Wednesday, February 29, 2012

SMASH


Smash is my new favorite show! Is anyone else watching? I have loved it from the first episode and we are only on the fourth episode I think. So you have time to catch up.

Here is how it is described on IMDB:

There is more drama behind the scenes than on stage, as the team prepares an ambitious Broadway musical on the life of Marilyn Monroe.


There are several reasons I am loving it so much. I have ALWAYS loved Broadway. I have always loved the behind the scenes looks at the audition and rehearsal process and Smash is all about making a musical from the ground up. You are getting a peek into what it is like for the producers, the actors, the dancers, the writers, everybody.


They do break out into song which again I love. It is a combination of cover songs and original "Marilyn the Musical" songs. All of them are fun and a lot of are big dance numbers. I am thinking that if this television show does well enough we will be seeing "Marilyn" on Broadway in real life.

Anyway, just thought I would share my new fave thing to tune in for. It might of even eclipsed...Glee! GASP!!!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

BLISSFUL

We had THE perfect weekend. My mom arrived in town on Friday. We ran a few places because I was needing some new clothing items and then we decided to relax at home. I made this really good Italian Beef and Polenta recipe that has been floating around on the internets and on Pinterest. It was so easy to make, hearty and tasty too. While it is from Cooking Light, it still rang in around 15 WW points for the meal. To me that is pretty high for just one portion. But since it was so filling it was worth it. (recipe below)
We watched Reel Steel after dinner and it was pretty good. Saturday, I took my mom to her first Zumba class which she actually ended up enjoying and then we all went to the zoo that afternoon. The weather was just so perfect and we saw every single exhibit because my mom had never been to our zoo before. Elle loved every second of it. Then it was on to Las Delicias for some delectable mexican food. Elle ate an entire chicken and cheese quesadilla by herself. She is just like her mama when it comes to the cuisine.

A stop by Muddy's for some dessert and it was on to relax at home and watched Moneyball. Sunday, Elle and I met up with some friends for lunch and Kenny went to the driving range and then it was more lazy times on the couch watching the Oscars.

And just because I wanted to include it. Here is a cute video. Elle has been a little slow on the uptake for this crawling/walking thing.(blame it on the prematurity, not laziness ha!) She has been crawling for a while now but it is an army crawl. Which I totally loathe because she is literally sweeping the floor with her cute little clothes. But in the past week she has gotten up on her knees. The other day we had just arrived home from trying on some clothes at my friend Mollie's house and she was so mad at me for changing her so many times that I just kept the swim suit on her for the two minute ride home. It was then she thought she would show off her new skills. I love her little diaper butt.
video

Italian Beef and Polenta
1 cup dry coarse-ground polenta
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Dash of kosher salt
2 cups water
1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
Cooking spray
1 pound ground sirloin
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups lower-sodium marinara sauce (such as McCutcheon's)
1/2 cup torn fresh basil

Preparation
1. Place first 3 ingredients in a large saucepan. Gradually add 2 cups water and milk, stirring constantly with a whisk. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, and cook 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in 1/3 cup cheese.
2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; coat with cooking spray. Add beef; sauté 5 minutes. Stir to crumble. Remove beef; drain. Wipe pan; coat with cooking spray. Add onion, pepper, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and garlic; sauté for 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add beef and sauce; simmer 8 minutes.
3. Divide polenta evenly among 4 shallow bowls. Top each serving with 1 cup beef mixture; sprinkle with 2 teaspoons cheese

Friday, February 24, 2012

FOTO FRIDAY

Our weather was an unseasonable 79 degrees yesterday. So as soon as Elle woke up from her afternoon nap she was in the stroller so we could take advantage.

We enjoyed our warm weather even though it will probably snow next week! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

AND THE OSCAR GOES TO...

This Sunday night the Academy Awards will be on. Who is going to watch? I always enjoy watching. I especially like to start them a bit late so I can fast forward through all the acceptance speeches and commercials. That way I get to see all the good stuff.

This year I am excited to see who wins Best Picture because I have seen quite a few of the movies that are nominated. I checked The Artist off the list last night. Susan of J Press Designs fame and I went out for some wine and pizza and a good ol silent film. Now, if you know me at all you will not believe that I actually sat through a close to two hour SILENT film. I can't believe it either. It was really good. It is funny how you just get lost in the story with the help of music,facial expression and a few captions.

I think the Artist will win for Best Picture because it is so different but I enjoyed watching Moneyball and The Descendants more. And of course I loved The Help. I did not particularly like Hugo and joked that the The Artist went by much faster than Hugo did. And I have ZERO plans to see War Horse. I really do the ugly cry at war movies and when horses fall down and get hurt in movies. That movie has BOTH of things which means this girl will not be watching!


