Monthly Archives: July 2009

cooking

Turkey Dill Burgers

Sorry for the oh so less than perfect picture of this burger.  It was late, we were hungry, and I have horrible lighting in my kitchen.  That aside, these burgers are juicy and delicious.  I got the idea from an old Salmon Dill Burger recipe the chef at a restaurant I worked at fourteen years ago used to make.  I am not a salmon fan, but figured it would work well with turkey, since it’s sort of a “blank slate” meat.  To jazz it up even more, I mixed some capers into some light mayo to spread on the buns.  So Tasty!

turkey dill burger

To Make Turkey Dill Burgers … Mix a little salt, fresh ground black pepper, and about a teaspoon [maybe a little more depending on how many burgers you are making – I made two] of dried dill into your ground turkey breast.  I also mixed in some fresh chopped parsley, but I’ve also made them without it.  Shape into patties and place in hot skillet that has been sprayed with a hit of non-stick spray [we use organic canola].  Cook for about 7-10 minutes on each side over medium heat.  When the burgers are almost finished, melt a slice of swiss cheese on top.  We added lettuce, tomato, and caper mayo to our burgers too.  Quick, Easy, and Good for You!!  Enjoy!

wedding

Wedding Photography to Say “I Do” For

Yesterday was supposed to kick off my new Monday series on all things Wedding, but Mike’s sister is town for a visit and family time always trumps blogging time.  I have a few minutes this morning while Ava naps in her stroller, so I figured better late than never.

Now that I am starting to plan my own wedding, I will be sharing the journey with you and all of the inspiration and ideas I find along the way.  A picture is worth a thousand words … or thousands of dollars in the case of hiring a wedding photographer.  You want your special day to be perfect and so the memories you capture should be too.  Today’s wedding photography looks like it belongs in a fashion editorial spread for Vogue.  The images are striking and candid and really capture the personality of the bride and groom.

I love the creativity behind this polaroid shot by Heather Waraksa.  Heather is based in Brooklyn, NY, received her BFA in photography, and has shot editorials, fashion, and still life – and she brings all of that expertise with her when shooting weddings and engagements.  The shot of the bride toking a cigar is priceless!

heather waraksa bride groom polaroid

cigar

Fine Art photographer, Anna Kuperberg captured this beautiful veil shot and some fun loving personality with the smiley faced lollies.

anna kuperberg bride veil

anna kuperberg smiley face bride groom

Award winning photographers and husband and wife team, Prem and Cheridy Mukherjee of Arising Images are based in Michigan.  Their images are inspired by the rewards of bringing others joy and they do an amazing job at capturing those precious moments in a fun and inticing way.

arising images wedding

arising images bride groom kiss

Wedding photos hold so much sentimental value because they allow you to look back and share and experience those precious memories throughout the years.  You don’t have to spend a fortune to get the look you want … research local photographers and when you find one with a style that fits your needs [and budget] make sure you sit down and discuss exactly what you are looking for.  Let them know which images of theirs you really like and feel free to show them other images for inspirational examples.  Make sure you will have plenty of shots to select from and if you have a fun idea, let your photographer know.  It’s okay to collaborate with your wedding photographer … they have the creative vision and photography know-how, but it’s your personality that adds that extra touch.  XO

baby / tots life

MOM = Me Only More

The company I had been working for closed its doors in February 2008.  In March, I received an unexpected offer for what would turn out to be the most challenging and rewarding job I have ever had – motherhood.

After the initial shock wore off, I became obsessed with two things – cleaning the apartment and gathering as much information as possible about what was going to happen to my body.  In my new germ free environment, I sat transfixed in front of my laptop for countless hours learning terms I had never heard of before … meconium, colostrum, and [dare I mention it?] perineal massage.  I watched birthing videos with my mouth agape in horror and cringed while reading an article titled “Things That Will Come Out of Your Body”.  I also poured over baby names and was in awe at what was happening inside my womb [thanks to weekly email updates!].  And the best part of the online pregnancy experience …. being able to ask all those questions you are too embarrassed to ask in person.

