Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bye Bye 2010!

I don't know how people manage to blog regularly over the holidays! The theme of the holiday for me has been "Shelly is tired." I'm definitely looking forward to the new year, if only because it will give me a chance to go to bed early and eat lots of vegetables!
Things to talk about since I last blogged: Dinner at Upperline was delicious and it was great to see Bonnie and Gabe again. I spent Christmas with my parents, saw the Pinta and the Nina (excuse the lack of a tilde) which were docked in Biloxi, and recieved an awesome quilt made from all my old Sorority T-shirts from my Mom. I met up with Kristi and Colin in Hattiesburg and walked 6 miles on the Longleaf Trace while chatting and catching up with them. (I'd have preferred an actual trail to hike, but I think that walking and talking definitely beats sitting in a coffee shop or a restaurant all day!)
I get to see two more friends soon. My friend Daniel (and his friend Shauyi) are staying with me over the weekend for NYE, and I get to see my friend Ginny in Baton Rouge for brunch in a couple of weeks. It's definitely been a holiday for catching up with people I haven't seen in a while!
As for resolutions, I'm not sure I have any formal ones. I didn't do very well on my resolutions last year (I think I resolved to go to the eye doctor, the dentist, and to stay in shape and only succeeded on the last resolution- I'm gross, I know...but at least I floss all the time!)
There are a few things I'd like to do in 2011, of course. Get hitched and go to Spain are obviously on the top of my list, but I'm also thinking about running a Marathon in Feb., and in light of all of the life changes that may or may not be happening this year (getting married, and, depending on where my darling fiance ends up doing his residency, moving and finding a new job) I'd just like to handle anything that comes my way with grace. (Which obviously won't happen because I am, as ever, a stress ball.) I'd also like to keep up my good eating and fitness habits, and not get too behind on wedding planning.

What are you looking forward to in 2011?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mississippi Blasphemies

I don't keep the fact that I am a terrible Southerner a secret. Here are some of the the blasphemous thoughts that have crossed my mind this week.

Why do I need 3 deviled egg trays when I have never actually made deviled eggs?

I don't need to put on makeup just to run to the grocery store, do I?

Am I the only one who realizes that Faith Hill's Mississippi Girl is just a countrified rip off of Jenny from the Block?

And somewhere, my mother is hanging her head in shame.....

Feel free to add to my list of Southern Blasphemies!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Spirits

This weekend was SO busy! After the Christmas party on Friday (which went swimmingly), I attended an afternoon wedding on Saturday, the first of two family Christmases on Sunday (which involved a 3.5 hour drive each way), and a latkes party at Sarah and Jon's house on Mon. The holiday season is clearly in full swing! As for the rest of the season, I'll be seeing my friends Bonnie and Gabe (who now live in Sacramento) on Thurs. (and having a Reveillon dinner at Upperline- Yum!), spending time with my family (and eating Christmas dinner #2!) over the actual holiday, and seeing my friend Kristi (now living in San Francisco) the Monday after Christmas!
I promise I'll put up a few pictures from my Christmas party soon (my Mom sent me a fabulous homemade ugly Christmas sweater!) but to tide you over, I thought I'd post the drink recipes from our party.
The first year we threw a Christmas party, I made a list of the alcohol and mixers I thought we should buy for the party- basic stuff like wine, beer, rum, vodka, orange juice, and Coke. My darling fiance read my list, declared that screw drivers and rum and cokes were off the list due to this being a "Christmas party rather than a frat party" and sat down and came up with a list of fun holiday cocktails to make during the party. He even printed up a drink menu for our guests!
Since then, fancy drinks and a printed drink menu have been a big part of our Christmas party. Much like my food menu, the drink menu has evolved over the years- we keep the things that everyone loves and rotate out the drinks that didn't go over very well (this painful candy cane martini from our first party springs to mind- it went the way of the gougeres I made that everyone mistook for biscuits). Regardless of the drinks we decide to make, I think my darling fiance does a great job as a bartender every year, and I think that this year all the drinks were very good.
The classics that we've kept year after year are the Poinsettia Cocktails (my absolute favorite), Peppermint Patty shots (tasty and not overly alcoholic), Brandied Port (the gentlemen always love this one), and Brandy Milk Punch (a New Orleans classic).


3 ounces cranberry juice, chilled
3 ounces champagne, chilled
1 ounce triple sec

Pour into a fluted champagne glass, stir, and serve.

Peppermint Patty

1/2 oz. crème de cacao
1/2 oz. peppermint schnapps
1 oz. cream

Stir with ice , strain into shot glass

Brandied Port

2 ounces ruby port
1 ounce brandy
Dash fresh-squeezed lemon juice (optional)

Shake well with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass; garnish with twist of lemon or orange peel.

Brandy Milk Punch

1 ½ ounces brandy
1 ounce simple syrup
½ bar spoon high quality vanilla extract
A couple ounces of Half-and-half
Cubed ice
Grated nutmeg

Pour brandy, simple syrup, vanilla extract and half-and-half into a pint glass. Add ice to a shaker and shake the concoction until well mixed and frothy. Add cubed ice to a rocks glass and, using astrainer, pour the mixture into it. Top with a bit of grated nutmeg.

