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Back to Work Lady

After taking my 12 week leave to become a mom, I'm back to work. 
It would have been a full week but I had food poisoning or some sort of stomach virus on Monday. I guess my body really wanted to stay home. Once I returned, it felt like the first week of school. I didn't even know what season it was as a tried to find parking that first day. I left during the summer and still expected the kids to be out. But alas, the weather has changed and so has a another stage in my life.


This is a good reminder to me 
to not let my looks slip while I take care of Jules, 
to not let my smile fade because I'm doing too much, 
and to just rock what I've got because it's a lot.

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Mom Gang

Two months ago I was jumped in to the mom gang. The initiation lasted four weeks, and amounted to a grueling hazing that takes over all of your body and most of your mind. When it's over, you wake up a new person and are welcomed into the posse with respect.
 Moms for Life.

 
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Shock - Acceptance - Excitement

My wedding baby is due in one week. ONE WEEK. My body has passed the pregnancy test with flying colors thus far. When the birth day finally arrives, I will remind myself of this,

"Giving birth is an innately instinctive act, hardwired into our brains and bodies through millions of years of mammalian evolution, and designed to ensure the best possible outcomes for mothers and babies." ~Sarah J. Buckley, Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering.

Fertility Goddess

I have love and support all around, but ultimately 
this moment calls on the abilities of my body and mind.
(photo by saucy_pan



Unless I have a two-headed boy. Then, I am screwed.

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Home Sweet Home - Update #2

WE MOVED IN!

 hanging art

 stocking shelves

finding a perfect fit
lining the library


There are little things here and there that need tweaking, but it’s great to be in! Having my own washer/dryer, dish washer and ice-dispensing fridge is delightful. My favorite part is all the specialty lighting and the white walls. It looks like an art gallery. We are currently displaying a friend’s collection, and it looks amazing. I’ve been making so many trips to department stores for…

Soap
Hoses
Hardware
Picture hooks and wire
Light bulbs
Trash bags
Ziplocs
Detergent
Shelves
Sheets
Etc.

The to-do list continues but so does the warmth in my heart while I nest.
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Lyrics for Baby Unborn

I am 37 weeks today...


I hope that womb's not too warm
Cause it's cold out here
And it'll be quite a shock
To breathe this air
To discover loss
So I'd like to make some changes
Before you arrive
So when your new eyes meet mine
They won't see no lies
Just love.
Just love.
 
excerpt from No Lies, Just Love by Bright Eyes
 


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The After

I wonder what my little baby will look like.....
Anyway, this Feist video should get your creative juices flowing on this Friday morning. 

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Who Are You? in your bedroom...


Periodically the universe asks me, “Who are you?” 

This is an important and ever evolving question. Today, I stumbled upon one artist who takes this question to the extreme in her work and even in her own bedroom  stream-of-consciousness drawings. Read more about her and her space here.

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Lines that Last a Lifetime



Sometimes it’s a note on the counter or a drunken slip up, but sometimes husbands say a few words that melt your heart. Today, my husband was dancing around the apartment showing off this move and that move. He said that he used to dance in the shower and in his room growing up. Then he said,

“I’ve been practicing my whole life to dance with you.”
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Lessons from Lyrics #7

Portal 
Photo by c@rljones

Weight of Lies by The Avett Brothers
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10 Tweets Worth Sharing


So many tweets roll across my phone each day. Here are a few that I particularly liked.

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In My Face

My husband takes lots of photos of me, especially double exposures of my face. Above is a double exposure that he took of me in a flea market. I was annoyed (as usual) that I had to pose and hold up a black shirt behind my head...in the middle of a store. Of course, I love the result. 

The second one is another film photo that he took of me just moments after we said our vows. He loves it and so do I.
 



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Paranoia Kitchen

Sharp Microwave Logo 
photo by digitpedia 

 I see why codes and regulations are so much more stringent in California. Those people are paranoid about everything. My husband, a native, is no exception. Last night, I was told that steaming broccoli in the microwave would kill the nutrients. I was also told not to use the new bowls in the microwave because "you can only microwave dishes that say 'microwave safe' on the bottom" and that the bowl was "clay and may have lead in it".

I dropped what I was doing and turned to Google to rescue me from "paranoia kitchen". Within minutes I found that he was wrong on both counts. 