In addition to all of my questions and concerns about the physical elements of pregnancy, I had concerns about the emotional side as well.  What would happen to me?  Would giving birth mean the death of my former self? Don’t get me wrong, I was super excited to become a mom.  I just wanted to be sure that my identity wasn’t going to be lost when we decided I would not be going back to work.  I didn’t know what being a Stay At Home Mom would do to my creativity, my sanity, or my social life.

Writing about this now, it sounds kind of selfish, but I assure you that’s not where I was coming from … I was about to become a mother for the first time and sometimes, the uncertainty that comes with all of that responsibility can be overwhelming.  And that’s okay.  The good news is that Ava is eight months old now and if anything, I am a new and improved version of the pre-baby me [although my “skinny jeans” might disagree].  I feel more creative than ever and each day brings new milestones, new joys, and new ideas to keep the balance.  For every sacrifice there is fulfillment.  Instead of singing in a rock band, I now write children’s songs.  Instead of writing bios and press releases, I write blog posts and am working on a children’s book.  I still have my independence.  I just have to be a bit more imaginative in how I exhibit and exercise it.   XO.

me & ava

cooking

Fried Green Tomato Recipes

This past weekend we woke up early, Mike and I had baked eggs w/ prosciutto and cheddar at Fabiane’s, Ava dined al fresco in the park, and we visited our local farmers’ markets in McCarren Park and DUMBO.  I think we are going to make this a regular thing – we had such a great time together and picked up some beautiful fruits and vegetables.

Mike and Ava at waterfront park in DUMBO

mike and ava DUMBO

Farmers’ Market fruits

market fruits

In addition to the mouth watering fruit, we brought home fresh baked whole wheat sourdough bread, parsley root [parsnips], sweet red onions, radishes, red tomatoes, and green tomatoes.  I was most excited to slice into those green tomatoes …

Fried Green Tomato Sandwiches

FGT Sandwich

Fried Green Tomatoes w/ Cucumber & Apple Slaw

FGT w/cucuappleslaw

To make Fried Green Tomato Sandwiches … Slice green tomato, lightly salt, dip into egg wash [1 beaten egg] and then into mixture of flour, bread crumbs, and black pepper.  Place tomatoes into a hot oil filled [I used canola oil and you do not want too much – tomatoes should NOT be covered by the oil] skillet to fry.  While the greenies are frying, slice up some red tomato, onion, fresh mozzarella, and bread.  Flip your green tomatoes when they are brown on one side.  Drizzle slices of bread with olive oil.  Remove the fried green tomatoes from the pan and place on paper towel to soak up some of the excess oil.  Layer bread with the ingredients, adding leaves of fresh basil along the way.  Eat.

To make Fried Green Tomatoes w/ Cucumber & Apple Slaw … Follow directions for fried green tomatoes above.  The slaw is easy.  Julienne two cucumbers and one apple.  Add a tablespoon or so of mayo, teaspoon of white [or apple cider] vinegar, a little bit of fresh black pepper, and some poppy seeds.  Toss together, chill, and serve on top of warm FGT.  Delicious!

baby / tots

Baby & Toddler Product Recalls – Is Your Child Safe?

We have been planning a trip back to Kansas to visit Mike’s family and lounge around in their pool for a weekend.  Everyone is really excited to see Ava floating around in her assortment of cuter than words swimsuits.  So, in preparation, Mike’s mom went out and purchased a little baby float with a sun shade adorably shaped like a crab.  We wanted to see what it looked like so we went online and typed in “crab baby float” and our search returned with “Aqua-Leisure Industries Recalls Inflatable Baby Floats Due to Drowing Hazard”!!  Apparently the leg straps in the seat that keep your baby afloat [the main purpose of the device] tear – causing your child to fall through into the water!  Now, why this product was still available on the shelves is beyond me, but it got me thinking. If we hadn’t gone online to see what this float looked like, we would have been putting our baby into it and endangering her life.  There has to be a better system for handling these recalls. What if you don’t have the internet?  What if you don’t check every product you buy for a recall?  What if it is recalled months after you buy it – are we expected to keep checking and checking and checking?  I guess the probelm begins at the source – how on earth did 15 different types of floatation devices that Aqua-Leisure made manage to make it past any sort of inspection when their one function fails????  Just a quick look on the internet revealed an alarming number of recalls for childrens’ products for July alone.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission offers information on recalls and safety standards [which in my opinion need to be higher].  If you have not already signed up for their product recall email subcription, I recommend doing it now.  When you find out about a recall, share the information with your family and friends – you never know when you might be saving someone’s life.

fashion

More Stylish Maternity Clothes! Go Ahead and GLOW!

