin sippy cup because there is absolutely NO leaking, it's more compact than most cups and the spout is not too big.
What are your favorite cups?

MaryCollis: Watch Me Grow

One week from today, MaryCollis will be 1 year old. Look how much she's grown!

In the Belly - 38 weeks

About an hour old

1 month

2 months

3 months

4 months

5 months

6 months

7 months

8 months

9 months

10 months

11 months

12 months

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I am so thankful this week. For a happy baby even though she is cutting four teeth. For a loving husband who would do (pretty much) anything for us. For family members who keep MaryCollis when I have important meetings or just need to get out of the house and have dinner with friends. For friends and relatives, both near and far, who are opting out of a fun-filled Labor Day weekend to spend time with the Patricks as we celebrate MaryCollis' birthday. For a boss that trusts me and is so much fun to work with. For the cooler, breezier mornings we've been having that have allowed us to start taking walks again. For Unisom because I am finally getting good sleep.

I'm grateful for the little things as much as the big. I'm thankful for red wine and good coffee. I'm thankful for good books and the time to read them. I'm thankful for a cool house in the summer. I'm thankful I don't have to buy formula anymore. I'm thankful for good music and my new iPod. I'm thankful for my short 'do that is oh so easy to fix. And I am super thankful that Fall is on its way.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Collegiate Posters by Lucky Luxe

Lucky Luxe Couture Correspondence is pleased to announce our newest project - Collegiate Posters. The 11x17 letterpress posters will be handprinted on textured felt stock and will sell for $40 each. We hope to make a series of posters with the different mottos, slogans, logos, etc. for each university. They will make fabulous Christmas or birthday presents for the die-hard fan and will be a great addition to any man cave. Only 150 of these limited edition posters will be printed. Pre-order now!


I have already planned to frame every State poster we make and hang them in a row just like I do with the Cotton District Arts Festival posters. So excited about these new designs! Click here to pre-order Mississippi State posters. Click here to pre-order Ole Miss posters.

Wordless Wednesday



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

Mom's Chicken Enchiladas
12 flour tortillas
1 whole chicken - cooked, skinned, deboned and chopped
1 cup ripe olives, drained and chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped fine
4 green onions, chopped
1 cup grated cheese
16 ounces sour cream
Salt & pepper


Mix all ingredients (except tortillas), then salt and pepper to taste. Place a large spoonful of the mixture on each tortilla; roll tortillas tightly and place seam-side down in a greased Pyrex dish.


2 cups chicken stock (from chicken you cooked earlier)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 cups grated cheese
Salt & pepper to taste


Mix chicken stock, soups and salt and pepper; pour over the tortillas. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake (uncovered) for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. This is one of Chad Patrick's favorite dishes of all time. He is always asking for my mom's chicken enchiladas! Hint: This recipe makes a lot, but these freeze well.

Monday, August 22, 2011

30 Before We're 30 (Well, Kind Of)

Chad has been home a bit more recently, and I am loving it. No, seriously. I'm crazy about him being home for meals. It's so cute when we're all three sitting at the table eating our chosen breakfast items (pancakes and milk for bebe, peanut butter nabs and Diet Coke for Chad, coffee for me).

Yesterday morning after breakfast we got to talking about how we need to do more stuff. And I said, "I know what!" and I whipped out my computer and opened a new Word document. I typed out my name then typed '30 things before I'm 30' and immediately started listing things I hoped to accomplish in the next four years. He said, "I wanna do it! But mine'll have to be 35 before I'm 35 because I'm almost 32." So then I jotted down '35 before I'm 35' next to Chad's name.

I'm so excited about our lists, and I wrote down things that I genuinely want to do and think that I can do. Not things like "give to charity" or "be nice to people" but real, tangible things that I can look back on my life and be proud of. You wanna hear 'em? I won't list Chad's because that's his business but here's mine.



            1. Learn to play guitar
2. Find a job (or be on salary doing something from home)
3. Learn to sew
4. Learn a foreign language (French?)
5. Weigh ____ and maintain (not telling!)
6. Have 1 more kid and be done
7. Go back to Europe
8. Go back to Cabo
9. Go back to NYC
10. Get better at PhotoShop (learn tricks, editing, etc.)
11. Start or be part of a book club
12. Become a better photographer
13. Have picnics often
14. Buy a really amazing guitar with my OWN money
15. Make traditions with MaryCollis
16. Learn to cook important family recipes (dressing, sweet potato pie, etc.)
17. Make healthy decisions and teach MaryCollis to make them too
18. Grow my own garden
19. Start writing letters again – 1 every month
20. Make or restore furniture with Chad
21. Drive an old car (even if I have to rent it)
22. Do something physically adventurous (parasail, bungee jump, etc.)
23. Visit a winery
24. Learn to drive a stick shift (again)
25. Take ballroom dance lessons
26. Learn to make gravy
27. Buy a bike and ride it
28. Visit the Grand Canyon
29. Go vegetarian for one month
30. Go to at least 3 concerts




I'll be updating the list periodically by crossing things off that I've accomplished. Guess I better go write a letter! :)

Grilled Pizza


MaryCollis was in the BEST mood yesterday (actually, she has been for about 5 days now), and Chad was in the mood to grill so we three headed to Corner Market in search of fresh ingredients for our homemade pizzas. We spent the afternoon making homemade pizza dough and organizing our toppings, then after MaryCollis went to sleep Chad and I grilled the pizzas.

