Monday, December 23, 2013

OMGAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's the day before Christmas Eve!

How does this happen (every year(with glee)) we arrive at the day before Christmas Eve, and I am in awe of my lack of preparation? Note to self: definitely be more prepared next year. Also occurring at this moment, sharp pains in my wrists. Not liking that. Anyways, enough of that because there are so many things for these wrists to do.

Today I shall make:
A turkey
Sweet potatoes
Radish/ brussell sprouts with bacon and onions
Cornbread dressing
green bean casserole
Salted Honey Pie

Crazy to think I will make all that in a delicious manner since it is 8:18 am and I am at work and nothing is cooked yet? Perhaps so. But, I am going to give it my best go.

Let me just add that this Christmas is most awesome! Not only am I surrounded by people I love and am sharing the season with K,  but I am decked out in some new bling and fancy stuffs that I love!

<<<--------------- A few of the lovely items! Fossil Rose bracelet, Levity heels, MixNo6 heels, Gucci Guilty, the new Bridget Jones Book Mad About the Boy, Teeki Pants (yay!yay!yay!), awesome new bra that really makes the girls look nice! LOVE IT ALL!

It's so nice having a Santa ;)

I am ready for Christmas, the gifts are almost all wrapped, the tree is trimmed and the fridge is stocked. All systems go.

Today, I will try and work and sort details for the week, head to Sur la Table for some vanilla bean paste, then scoop up Ayanami and head to the house to start cooking!

I am torn because the woman I love quite possibly will not be at my dinner tonight and it breaks my heart and makes me feel awful at the same time. I hope that in the coming months and years I grow stronger and learn to stand for what I want.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

When it rains, it pours...literally.

There are moments when you are waiting for a response and all motion and time cease to exist and you are so focused on wanting to know if all is okay that you totally step outside of the world and you enter this hypertime period until you are able to exhale.

Sunday afternoon was one of those moments. After a tumultuous morning and lots of baking and yelling and anger, I went to work and had a serious thinking and relaxing session. It was great. The weather was awfully cold and rainy and not conducive for outdoor activities. On my way home from work I wanted to go somewhere but due to the rain, I went home. I was home long enough to pop popcorn when my dad called. He said he was in a wreck and wasn't sure he was okay.

Immediately, my mind raced to doom and gloom and I just wanted to get there (safely) and make sure he was okay. I arrived on the scene to see his brand new truck wrecked and immobile. Luckily, he was okay. Just a few bruises and really shook up. Mainly, heartbroken over the truck.

After what was quite a long while, state troopers showed up, wreckers arrived and we were off to change out of our wet clothes and map out the evening and next morning.

The next day, I drove him to work early in the morning and saw this beautiful site after dropping him off and my little girl was asleep in the backseat.

So, that night, the best thing I could do was make waffles.

Also, my little man is sick. I hope he recovers quickly.
And so is my grandpa, I hope he gains strength and makes it home for the holidays.

<------------this kit is super cute.

Friday, December 6, 2013


Flashback to 1990! I loved some TGIF! The shows and Mr Gatti's pizza. Sleepovers with friends, staying up until all hours of the night and eat rice krispy treats out the bowl before they cool. (that is kind of still amazing!)

Lowdown on the weekend:
noon- dentist
2pm- back to work to finish docs
3pm- cookies due for bake sale
6pm- Festival of Lights (unless canceled due to weather)
9pm- make food for wrestling tournament

7am- wrestling tournament begins (send food for hospitality room)
8am- pick up CSA box at Farmer's Market
9am- bowling tournament
1pm- wrestling tournament
6pm- dinner
7pm- work on cell project (Bai)

8am- laundry/clean/grocery
1pm- Massages (2)
3pm- Magnolia Mound (Bai singing)
6pm- finish cell project

Umm and I would like to have some mat time and some K time in there too :)

RIP Nelson Mandela, thank you for spreading so much peace, love and knowledge across this universe. We honor you.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

King Khaliq, I am honored...