I know I promised this post to show up over the weekend, but we had such great weather here and spent our days out and about enjoying Brooklyn and sharing some much coveted family time together.  Today was supposed to be the kick off of my Monday’s Wedding Bells series, but I am postponing it until next Monday to finally bring you more maternity fashions!  My previous post, “Stylish Maternity Clothes – They DO Exist” has been one of my most popular posts so hopefully all of you pregnant readers will love these selections just as much!

Who doesn’t love a great pair of skinny jeans?!  Don’t rule out this style trend just because you’re expecting and may not be feeling all that skinny.  This dark wash denim by Maternal America [found at Apple Seed Maternity & Baby Boutique] are great paired with a bright baby doll tank and heels or a simple tee and some flats for a more laid back look.

skinnyjean

I love this nursing top [also by Maternal America]!  Pretty and practical and would go great with those skinny jeans!

nursingtop

I love white for summer.  It shows off your tan and just looks clean and crisp and well, summery!  I found this white linen skirt by Motherhood at EVO for only $19.98!

linenskirt1

This nursing dress I found at Japanese Weekend is made from organic cotton and will look great with a short sleeved white jacket and pumps or a pair of metallic sandals and a chunky bracelet.

dressorgcotton

I found this Momzee tunic on sale at Nordstrom for only $39.90!  Pair it with skinny jeans or leggings and layer a few necklaces of varying lengths around your neck to complete the look.

tunic

Feel free to feel beautiful round the clock in these pajama and lingerie styles from Belabumbum.  This bamboo chemise is soft and sexy and totally eco friendly!

bamboochemise

Feel sexy [yes, sexy!] when you put on your nursing bra and panties [now that’s something you don’t expect to hear!] with this lacy copacabana set.   XO!

lacebasics

cooking fashion life

At Home Beauty Recipes

Not too long ago, just getting the chance to take a shower was a luxury for me.  Now that Ava is almost sleeping through the night I have reinstated my evening bathtime, but it’s still fairly difficult to get myself dressed and looking pretty in the mornings.  I have simplified my hair and make-up routines – hair up, dab of foundation, sweep of blush and eyeshadow, mascara, lip gloss [at lightning speed], and I’m ready to go.  That’s all fine and dandy, but every now and then I still need to feel like a girl and do girly things … like put a moisturizing mask on my face and paint my nails or style my hair or treat my skin to a lovely, scented, exfoliating scrub down.  What’s great is that many of these beauty treatments are really easy to make at home for so much less than what you would pay in the store … and they are all natural! So put the kids to bed or have your hubby take them out for an afternoon and take some time to make yourself feel pretty!!

read more »

cooking

Making Salad in My Sleep

Today is supposed to be my Thursday fashion post about stylish maternity wear, but I was so tired last night that I didn’t get the chance to finish.  Tomorrow I will still be sharing recipes for beauty and promise I will get the maternity styles up on Saturday.  For some reason I am out of steam this week.  Maybe it’s the humidity … or maybe it’s just the combination of chasing Ava around all day and barely sleeping at night.  Mike and I came to the realization the other day that we won’t get to sleep in again until we’re like 50.  Makes me want to go back in time and really savor those lazy sleep until noon days.

Well, I don’t want to forfeit this post entirely, so here are some great recipes for a few simple, delicious, and healthy summer salads!  Enjoy!

img_55121

To Make Green Bean & Squash Salad … Boil fresh green beans for about 4 minutes and then place into ice water.  Thinly slice yellow squash and place in bowl with mixed greens.  Chop up some green [or red] onion and add to salad.  Remove green beans from the ice water, blot dry and toss into bowl w/ some light italian dressing or olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper.  Crisp and clean flavors!  Yummy!

img_5766

To Make Black Bean & Avocado Salad … This one is soooo simple.  Boil water and toss in corn.  Cut up avocado, carrot, green pepper, and tomato [optional].  Strain corn and rinse under cold water.  Open up a can of black beans and rinse.  Throw everything together in a bowl and you’re finished!  If you want to add a little spice, throw in some garlic [or mix in garlic paste] or jalepeno, a little bit of lime juice, and some salt.  Have leftovers?  Throw it in some soft or hard taco shells with grilled chicken or ground beef.

