Surviving the End of Maternity Leave

How is one to survive the sadness that accompanies the end of maternity leave? Buy some new outfits, that's how.

Cute clothes to follow.


It's All About the Food

Over the last few days I have had the chance to prepare some amazing dishes. Since none of my clothes fit and I can't really post any fabulous outfits, it's all about the food now.

Here is the Mexican feast I made. Mexican rice with chicken, tomatoes and corn, sweet corn tomalito and black bean cakes garnished with sour cream, avacado and a lime wedge. The rice couldn't have been simpler. It's just a ready made rice packet, but I jazzed it up by adding the chicken, tomato and corn. All you do is drop in your additives when the liquid comes to a boil. You have to remember to stir freqently though, because truth be told, mine was burnt on the bottom (good thing the Hubs does the dishes). I followed recipes for the black bean cakes and sweet corn tomalito, just click the links for the recipes. They are both fairly time consuming, so make sure you set aside a solid hour and a half for prep and cook time... two if you are having a glass of wine!

I also made a delicious rustic apple tart that couldn't have been easier to prepare. Just follow the recipe for your favorite pie crust (you could use ready made, but pie crust is so easy to make and is a world better), then quarter about two pounds of your favorite baking apples (I used Granny Smith). Then you add about a tablespoon of lemon juice, quarter cup of sugar and cinnamon to taste. Add the apples to a large skillet and toss for about 10 minutes. In the meantime roll out the dough to about a 12 inch circle. When the apples are done just pile them in the center of the dough leaving about 2 inches around the edges. Fold up the dough and then bake at 375 F for about 40 minutes. To enjoy to the fullest serve with vanilla ice cream.

Today's Random Trivia:

The biggest apple ever picked weighed in at three pounds and two ounces.


Thanks to Brad!

A couple of posts ago I asked for help on adding a YouTube video to my post. Thanks to Brad's instructions and advice I have successfully added the video I wanted you all to see then. Without further adieu...

I could watch this video over and over.

While I have been able to fit posting to my blog into the newborn baby schedule, I don't often have the chance to visit the blogs that I follow. When Brad posted advice to my comments it made me realize I haven't been to his blog for quite a while and it was has always been a big artistic inspiration to me. So I thought I'd stop by for a visit and I stumbled on these little gems.
You may notice that I prefer the studies over the final products. The reason for this is because I think it gives a real feel for the movement of the artist. I tend to like my own studies better than the finals because I work more quickly with less inhibition, and I tend to create lines and show a feeling that I can never recreate in the final work when I'm trying to make everything perfect. This buxom gal is just lovely... the artistic world has never tended to gravitate to the stick skinny models of modern society. What woman wouldn't love that?

I love this drawing because it is one of the hardest angles of the face to accurately capture. Foreshortening is always a challenge, but on a face it can sometimes seem impossible. Well done Brad!

If you want to check out more of Brads work, and I think you should, go by Blackbird Studio and enjoy the eye candy.

Today's Random Trivia:
Seasons and weather affect nail growth. Nails grow faster in warm climates and during daytime, than in cold climates and at night.


Mulligan in Prada

A couple of posts ago I noted the Carey Mulligan hair and dress that I liked at the Oscars. I noted how I liked her dress, but I just saw a new pic that makes me love it, and I need to share.
Thanks to Style Rookie for pointing that out. As this clever little lass notes, she is wearing "Tiny kitchen utensils! For tiny murderers!" I couldn't have said it better myself.

A Naked Distraction

Today a little diversion... literally.

In my opinion there aren't too many perks to having a husband who is a sports nut. I've been kicked off the couch to make way for precious sports heirlooms that apparently have bearing on the game, I've endured many a Sunday without use of the computer or the TV so that he can have streaming Fantasy Football updates, and I wake up and go to sleep to the sound of ESPN comentators. Usually when I hear the sound of sports on TV I tune out and start thinking about my next project or an upcoming fabulous outfit, but every once and I while I watch through rolled eyes. Recently the constant watching of ESPN has yielded an enjoyable moment: a naked distraction. During a free throw at a Duke and Carolina game a very zealous and ballsy (punn intended) fan thought of a very effective way to distract the opposing team. I can't figure out how to upload a youtube video to this post (if any of you have any tricks let me know) so please click HERE to go to the appropriate page. I promise you it will be well worth it, especially if you need a good laugh. And make sure you go to full screen, or else you won't get the full effect! Here's a little teaser to incite your curiosity.