Sometimes the universe puts an amazing connection in our life and then, there is an alternate force that changes the composition and said connection is transported 100s if not, 1000s of miles away to a new, improved life. Sometimes when this happens, the connection is severed, lost or just vanishes....But other times, the bond is so strong that mountains move and the heavens open and a quick reunion has you feeling like you never parted and you are up to speed on the most important details of life....And so, my visit to meet King Khaliq. Precious Khaliq was born in January in cold Cincinnati, and the crazy workerbee that I am did not make it up there to meet him. Lucky for me, his mama and daddy still feel the pull of Nola and like to come home. I am most grateful because I was able to meet him for a lovely afternoon at Audubon Zoo and some sweet time at Sucre. I also popped in the antiques mall on Magazine to get my vintage glass fix. Did I mention that I am even more in love with this little guy than ever before? He is such a joy!

Ambitious turkeys, sweets and now...sleigh bells?

Just turn on some jazz and all will be okay. That seems to be my mantra these days. And also, breathe. I find that I remind myself to breathe lately. Not as in a oh dumb blonde moment, clearly, since my hair isn't blonde anymore and with that change alone my IQ increased. But with a oh fuck, is this really happening, yikes ok, just breathe kind of breathing. Things seem to happen quicker, does that mean I am getting older? Seems like my little boy was just little and now, he is quite big. And I grew that. And the cute, spicy, sassy little miss is well all those things and bigger and louder and the cuteness is a different level now. And I am as I type this wearing a blazer with shoulder pads. Throwback 80's moment happening now! Did I mention said 80's blazer was like $3 bucks, so score for the trendy mama.

Thanksgiving Recap:
pretty much sums it up... Joy.

I had an ambitious list of items to create:
Cheeseball (didn't make but I bought the ingredients)
GF Cornbread dressing- made and delicious
Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Coconut Flour - made with coconut sugar instead and delish!
Pralines- made and amazing
GF Brownies- made and consumed with delight
Pumpkin pie smoothie for K- not made
Pumpkin and Vanilla donuts- not made
Chocolate nutmeg donuts with chocolate glaze- MADE AND AMAZING when dunked in coffee!

Wrestling tournaments are not for the faint at heart. You must first, have some sitting strength and some power to not let the stench get to you. Packing hundreds of teen boys into a gym, encouraging them to wear sweats all day and then compete in the conquering act known as wrestling, is maybe considered by some insanity, is called sport.
<----I love that these tough boys just fall right asleep next to their moms. love

Bash did really well in this tournament, despite the awful weather outside.

All in all, it was a great week. Lots of work, lots of family, lots of food and a whole lot of fun. I still can't believe it is almost 2014. Seems kind of crazy. She --------------->  is so big!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Failing? Find good food, FAST....

 Last month, I had this grand idea, a vision even, an epic plan to truly follow through with NANOWRIMO once and for all! That, albeit, this year I will complete it! I even told myself that if I get the word count and it makes zero literary sense, then all is good. I still win. But, like each time I've tried this feat, I did not succeed. I think I am my own worst enemy. I know that my time is very restricted and then the free time I have I kind of want to be able to go thrifting or make something or cook a new recipe I am modifying, so I end up neglecting the laptop and not writing. But maybe, I didn't actually fail this year. Maybe, in some small way I am winning (insert Charlie Sheen voice). Because this year, I failed at nanowrimo but I started this little gem :) I created this from the ruins of failed writing. Now, that is something....

It is a little hard to believe it is November 24th! A month away from Christmas, a month and a week away from 2014! That is cray! I look out my living room window and it is so fall! It's lovely! And today it is cold! Super Louisiana cold! I am loving every minute of it! I am all bundled up in a sweatshirt, leggings, sweater boots and I have an afghan on my lap under this warm laptop :) I also have a pot of Thai tea concentrate simmering on the stop so it smells pretty amazing in here. You can find a most excellent recipe at White on Rice . It's super easy and making it at home is so much more economical, plus your place will smell incredible! And to top of this moment, I am watching Love Actually! So, kind of wonderful!