Alright, so putting it out there. I think that The Artist will be winning a lot of awards at this year's Oscars. I am crossing my fingers that cutie patootie George Clooney gets the Oscar for The Descendants though. He was fantastic and gah he is sooooooooo HOT!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

STARTING TO GET NERVOUS


About discipline. Let's face it. Elle is growing up. She is not a new born anymore and right as I type this she is throwing food off of her high chair to the dog. Our first and constant battle where we are trying to teach her what the words "No, don't do that" mean. And she knows what they mean. How do I know? Because we tell her "Elle. No. Do not throw food to the dog." She looks right at us quits doing it and then ever so slyly puts a piece of food at the edge of her tray and then PRETENDS to knock it off. She even feigns a look of oh my gosh did I do that?

It is hilarious. And we always want to laugh and sometimes we do. She is a smart girl but that sneakiness and open defiance is making me nervous. Look, I know she isn't going to go rob a bank because she chose to ignore me and throw food off of her high chair but the OCD person in me worries that this is just the start to a very long road and I have NO CLUE where to start with the discipline thing. And it is so important.

The other thing that makes me nervous. I was not a great child. My mom says she tried to discipline me but I was just difficult and tested my boundaries every chance I got even as a little girl. So I am afraid I am going to get what I am due. Ha!

So should I read a book? Do I just follow my gut? Is there a good mommy blog about discipline? I don't know??

I just want her to be a "sweet" little girl that people are excited to see instead of saying oh here comes Elting Lacey. Holy terror!

These are normal concerns in my opinion. Thanks for letting me vent!

Monday, February 20, 2012

WEEKEND RECAP

HAPPY PRESIDENT'S DAY

Kenny was out of town for business all week and finally got home on Saturday night. So we really did a whole lot of nothing this weekend. Whenever Kenny gets home from such a long trip he is always wiped. So we just played with Elle and caught up on shows on our DVR.

I did cook a delicious and crazy easy dinner last night. Gnocchi with Shrimp, Asparagus and Pesto. I have been craving gnocchi so I found this recipe from Cooking Light. I used store bought gnocchi and store bought pesto so I literally had it thrown together in like 20 minutes. Since I am doing weight watchers I was able to eat two cups for 9 weight watcher plus points and that was a lot. It did not taste healthy at all which always makes me nervous. I will definitely make it again.

Excited to be down almost four pounds in the last two weeks! Especially since Elle and I travelled with Kenny at the beginning of the week and eating out was inevitable. Looking forward to Zumba tonight!

Gnocchi with Shrimp, Asparagus and Pesto
Ingredients
2 quarts plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
1 (16-ounce) package vacuum-packed gnocchi (such as Vigo)
4 cups (1-inch) slices asparagus (about 1 pound) $
1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp, coarsely chopped $
1 cup basil leaves
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
2 tablespoons preshredded Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons bottled minced garli
4 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preparation

Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add gnocchi to pan; cook 4 minutes or until done (gnocchi will rise to surface). Remove gnocchi with a slotted spoon; place in a large bowl. Add asparagus and shrimp to pan; cook 5 minutes or until shrimp are done. Drain. Add shrimp mixture to gnocchi.
Combine remaining 1 tablespoon water, basil, and next 4 ingredients (through garlic) in a food processor; process until smooth, scraping sides. Drizzle oil through food chute with food processor on; process until well blended. Add salt and basil mixture to shrimp mixture; toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Friday, February 17, 2012

FOTO FRIDAY

I am pretty sure that I have mentioned on here that Elle's favorite thing right now is books. The girl is crazy about books. So in turn we are constantly buying her new ones. It's an acceptable vice for a one year old I suppose. She is constantly crawling down the hall to her room and will play contently forever just getting all of her books out of her basket. It is so cute. We keep all of her board books in the basket and the nice books that we read to her in the armoire.

Yesterday, Elle and I were in the kitchen and she crawled off and it was quiet. Never good. I walked into our office thinking I was going to find her playing with the wine bottles on our wine rack. But she wasn't in there. I kept looking. I found the door had been shut to her room. I opened the door to find her of course sitting there playing with her books. It cracked me up. She crawled to her room, shut the door and was playing. Guess we already have a teenager on our hands and she wanted some privacy.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

BOOM! BOOM!


So I have been going to Zumba. Twice a week when I can. I love it. My friend Susan talked me into going and after my first class I was breathless and surprised. It can be hard and makes you feel silly at times. Especially for people like me who aren't the most coordinated when it comes to dance like movements.