We danced in the kitchen like we used to before a child came into our lives, we laughed until it hurt, we talked about everything and nothing as we cooked side by side. It was magical. You know what else was magical? The masterpieces we came up with. We made four pizzas, but I'm going to share our two favorites with you.

Grilled Barbecue Pizza


Grilled Barbecue Pizza
Pizza dough (see recipe below)
Chicken
Purple onion
Fresh mozzarella (not the shredded kind)
Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce
Fresh jalapenos (optional)


Grill onions with a bit of olive oil, a tablespoon of butter, salt and pepper. Cook them on LOW heat until they caramelize. Cut chicken into slices or chunks (you can use leftover chicken, store-bought rotisserie chicken, any chicken you want).

Roll dough into a rectangle or circle. Brush each side with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill each side for about 1 minute (you'll know to flip it when you see bubbles form). Cover with Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce (you can use whichever brand you like, but you'll pinch yourself if you don't use SBR's).

Top with slices of mozzarella, tons of grilled onions and chicken (you could even add roasted red peppers or pineapple but it really didn't need it). Throw the pizza back on the grill (or pop it in the oven) and cook until the cheese is bubbly and you can smell the barbecue sauce. This pizza is heavenly.

Grilled Spinach Pizza


Grilled Spinach Pizza

Pizza dough (see recipe below)
Fresh spinach
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic, pressed
Mushrooms
Bell peppers



Grill onions with a bit of olive oil, a tablespoon of butter, pressed garlic, salt and pepper. Cook them on LOW heat until they caramelize. Throw in the fresh spinach and cook until it wilts down. You can throw the mushrooms in with it or cook the mushrooms separately - either is fine. Saute red and green bell peppers in olive oil and butter with a bit of salt and pepper.

Roll dough into a rectangle or circle. Brush each side with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill each side for about 1 minute (you'll know to flip it when you see bubbles form).

Top with slices of mozzarella, spinach mixture, mushrooms and peppers (you could add prosciutto as well). Throw the pizza back on the grill (or pop it in the oven) and cook until the cheese is bubbly. This pizza is very fresh-tasting and packed with flavor.


Pizza dough
5 cups flour
1 packet yeast
Water
Olive oil


Add 1 packet active yeast to 2 cups lukewarm water and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in 3 cups of flour to form a paste. Slowly add in the other 2 cups of flour until a dough forms. Place dough on a floured surface and knead about 10 minutes (until it is elastic but still a bit sticky). Place 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a deep bowl and turn to coat the bottom and sides of the bowl. Form dough into a ball and place in the bowl, turning the dough to coat with oil.

Place plastic wrap or a towel over the top of the bowl and sit in a warm place for 3 hours. The dough will double or triple in size over that time. You know it's ready when you can poke your finger in it and an indention remains. Place the ball of dough on a flat surface and divide into 4 pieces. Form each piece into a ball, place on a sheet pan, lay a towel on top and let rest for 30 additional minutes. Then the dough is ready to be made into yummy pizzas!








Motherhood Monday

How To Talk To Girls


I saw this post on Cup of Jo a while back, and I thought I should share it with you. How to Talk to Little Girls by Lisa Bloom encourages adults to ask little girls about ideas and books, instead of complimenting their looks. "Teaching girls that their appearance is the first thing you notice tells them that looks are more important than anything," says Bloom. "I always bite my tongue when I meet little girls, restraining myself from my first impulse, which is to tell them how darn cute/ pretty/ beautiful/ well-dressed/ well-manicured/ well-coiffed they are...It's our culture's standard talking-to-little-girls icebreaker, isn't it?"

"Clothes or hair or bodies...it's surprising how hard it is to stay away from those topics with little girls, but I'm stubborn," Bloom writes. "Try this the next time you meet a little girl [ask her what she's reading]. She may be surprised and unsure at first, because few ask her about her mind, but be patient and stick with it...Model for her what a thinking woman says and does."

Lisa Bloom's advice to have real conversations with little girls (and boys!) is wonderful. (Think: "Have you been swimming this summer?" "Do you like animals?" "Do you know any jokes?") Changing the conversation topic is such a seemingly small thing, but it can make a profound difference, don't you think?