Oscar Night Faves

So, who watched the Oscars? Usually I don't stay up past the first few awards, but this year it was easy due to a nursing baby. Here were my highlights:

Carey Mulligans hair... is it any surprise that I love this? Super cute, and I love the contrast between the earrings and the hair. Her hair is boyish and delicate while her jewelry is feminine and chunky.
This may be because I'm partial to funny ladies, but I loved Tina Fey's look, even though I don't normally gravitate towards black for a formal event.

Seriously, Helen Mirren is gorgeous. Her look proves that you can be age appropriate, stunning and sexy all at the same time.

I know that later I'll regret giving a nod to Miley Cyrus, but I just love this dress.
Some of my other faves were Monique, JLo and Elizabeth Banks. My tip top favorite of the night went to the winner for costume design: Sandy Powell. Her look was vintage and modern at the same time. It was colorful and most importantly it stood out from all the other cookie cutter gowns with poof and trains and tight boob busting bodices. I can't find any pics online though, so if anybody finds one, please send the link my way.
Today's Random Trivia:
The only "Oscar" to win an Oscar was Oscar Hammerstein II for Best Song in 1941 and 1945.


Chocolate Buttered Bread Pudding

If you are anything like me some of your favorite confections would include bread pudding and anything chocolate. What could be better than combining the two? This is the easiest bread pudding recipe I have ever used, which puts it in reach of late-night-last-minute snacking.


8 oz. brioche (which I can never find, you can use just about any bread you can find)

Pat of butter

chocolate chips (I used a combination of milk and semi-sweet)

1 egg

2 egg yolks

4 tbsp sugar

15 oz can evaporated milk

1. Cut bread into 1/2 - 1 inch slices. Lightly butter one side of each slice.

2. Place layer of bread, buttered side down, in the bottom of a shallow oven proof dish. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top (the amount you use is up to you... personally I like as many as possible)

3. Continue layering the bread and chocolate chips, finishing with a layer of bread on top.

4. Beat together the egg, yolks and sugar. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it just begins to simmer. I use this as another opportunity to add chocolate... add more chips until melted, or if you don't have extra you can add a hot cocoa mix or chocolate syrup. Temper the eggs (add a little bit of the hot milk to the eggs in order to bring the eggs to temp without cooking them) and then add them to the milk mixture.

5. Pour the custard over the pudding and let stand for 5 minutes. Press the bread into the custard.

6. P;ace in a roasting pan filled with hot water. Water should come half way up pudding dish (creating a bain marie.)

7. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 F for about 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool for five minutes before serving. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve. You can let it cool, but it is divine while hot.

I know it isn't the prettiest dessert before served, but I assure you it is simply delish!!!


A New Outlook

I try not to forget how a good, make that great, haircut can give you a fresh and revived outlook on life. As I have always said, a good hair stylist is worth their weight in gold. Here is the before shot. My hair, while I thought it was okay at the time, was lifeless and had no real shape.

And the after shot! I was worried that the tight cut would accentuate my post delivery chub, but on the contrary! I feel like Ican see my cheekbones again!

So happy with the new do! Thank you so much Justin. If you live in the Baltimore area and are looking for an awesome sylist, go to Justin at Zen Head in Ellicot City. The salon is new, cute and chocked full of great stylists. As I said I have a new outlook on the world, my hair is allowing me more time with the baby. It even looks cute when I wake up to breastfeed in the middle of the night. God bless a good haircut!

Today's Random Trivia:
Most people have an average number of 100,000 hairs on their head.