 So, let's see....I am off of work this week! I have quite an impressive to-do list in mind, but I am not certain that i will accomplish it! And I am kind of okay with that! Most of the list involves cleaning....

But as for this weekend! Friday was rather busy at work and I think I got most everything situated for this week off. If not, I will still be connected and able to work on things. But Friday night, I made the lovely dish in the upper left corner, roasted spaghetti squash with Italian sausage and beef pasta sauce, topped with shredded cheese...nom nom nom.

I love a Saturday that isn't booked! One that allows me to do something I want. It is such a lovely concept and sometimes it happens, like yesterday. Started off the morning with some yoga, then the farmers' market downtown to pick up my $20 in free veggies for signing up for the Winter CSA :) We racked up greens! So many! And then off to the thrift store on Highland to check it out and we found cool dishes, a soft serve maker, and a polaroid flash for a land camera! And then, Zealand for breakfast!!! Then Nadeau furniture, Trader Joes, Sam's, Wal-Mart and Whole Foods and then Latte e Miele! Then home to wash all the greens and dishes, put everything away, organize, make buffalo chicken and clean up!

Along with dinner, I cooked up some fresh kale with applewood smoked bacon. I am kind of obsessed with bacon at this moment. This particular bacon from Whole Foods. Applewood smoked, the thick cut from the butcher. It is quite fabulous in any dish. I am convinced it will be amazing in cupcakes.

I love that we had such an action-packed day and were able to get so much accomplished! It is a great thing to actually get stuff done and enjoy it. It's been so long since K and I were able to have a whole day together and I just loved every moment of it.

I love the way the house feels these days. Things are coming along so well with organizing and rearranging. It is super nice. I even made a wreath for the door! Watch out Martha Stewart.

Louisiana Girl

<------this is the bacon. You should go buy some.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Life tastes better dipped in chocolate...

Not that I ever met anyone who didn't agree, life tastes better dipped in chocolate. Kind of like adding "in bed" after every fortune you read from a cookie. Just makes it better. Sometimes, I try my best to dip my entire day in chocolate. The discarded crumbled wrappings of Chocolove, Ghiradelli, Dove, or even the ever faithful bag of M&Ms, are proof of my hard efforts. There are people that do not like chocolate...I am usually not friends with those people long. No, you need to be able to put down some dark chocolate to hang in my hood. 

I love German milk chocolate too! Martina knows that I love this milk chocolate bar with a cookie in it or the one with cornflakes and sweet sticky stuff. She hefted a rather large bar across the ocean for me last year and I am still grateful (I shamelessly ate that bar before her visit was over). And as one of her gifts last year, I gave her a gigantic Reese's cup! See, love is spoken in chocolate.

Last night, we needed a little extra love (who doesn't) so Kathleen picked up items on the way home and we made some dipped deliciousness. Don't be fooled, the krispy treats are homemade and she purchased brown rice, vegan cereal! Never fear, I fixed them with 8 tbsp of brown butter! and some sea salt! You know you want one now! (I may just sneak off to the kitchen to get myself one).

Yesterday marked the end of an era, the start of a new beginning, an exciting transition in our lives. Bailey and I attended Immersion Excursion at BRFLAIM for the last time! We had a fun time , once we got there- the meltdown in the car over dividing decimals is a post on its own. She raced around the school, solving clues to lead us to the next classroom in the maze. We visited the book fair and agreed on a book and pencil accessories. And her pizza order was misplaced; but, she won a plant! So, now we have poinsettia to kick off our holiday atmosphere. I was so happy to be able to see her and have time with her. She is shooting up like a beanstalk and my little girl is becoming a tween and before long a teen. She is capable of conquering all that she sets her mind on. I love that crazy girl.

<----------Look how big they are!!! I grew that!

Today's Smoothie (oh, so delicious)
Diced mangoes and pineapples
Handful of baby spinach
Handful of cashews (roasted not salted)
Half a banana
Shot of Almond Milk

Believe me, it is fabulous!

<-------serious face there.

Thanks to Bai for snapping away as I was throwing some random yoga into dinner preparations. I get in where I fit in.