XO

baby / tots cooking

Getting Kids to Eat Vegetables – Tricks and Tips

The other night Mike told me that when his dad was a little boy, he convinced his mother that he was allergic to salad.  I can remember chomping away on radishes from grampa’s garden as a little girl and loathing the sight of them a few years later [I now like them again].   I can also remember sitting at the kitchen table with my brother, staring at the cold red beets left on our dinner plates [We were instructed by mom that we could not leave the table until we ate those beets.].  I hated beets for a long time after that and they still aren’t my favorite, but I can handle them in a nice salad with goat cheese from time to time.

Right now Ava gobbles up everything I put into her spoon.  She especially seems to love peas, butternut squash, and a sweet potato/apricot mix.  After her next check-up, we will be able to expand her palate even further with World Baby Foods [I raved about these in a previous post].  Regardless of my efforts today, one day I will no doubt be giving Ava a lecture on why she needs to eat her vegetables.  Children have finicky palates.  They might love something one day and make gagging noises at it the next.  The best advice?  Don’t give up and don’t give in.  Here are a few tips to help sneak those evil little plants into your little ones’ tummies.

img_4684

Mix, mash, blend, bake, boil, chop, and grill. Experiment with the different textures and flavors by preparing vegetables in different ways.

Use familiar foods. Sneak veggies onto a pizza by putting them under the cheese.  Add corn into your ground beef for tacos.  Mash peas into mashed potatoes.  You get the idea.

Make things fun by involving your child in food preparation.  Sometimes kids are more likely to try something new if they helped make it.  For younger tots, make eating veggies a game – for example, place salad ingredients into different bowls and let your child make a veggie face on his/her plate [shredded carrot hair, cherry tomato eyes, etc] and then gobble up the face!

Cupcakes.
Carrots, zucchini, sqaush, and even beets can be made into delicious, nutritious cupcakes.

Recipe for Beet Cupcakes from Straight from the Farm.

Recipe for Butternut Squash Cupcakes from Vanilla Garlic.

Alternatives to French Fries.
-Bake them instead of frying
-Try baked sweet potato fries [You can usually find them in a bag in the freezer section to make it hassle free.  They go great with honey mustard or mayo!]
-Parsnip fries [Don’t knock ’em until you’ve tried ’em.  They are packed with vitamins, folic acid and fiber and most importantly look just like “real” french fries.  Toss with a small amount of extra virgin olive oil and salt and pop in the oven for about 25 mins.]

There are tons of resources available these days [cookbooks, websites, blogs] dedicated to this subject so by all means, use them.  Eventually [hopefully] this veggie hating phase will pass and there will be a new “I hate this” phase to deal with.

Have a sneak vegetable trick or recipe of your own?  Post it as a comment!!

baby / tots fashion

Cute and Quiet

My latest baby obsessions will make your cute baby even more adorable and help to keep your little one quietly occupied [especially helpful in public].

First up, leggings.  They make for easy diaper changes and add a bit of extra padding for crawling on those unforgiving wooden floors.  Oh, and they are SO OUTRAGEOUSLY CUTEPork Chop Kids make footed leggings, which I love [because as you know it is close to impossible to keep socks on a baby’s wiggly squiggly toes!].

porkchopkids1

There are also tons of footless options at really great prices in the handmade marketplace.  I found these styles on Etsy.

Click on Images to be taken to Etsy Store!

stripes

purple

argyle

And here is a picture of Ava sporting a pair of her own!

img_5724

Now, this next baby obsession of mine has been a real life saver on so many occasions.  If you do not have a mesh feeder, run out and buy one. I’m serious.  Not only can you give your baby fresh fruit well before they are able to chew it up and swallow it on their own, but it also serves as a teether when you put a frozen piece of fruit inside.  These qualities aside, the thing keeps Ava busy and has prevented many a tantrum.  I do not leave home without one.  I recommend never putting banana in this, as it was close to impossible to get out.

Item shown, by Munchkin.

freshfoodfeeder

img_5677

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Page 1 of 212