The instructor at the class I go to is so fun. He is like 4'9 and is latin and flamboyant and boy can he move! I had to make myself not get so caught up in how much "flava" he puts into the moves and just focus on the basic steps because if I try to move the way he does I get totally lost. This guy kind of reminded me of our instructor but ours is way cuter. You just want to put our guy in your pocket and take him home.

So I am trying to do Zumba twice a week, then filling in with walks and Jillian Michael's DVD. The excercise and me trying really hard to stay in control of my points (I signed up for Weight Watchers online) worked this week. I lost 2.2lbs! I am pleased. So I will continue to boom! boom! boom de boom boom boom!

Monday, February 13, 2012

WEEKEND REPORT

Kenny and I had a great low key weekend. Not to much to report. A lot of movies, catching up on our DVR and grilling out and a little shopping. Saturday afternoon, I gave Kenny and Elle their Valentine's Day happies early.
I just put both of their things in the same bag so they could open them together. Don't you just love pink and red.
Elting playing with her cute little Valentine's dining set. She also received some board books (surprise surprise, we have a problem) from Kenny and I and also Lady and The Tramp. We all curled up and watched Lady and The Tramp together shortly after. I have not seen that movie in a long time. It is so cute.
Kenny got some of his favorite candy and I also made him/us one of these cute printables that you can write on with dry erase marker. You can never tell someone too many reasons why you love them! I printed the cute printable for free from Sarah at the Sweet Life.
Sorry for the poor cell phone picture. All cuddled up watching Lady and The Tramp.

Friday, February 10, 2012

FOTO FRIDAY

Elting's First Craft- she made it for someone really special

I know I will look back at this post and just laugh because I am sure I will be BURIED in crafts one day and will have no idea what to keep and what to get rid of. But for now. I am loving this sweet little flower with hand print leaves. Kenny also loved it when he found it waiting on his desk when he arrived home from being out of town.

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

IT'S A LOVE STORY


So I saw some people on twitter and blogger linking up with From Mrs. To Mama for a little Valentine's Day Questionnaire and I thought it would be fun to participate. So here we go!

1. How long have you and your significant other been together?
Kenny and I will have been together 10 years total in September! A whole decade. I was 19 and he was 21 when we started dating so we have done so much growing up together.

2. How did you meet? {What's your "love" story?}
We were in the same U.S. History class. I was a freshman and sat with all the other freshman. He being an upperclassmen sat in the back and might of been late a few times. He thought I was cute (so he says) and ended up asking people about me. Eventually he heard that I thought it might be fun to go to his fraternity's formal in Memphis of all places so he called and said "I heard you want to go Fireman's Ball with me?" He swears he didn't say that but he so did. I accepted the invitation and we had a great time and became friends. We started dating the next year when I got back to Starkville for Fall Semester and have been together ever since!

3. If married, how long have you been married?
We will have been married 6 years in May! Our marriage has changed over the years and especially this year with the arrival of Elting. So many things have been learned and all for the best.
4. If you are married, where did you get married at? Big or small wedding? We were married in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on the absolute most gorgeous weekend. We seriously had the best weather. Our wedding was probably on the smaller size. Can't remember the exact amount of guests.....100-125 people. It was so much fun and the perfect day!

5. Do you have any nick-names that you call one another? Do share!
Not really. I call him Kenny Fondu, Kenneth Fudge, he calls me Mal. And we might be guilty of the occasional "baby." Ha!

6. Name 3 things you love most about your honey.
His insane drive and passion to providing for his family. He works so incredibly hard and we are so thankful. He is extremely giving and considerate. He is an incredible father to our little girl and she adores him.

7. Tell us how he proposed?
It was the end of fall semester and Kenny was getting ready to graduate and move out of his apartment in the Cotton District. Awwww Lummus Street. How I loved that apartment! He asked me out for a nice date for our last "college" date. He took me to a really nice restaurant in Starkville which is no longer open and then we were going to go back to my house to watch a movie while I studied. He told me he needed to run by his apartment to get some things so we stopped by and he told me to wait in the car. Then he called me and said Lena had made a mess and could I come inside really quick. I stepped inside to a completely empty apartment(his mom and him moved everything out earlier that day) except for it was COVERED in candles and rose petals. EVERYWHERE. He was down on one knee and said some really sweet things and then...he proposed!

8. Is he a flowers and teddy bear kind of guy for v-day, or strawberries, champagne, and rose petals?
Umm neither? We aren't all that into the typical Valentine's Day stuff. For the past few years it has been our tradition to grill steaks, drink wine and play games. We have quite the game collection and we have played Life, Jenga, Operation and lots of others in the past. One year we made smores in our Chiminia.
9.Are you a sunset dinner on the beach kind of girl, or pop a movie in and relax on the couch?
Gah. This is a hard one. Who doesn't love a sunset on the beach. But I would say I am more likely to be popping in a movie on the couch. We are huge movie people.