Louisiana Girl

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

She has boots! And it's raining in Germany!

 How do you make a 10 year old fashionista happy? Take her shopping! Grandpa promised Bailey her very own cowgirl boots, from the boot store! And he made good on his promise Monday night. Last night, I came home to one chipper little tween sporting her new boots! She was a wee bit disappointed she wasn't going anywhere to show off her new look. But, when I told her that I could take a few pictures of her, she lit up and embraced the moment. She's decided that the boots will be part of her holiday wardrobe. And I must admit, I am a little jealous.

The sun is shining bright in Baton Rouge but there is a lovely winterish rain storm happening right now in Germany! I love when Martina sends visual updates, see last picture. (squeal)  I also love that she is so happy these days! She is totally embracing her new relationship with Mr F. and boy, he is a hottie. I am beyond ecstatic for her and will miss her dearly this holiday season but am stoked she is spending the time in the arms of her love.

Speaking of holidays.....Thanksgiving is next week! This is the first holiday without gluten. And not just any holiday, my all time favorite food holiday!!!! Do you know that most things amazing have gluten in them? Well, I do. And I fully accept the challenge to make gluten my bitch and have a fantastic Turkey Day without it! I say, "Gluten is the new Al Quaeda" ok, I did not say that. It is from Etsy. See here Anywho! That's not the point! The point is that I can make anything you can make better and without gluten....Don't believe me? Think I am bluffing, then bring it. I accept the challenge. Ok, maybe I am letting my head get too big here. There are some things that just aren't the same but Damn, I can get it close. And I can promise you that I can make a gluten free cupcake that is so delicious, you will beg for seconds. Believe dat. Back to the point...I will ease some on the rambling for now, I am really stoked to make some beloved dishes gluten-free. I feel like I've mastered cornbread and now making dressing will be easy-peasy. Also, I know I can make a cookie and a brownie that everyone will love and I will feel included on the indulging. I am so happy to share food with people. Maybe I am in the wrong industry.

Well, I plan to make:
A Cheeseball
GF Cornbread Dressing
Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Coconut Flour
GF Flourless Brownies
Pumpkin Pie Smoothies (this is for K)
Pumpkin and Vanilla mini donuts

And this morning, I made the following in the Nutribullet:
1 peeled satsuma
Mangoes and Pineapple (1/2 of the cup)
Baby Spinach (1/2 of the cup)
And water to the max line because we were out of juice and milk!
Blend until the greens are liquid.

It was super tasty and really sweet with the satsuma, just the way I like it.

Louisiana Girl

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

It's not everyday....

It's not everyday you get a call from Jesus....okay, I realize that's not very funny to most/some people, BUT when Jesus calls, I chuckle as I read his name on the caller ID. As inappropriate it may be, I think it is funny and it made me smile early this morning.

You know what is bothersome about this day (and many days I might add)...people who call with an important matter, listen for the voicemail prompt, then refuse to leave a message. I am dumbfounded on how that is an effective way of getting what you want.

Also today marks my first nutriblast day. Instead of juicing this week and eating
something for breakfast, Kathleen thinks we should do smoothies, so, I made one this morning.

Alina's Smoothie Sacrifice
Half the nutribullet container filled with chopped mangoes and pineapple (go with more mango if given the choice)
Fill container with greens (this morning I used butter lettuce)
Add 3/4 orange juice with pulp to the max line
And top of with almond milk to the max line (basically a shot)
Blend until you don't see green things (very scientific)
Pour in your favorite giant cup and suck it down with a straw. It's not too bad.

I am reminded to "Be Free" as I look to the right from my desk. My poster "Be Free" grounds me and reminds me that this crazy chaos of work doesn't own me, that I have all that I need and all my needs are met, I am loved and I love, and if none of that pops in my head, the poster reminds me that I can step away from my desk and do a quick handstand or some pose or variation and breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Because at the end of it all, as long as I am doing my best for this moment. I am doing all that I can.

Louisiana Girl

P.S. I am hoping for an uneventful evening filled with deep dish pizza and laughs!