Claim #1 - Microwaves Kill Nutrients 


Claim #2 - Dishes that don't say "microwave safe" on the bottom aren't microwave safe

I found this WikiHow on testing dishes for use in the microwave. Following the instructions, I found that the unlabeled bowls that were accused of containing lead passed the test.

Broccolli photo by DavidErickson
 
After the research and testing, I was able to resume my meal and thoroughly enjoy my micorwave steamed broccoli. Yum.



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Someone is looking up to you

 photo by Capt Kodak
I don't know what kind of mother I'll be but I'm going to try my best and hope that there will be some fun along the way.



I’d Rather be the Father

by Faith Shearin

Right from the start, it's easier to be the father: no morning
nausea, no stretch marks. You can wait outside the

delivery room and keep your clothes on. Notice how
closely the word mother resembles smother, notice

how she is either too strict or too lenient: wrong for giving up
everything or not enough. Psychology books blame her

for whatever is the matter with all of us while the father
slips into the next room for a beer. I wanted to be

the rational one, the one who told a joke at dinner.
If I were her father we would throw a ball across

the lawn while the grill fills with smoke. But who
wants to be the mother? Who wants to tell her what

to wear and deliver her to the beauty shop and explain
bras and tampons? Who wants to show her what

a woman still is? I am supposed to teach her how to
wash the dishes and do the laundry only I don't want

her to grow up and be like me. I'd rather be the father
who tells her she is loved; I'd rather take her fishing

and teach her to skip stones across the lake of history;
I'd rather show her how far she can spit.

"I'd Rather be the Father" by Faith Shearin, from Moving the Piano
© Stephen F. Austin University Press, 2011.  Posted on Writer's Almanac.
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Kingcake Monsoon


 I'm a fan of kingcake season and have been to enough kingcake parties to be ready to host my own. So three weeks before Mardi Gras we threw a kingcake bake-off/tasting in our courtyard. I've been so busy lately that this was the only window of opportunity that I could find to host such an event and knew that it would be a hit to host before the Krewe de Vieux parade began to role. Because of this tight schedule, I had no choice but to keep the scheduled date despite the weather forecast warning of a 50% chance of thunderstorm.


Needless to say we had a downpour, but everyone had a good laugh while we moved 20 kingcakes under cover. The rain only lasted about 30 minutes so we continued on to eat, drink and parade.


These are the categories that were judged:

Best Gourmet Kingcake  
– flavors other than cream cheese, strawberry, and apple  
Best Traditional Kingcake  
– plain/cinnamon, cream cheese, strawberry or apple 
Best Homemade Creation  
– king of cakes….anything goes 
Most Creative Costume 
– get out your glue gun

Our neighbor, Angela, won two categories 
(Best Gourmet and Best Homemade) 
with her Bacon Maple Kingcake.
 It was a clear favorite!

Eve and I tied for best costume because 
she dressed as a kingcake baby, and I have one in my belly.
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Lessons from Lyrics #6

My brain is trained to fall asleep when this song is played on repeat. It only takes one or two runs before I begin my descent into dreamland. This phenomenon is a combination of nostalgia and the soothing melody.


When we first started dating, my husband sent me songs that reminded him of me or would relay a romantic message. I cherished these songs and if memory serves me correctly, this was the first song that he sent me.

It was so perfect...introduced me to a new artist yet had lyrics good enough to be written by Bob Dylan. These lyrics showed me that I had left an impression on him yet he expected nothing in return.
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Lessons from Lyrics #5

"You can move the pieces
I just want to push the start button"



"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end"


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Lessons from Lyrics #4

Dive Vignettephoto by stilllearninghowtofly
"Oh, Five years time
I might not know you,
In Five Years Time
We might not speak at all and
In Five Years Time
We might not get along
In Five Years Time
You might just prove me wrong."

 - Five Years Time Lyrics

so don't give up 
even if you already broke your arm
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Unsaid Words

My friend and neighbor Brittany has just begun to make these darling masks. She sculpts the base and adorns them with colorful and shimmering materials. I always try to sneak a peek of her handmade flowers when I pass by her apartment. To purchase Brittany’s masks which I think make great bachelorette or evening wear accessories, drop me a comment or email. 

 
Enjoy this Mark Strand poem about masking oneself with words.