What's your take? Do you instinctively compliment little girls' looks, too? What else do you talk about with little girls? Do you remember having smart conversations with adults when you were little? Do you have any young girls in your life to at the moment, or do you have a daughter? Will you take Lisa Bloom's pledge, too? (Think how amazing it would be if we all did this from now on!) Do you think it's important or not that big of a deal?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I Got You a Present

Chad surprised me last night by bringing home this guy. He's the greatest. The Patricks already have a total of 3 iPods, but y'all know I'm obsessed with all things Apple. I can't believe I held out this long on getting a Touch. I'm super excited about it, and I've been working all morning on getting this thing ready.


Napiers, hope y'all don't mind if I bring my new friend along on our double date tonight. I'll make us a special playlist for the long drive. :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Fabulous Finds Friday


I got this Vera Wang sleepshirt for Christmas a few years ago, and I have worn the HECK out of it. I loved it when I was pregnant, I loved it post-pardum and I love it still. It's long enough that you don't need bottoms, it's comfy and light but also stylish, it has pockets. What more can I say?


I recommend getting it extra big 'cause sleepshirts are always better when they're too big. Don't you agree?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Theatrical Thursday


I, like most women in Mississippi, have been waiting for "The Help" movie to hit theaters for months now. While I don't think the book was necessarily a deep, thought-provoking novel, I absolutely loved it. Why? Because it was funny from beginning to end, emotional in all the right spots and surprisingly relatable.

Kathryn Stockett made me fall in love with Minny Jackson and Celia Foote. She made my heart ache for Mae Mobley. Even though he was never a character - just a memory - I mourned the loss of Treelore. She made me laugh out loud when the crazy man talked about Pecker Pie. I wanted to hit ole Hilly Holbrook square in the nose, I wanted to sit down and have a cocktail with Skeeter Phelan and I wanted to scoop Aibileen Clark up in my arms when she ran so fast she fell.


I was excited to see how the book translated to film but I was a bit worried as well. Would they get the clothing right? Would they cast the right people? Would they portray Mississippi in a negative light (like always) or would it be uplifting? And most importantly, would everyone have such TERRIBLE Southern accents that I couldn't focus on anything else?

When I found out Kathryn Stockett's childhood friend (and fellow Mississippi-native) would be directing the film, I figured they would work together to ensure the movie followed the book closely. And I also figured they would be annoyed by the typical Hollywood take on a Southern accent. I imagined they might tell the entire cast to please not insult them or their home state by even attempting it. So having said all that, here's what I think about the movie.


1. The accents were great. As a matter of fact, they were almost non-existant. I realize we have a certain drawl when we speak, but I've never seen an actor get it right so I'd prefer they didn't even try. A+ in the accent department! (Wanna see a really horrible attempt? Colin Firth, I love you. But Sweet Lord).

2. Despite the length of the film (a whopping 2.5 hours), the script was unable to fully develop the characters. You didn't fall in love with them. You didn't ache for them. You didn't connect with them. At least not as much as with the book anyway.

3. I did laugh and cry several times.

4. They left out a few things that I felt would've helped the audience better understand the characters. For instance, Mae Mobley never said "Mae Mo bad." The naked Pecker Pie guy was not in the movie. Minny never found Celia upstairs drinking her special potion. I don't think it came across that Elizabeth was poor - In the beginning of the movie she asked Aibileen if her dress looked homemade but that was really it. They Left out "Martian Luther King." That was one of my favorite parts in the book.

5. I don't think you would have fully understood the movie if you hadn't read the book. I wouldn't have known what the heck was going on.


6. Jessica Chastain (Celia Foote) stole the show. Bryce Dallas Howard was perfect as Hilly, Octavia Spencer was a great choice for Minny (as she should be - the character Minny is actually based on Octavia herself!) and Viola Davis was superb as Aibileen. But Jessica was absolutely the shining star.

7. They went WAY overboard with the chocolate pie references. Yes. It is hilarious. I laughed out loud but did they REALLY need to refer to it 97 different times?

8. The relationship between Skeeter & Stuart was pitiful. He was hardly even a character.

9. While Viola Davis was a great choice for Aibileen, I didn't find her funny. In the book, Aibileen was  a HOOT! That made me a little sad.

10. They shot in Mississippi, which I think is important.


Bottom line: The book is superb, and the film is just okay. I think I really need to see it again and try not to compare them. I always seem to like movies more the second time. What did y'all think?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fall Wish List


#1 Perfect Popover by J.Crew
#2 Fallow Fadora by Anthropologie
#3 Dorado Riding Boot (in Spice) by The Frye Company
#4 Majesty Peacoat (in Heather Honey) by J.Crew




Not that I can afford a single thing on this list, but it's fun to look! What are you eyeing for Fall?

Wordless Wednesday





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