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 »


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!


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!


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.


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.


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!

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!].


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!




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


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.



baby / tots cooking creativity decor fashion life

Birthdays and Things to Come

Thursday was my birthday [Happy Birthday to ME!].  Another year older and almost eight months into my first year as a mom.  The day started with a couple of iced coffees and a trip to the playground before Mike had to go to work.  I received a flower delivery from my mom and gramma in the afternoon and then Mike came home early so we could go out for a nice dinner at Walter Foods.  Filet mignon and wine.  After we put Ava to bed, Mike brought out my birthday cake.  He chose a flourless chocolate cake [tortino di cioccolata] from the award winning Grandaisy Bakery in Soho that was DELICIOUS.  I also got to do a bit of birthday shopping this weekend.  This was probably one of my quietest birthdays [I’ve been known to celebrate loudly with lots of friends and wine] and definitely one of the best.

This week is going to be jammed packed with tips and finds! Tomorrow I’ll be sharing all my latest baby obsessions and Wednesday we’ll be focusing on getting your little ones to eat their vegetables.  On Thursday, I’ll be posting more stylish maternity clothes [as this has been one of my more popular posts] and options for what to wear after your bundle of joy arrives.  And on Friday I’ll share some beauty recipes you can easily make at home instead of paying for pricy store bought treatments.  I’m also working on some more interviews with cool and interesting chicks for later in the month and starting next week, Mondays will be a new series titled “Wedding Bells”!  Lots to look forward to, so be sure to keep checking back!  Thanks to all of you for making Furious Shirley such a success!  XO

creativity decor fashion life

If I Can’t Make It, Someone Can

When I was pregnant with Ava, I wanted to make something for her nursery … something that I could look at and say with pride, “I made that”.  I dusted off the box my [never before used] sewing machine was in, figured out how to thread it, and one week later I had made a tiny pillow.  It is a very cute pillow, but to this day the opening where I inserted the stuffing has never been stitched closed.  I never quite figured out how to do that, and so it has become a “one day I will finish that” project – like so many projects I have started or thought about starting.  I see certain handmade goods and think, “It would be so easy to make that myself”, and maybe it would be, but I lack the patience and dedication of true craftsmanship.   So, I will stick to admiring and buying the items other people make.  Handmade things have a certain special quality to them that mass produced goods lack … maybe it’s knowing that someone put their heart into it.  Big thanks to all the crafty artists out there and your truly inventive goods!  Speaking of inventive ….

Cork.  I have seen bulletin boards made out of it and photo frames from wine bottle corks, but never purses!  The cute wristlets by aptly named, Cork and Cotton, are so cool!


Forks.  Artists have a way of looking at something ordinary and seeing something unexpected.  These fork easels by Dinner TIme Chimes are an excellent example of that.  Great for holding recipe cards or photos.


Paper.  These works by Julene Harrison are amazing … and done BY HAND.  You can order custom paper cuts for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, and just because at MadeByJulene.  Beautiful, intricate works of art made out of paper.  Bravo.




Paperclips.  Now even your paperclips can have style – what a great idea!  These cute paper keepers by Jack and Jane are perfect for organizational freaks and come in sets of three with lots of patterns and colors to choose from.



Strawberry Mint & Coconut Popsicles

It’s so easy to make these delicious [and healthy] frozen treats!  The possible flavor combinations are endless, so expect lots more popsicle posts throughout the summer!


To make Strawberry Mint & Coconut Popsicles … Toss strawberries [I used really ripe strawberries so they would be super sweet] and a few leaves of fresh mint into the blender and blend!  Stir in coconut flakes and a squeeze of lime, pour into posicle trays and freeze!  That’s it.  I told you it was easy.  [Note – if these aren’t naturally sweet enough for you, add a teaspoon of sugar or some agave.]

baby / tots decor

Nursery Porn

Pink for a girl, blue for a boy, and yellow if it could go either way.  How boring!  Preparing your baby’s nursery is one of the rites of passage into motherhood. You want it to be as perfect as your newborn bundle … and you want it to be the envy of your mommy friends.  Just be sure not to go overboard.  Keep it simple, add some personal touches, and remember that this room is for your baby [not you].  Also keep in mind that your baby will grow out of things and into things pretty fast, so design a room that can grow and change with your little one’s needs.

One of the biggest trends in today’s nurseries are modern and playful wall decals.  I found a great selection at blik, including this beautiful “Anise” design by Ilan Dei.


Another great way to add some personality to your nursery are mobiles [and your baby will love them too!].  This fanciful silk bird mobile by NightByrd is available at Fey Handmade.


I spent hours on the internet looking for ideas for Ava’s nursery.  Project Nursery is filled with inspiring photos of readers nurseries, inspiration boards, DIY projects, and more.


And the nursery porn over at ohdeedoh cannot be beat.  They also have tons of DIY and fun kid-friendly activity ideas.


The most important item for your baby’s nursery?  Love.  You can’t go wrong with that.  XO

baby / tots cooking decor

One Scoop or Two?

Well, the hours quickly turned into days and now I am ready to blog again.  We had a fun filled Fourth of July weekend … shopping, a picnic in the park, trips to the playground, fireworks, more shopping, and more eating.  We climbed out onto our fire escape for a surprisingly excellent view of fireworks being set off on random Brooklyn rooftops and from the massive Macy’s display along the Hudson River.  All in all, it was one of those weekends we wished would never end [but then, I feel like that every weekend].

As I am writing this post, I can hear the ice cream truck making its way down the street.  I was never really an ice cream person, but during my pregnancy that all changed.  There was a time last summer that I actually went out searching the neighborhood for the ice cream man.  Unfortunately, the craving did not end after giving birth.  This weekend, we happened upon a gourmet ice cream truck serving up organic goodness with flavors like pistachio, green tea, and hazelnut – delicious!  I’ve been wanting to make some homemade ice cream … I can still remember sitting on the back porch with my grampa when I was a little girl; helping him crank and crank and crank for that sweet frosty payoff.  If only we knew then that we could just throw the ingredients into a bag and shake it for five minutes like the kid-friendly recipe I found on Kaboose.


And since ice cream makers do all of the cranking for you now, it’s much easier to whip up cold and creamy delights like this Rocky Road [egg free!] recipe from


Want a healthier option? Try a fruity sorbet or granita!  I found a great recipe for Tripe Berry Sorbet [sweetened with agave] on The Wind Attack.  Or if you are really short on time [like me!], toss some frozen berries into the blender with mint or lime or lemon and some agave.  I just blended up some strawberries, mint, lemon, and agave and spooned the mixture into popsicle trays and stuck them in the freezer and will share the end result with you later on.  Hot summer day … cool summer treat.  Ahhhhhhhh…..


Give Me A Few Hours

I wasn’t able to get Thursday’s fashion post up … too busy being a mommy.  Ava is cutting another tooth and besides being cranky and tired, the only thing she wants to do is crawl on me.  Thank goodness Mike has today off to help wrangle the babers so I can get a few things accomplished.
Today isn’t the greatest day for me to post either since Mike being home on a weekday is such a rare occasion.  Maybe something will inspire me as we go about our day … playground and then into the city for a little shopping and lunch.  So, give me a few hours and let’s see what I can find ………

Related Posts with Thumbnails