10. Tell us one thing you'd like to do with your significant one day.
Travel the world. Cliche answer but it is the truth. Other things include: see our children off to college, see our children get married, retire together.

11. Tell us what you plan on doing on this Valentine's Day.
I pretty much answered this in the previous question. We are going to celebrate Valentine's Day this Saturday by keeping our tradition of yummy dinners and game night.

12. Are you asking for anything this Valentine's day?
No we don't do gifts for Valentine's Day.

13. Give us one piece of advice of keeping a relationship strong and full of love.
Give and take. Kenny and I try to have a really good balance of things we do for each other and things we do for ourselves. If one of us is down the other picks up the slack. It is all about give and take.

14. Show us a picture of what love means to you. (okay I couldn't just do one)


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

DATE NIGHT AND THE SUPER BOWL

Kenny and I had a fantastic relaxing weekend with a very much needed date night included. He has been out of town for almost two weeks so we were so excited that Annie was able to babysit and allow us to get some adult time.

Friday night we watched 50/50. It was good but sad. I thought I had heard people saying it was still funny despite the subject matter but I did not think it was funny at all. We did watch Rise of the Planet of the Apes on Thursday night and I thought that was a great movie!

Saturday afternoon Kenny and I hit the movie theatres to see Liam Neeson's new movie The Grey. Poor Kenny loves going to see movies and since Elle we don't get to go together as much. I told him to choose any movie he wanted to see. I am glad he chose The Grey because I love Liam Neeson and this movie was really good. Very intense and even had me crying at parts.

After the movie we hit up Interim for a delicious dinner. It was so nice to relax and just talk. We ordered a bottle of wine and the cheese plate to start and just took our time through the entire dinner. We decided that any time he goes out of town for extended period of time we need to have a date night like that one afterwards.

On Sunday we hosted a small Super Bowl get together. Very low key. I did not do a lot whole lot of food this year. I actually decided to do a New Orleans theme food-wise because the Saints should of been in the Super Bowl ha! So I made this delicious and very easy New Orleans Hot Crab Dip (recipe below) and then made a large pot of red beans and rice. It was a fun night.

I just have to add my two cents worth regarding the half time show. Although it seems I am a minority when it comes to my opinion. I don't really care for Madonna and I hated the half time show. It was just so pathetic and desperate to me. At least the game was exciting.

Here is the New Orleans Hot Crab Dip Recipe (courtesy of Pinterest)
LOUISIANA HOT CRAB DIP

1/2 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, free of shells
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons minced green onions (white and green parts)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

2. Combine all of the ingredients in a casserole dish and gently stir until thoroughly mixed. Adjust seasoning to taste. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until lightly golden on top. Serve hot.

3. Serve hot, with hot sauce on the side for those who like it spicy.

Friday, February 3, 2012

GOOD FINDS

Thought I would share a couple of things that I am loving right now.
(Obviously not my baby.)
The first is a blanket that I originally saw in Seattle. My friend Susan received one as a shower gift and I loved it and was going to get one for myself. But then Susan was so sweet to send one to Elle for her birthday. What is so great about a blanket you ask? Well this blanket is by a company called Rugged Idea and is weatherproof! Not to mention that it has Velcro straps that you can connect to the stroller so the baby cant kick it off or it doesn't get caught up in the wheels. It is fleece lined on one side so it keeps the baby warm and nylon on the other to keep the rain off if Momma is determined to exercise that day! And they come in really cute color combinations to boot. Will definitely keep these in mind as shower gifts. I love mine so much.
My other good find is a delicious recipe that I made last night for dinner. It is so easy and Kenny said it was a winner. I found the recipe on Pinterest and it is called Foil Pack Chicken. Here is the recipe:

FOIL PACK CHICKEN
1 package Stuffing mix; chicken flavor
1 1/4 cup Water
24 ounce Boneless skinless chicken breast; 6oz each
4 cups Broccoli Florets
1 cup Shredded Cheddar cheese
4 slices Cooked bacon; crumbled
4 tablespoon Ranch dressing

Oven to 400
Spray 4 large sheets of heavy-duty foil with oil.
Combine stuffing mix and water.
Spoon 1/4 of the stuffing mixture onto the center of each foil sheet.
Top stuffing with a 6oz. chicken breast half.
Top chicken with 1 c. broccoli.
Sprinkle with 1/4 of the cheese and 1 slice of bacon, crumbled.
Drizzle with 1 T. ranch dressing
Bring up foil sides and fold to seal, leaving room for heat circulation inside
Place packets on a cookie sheet and bake 45-60 mins
Remove packets and let stand 5 mins
Cut sits in foil for steam before opening.