Harmony in the Boudoir

After years of marriage, he stands at the foot of the bed and
tells his wife that she will never know him, that for everything
he says there is more that he does not say, that behind each
word he utters there is another word, and hundreds more be-
hind that one. All those unsaid words, he says, contain his true
self, which has been betrayed by the superficial self before her.
"So you see," he says, kicking off his slippers, "I am more than
what I have led you to believe I am." "Oh, you silly man," says
his wife, "of course you are. I find that just thinking of you
having so many selves receding into nothingness is very excit-
ing. That you barely exist as you are couldn't please me more." 

"Harmony in the Boudoir" by Mark Strand, from Almost Invisible. © Alfred A. Knopf, 2012.via The Writer's Almanac
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Courtyard Chili Cookoff


We haven't had a party at our apartment complex since July 4th for the crawfish boil. My husband and the neighbors decided the next event should be a chili and cornbread cookoff. It turned out to be a great idea. The French Quarter was very busy and the streets were filled with Alabama and LSU fans for the National Championship game. We were lucky enough to have friends willing to brave the crowds with their entries. We had eight total including a white chili, veggie chili, pork chili, steak chili and beef bouillon chili. The only thing that was missing was a seafood chili. My chili and cornbread came in second place. It had beans, plenty of peppers, ground meat and sausage. The cornbread came out really moist and flavorful, like a casserole. I got the recipe from my boss. It had corn, onions and jalapenos too. 


The winner was my husband for his steak chili. He used chilies imported from New Mexico because he's so fancy. He also won best cornbread by using his Grandmother's West Virginian recipe. Some of her secrets are whipped cream and honey. Amanda brought a veggie chili and won first place in the spicy category.

Lindsay’s Second Place Pepper Chili 
(aka My Bean Beef Sausage Chile Chili)
  • 1.5 pounds ground beef chuck
  • .75 pound Italian sausage
  • 5 strips bacon
  • 1 (15 ounce) can light kidney beans, drained
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans chili beans in spicy sauce
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomatoes sauce
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 green chile peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped (from can)
  • ½ packet taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup beer
  • ½ cup salsa
  • ½ tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
Directions
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp. Remove to paper towels. Cook crumbled beef and sausage in bacon drippings just until brown; drain. Stir taco seasoning into meat.
  2. Pour meat into large crock pot. Add all chili beans, all tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the onion, celery, green and red bell peppers, chipotle peppers, chile peppers, crumbled bacon, and beer. Season with chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes, salsa, salt, and sugar. Stir to blend, then cover and cook on high for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. After 2 hours, taste, and adjust salt, pepper, and chili powder if necessary. Simmer on low as desired. If the chili is too watery. Cook without lid for an hour or two. The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste. Remove from heat and refrigerate to serve the next day. Top with fresh parsley or cilantro and cheese as desired.
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MidCentury Modern Me

My husband and I have started shopping (mostly window shopping) to furnish the new house. On a recent trip to Houston, he fell in love with a Knoll Bertoia Large Diamond Chair with yellow upholstery. This sparked his interest in researching Midcentury furnishings, their values, their designers etc. I've always liked the chair but was hesitant to make the $1200 investment. I'm not quick to spend so we are going to shop around until we feel like we find a good deal. We always find bargains so I'm confident.

photo via dwr.com
 While we both like the MidCentury aesthetic, I find that too much of it can be a bore. In the end our home will be an eclectic mix of antique, midcentury, modern, and just plain weird pieces. Take my husbands thrift store stocked apartment for example.


Below is an image of Gio Ponti's work and a quote of his about MidCentury design for 1951. I for one can't argue the approach.

Everything is going from the heavy to the light, from the gross to the subtle, from the opaque to the transparent, from the dark to the light, from the colorless to the colorful, from the fragmentary to the unitary, from the complicated to the linear. Anyone going in the opposite direction is in error.





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Timeline of My Life to Music 2011

It's that time of year again when I reflect on the past year and select a song to describe each month. In the beginning of the year my boyfriend moved here from California. We had many late nights dancing through the city. Towards the end of the year, we realized that we couldn't live without one another and decided to dance our way down the aisle. I hope you enjoy this set. If you'd like to see the songs from 2009 and 2010, click the links below.



 January 2011


February 2011

March 2011



April 2011



May 2011



June 2011



July 2011



August 2011



September 2011



October 2011



November 2011



December 2011