The new drinks we tried this year were the Cherry Gin Sling (this one seemed to be the least popular, but I enjoyed it), the Rosemary Salty Dog (the Rosemary provided a delicious aroma and made this drink very Christmas-y), and the Elf in a Blender (which tasted like a really delicious strawberry daiquiri).

Cherry Gin Sling

2 ounces gin
1 ounce cherry brandy
4 ounces club soda
grenadine or Pom Cherry Pomegranate juice (optional)

Pour gin and brandy in serving glass over crushed ice. Top up with club soda and garnish with
maraschino cherries. You can also add a splash of grenadine or juice for a little added sweetness and color.

Rosemary Salty Dog

1 grapefruit wedge
Kosher salt
One 1-inch piece of rosemary sprig, plus 1 sprig for garnish
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 ounces fresh red grapefruit juice
1 1/2 ounces gin

Moisten the outer rim of a martini glass with the grapefruit wedge and coat lightly
with salt. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the 1-inch rosemary sprig with the sugar. Add
the grapefruit juice, gin and ice and shake vigorously. Strain into the martini glass and
garnish with the rosemary sprig.

Elf in a Blender

3 pounds strawberries, hulled and coarsely chopped
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons citrus vodka
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup chilled Riesling

In a bowl, toss the strawberries with the sugar and let stand, stirring occasionally, until
the strawberries release their juices, about 10 minutes.
In a blender, combine half each of the strawberries and their juices, the vodka, wine, and
lime juice with 1 cup of ice and puree. Pour into a pitcher. Repeat with the remaining
strawberries and juices, vodka and lime juice and 1 more cup of ice. Fill 10 tall
glasses halfway with ice. Pour the cocktail into the glasses, top each with about 1/2
tablespoon of Riesling and serve.

What's your favorite holiday libation?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

You might be a foodie...

  • If you've ever been late to work b/c you were opening a pomegranate when you should have been drying your hair....
  • If your cat is addicted to Greek yogurt.... (it's like having a small, sharp toothed food critic yowling at your feet whenever you go near the fridge)
  • If the thing holding you back from vegetarianism is your love of pâté.... (and if you google pâté so you can copy and paste it to get the proper accents on the word)
  • If you've ever made a vegetable dish for your non-veggie loving family and found out that they planted that very vegetable in their garden the next week....(I guess they liked my chard!)
  • If that same family still complains about the time you made them eat "paper" and "foot cheese".... (the paper in question was rice paper wrapped around pork and shrimp spring rolls, and as for the cheese- they were on the Atkin's diet so I took them out for Charcuterie plates!)
  • If everyone you know asks for recommendations about where to go for dinner....
  • If you come up with an awesome recipe to blog about then realize that you're going to have to make it all over again so you can actually figure out what quantities of ingredients you used... (I'm officially promising you a healthy shrimp and grits recipe of my own devising- I made it last night and it was awesome- but I'll probably have to put off my re-do until after the holidays)

Do you have any weird quirks related to your hobbies?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Tis the Season

Today is my office's Christmas party. We're having a fancy 4 course luncheon at a nice restaurant. Of course, I decided to wear something festive! This is a ruffly red plaid button down paired with a pencil skirt, heels, and a skinny black belt. It looked better tucked in with a wide black belt around the waist but there is no way I'm tucking my shirt in on a day I'm going to be eating a big meal! Excuse the low quality bathroom cell phone shot, but hopefully it captures the Christmas-y nature of my outfit!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Party Planning

Yesterday I mailed out the invitations to my yearly Christmas party which means it's time to start thinking about what I'm going to make this year!
Food I'm going to carry over from last year includes Baked Brie, Cranberry and Blue Cheese stuffed Endive, Bacon Wrapped Water Chestnuts (always a hit), and Rotel Dip (everyone LOVED this last year).
Additionally, I want to make meringues and either rosemary chocolate chip shortbread or Scottish shortbread for my sweets because they are all easy and can be made a couple days in advance. I also want to get a veggie tray. I enjoyed having pickled veggies last year, but I enjoyed a veggie tray at a Mardi Gras ball even more- so I think that's what I'll get this year. I'd also like to do some sort of bruschetta but I haven't decided what kind yet. Maybe fig and caramelized onion? I also think that this Beluga Lentil Crostini looks amazing but am not sure it would be a crowd pleaser... Cheese twists might be a fun way to use up the rest of my puff pastry left over from the Brie...

As usual, my darling fiance will be in charge of the drinks. I've had one request for Brandy Milk Punch already, and I don't think it's a Christmas party without a Poinsettia Cocktail- but the rest is up to him!

Do you like to host parties? I love to cook for a party, but I get stressed out by all the cleaning and preparations before hand- so one big party a year is perfect for me!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Getting Medieval

The Louisiana Renaissance Festival on Sunday was a lot of fun! We at roasted turkey legs, scotch eggs, and Shepard's pie. We saw a skeleton puppet named Ded Bob do stand up, a wench show, a falconry show, a joust (which seemed to have taken a great deal of it's inspiration from WWE, and a juggling duel that involved the losing juggler rolling across a stage covered in mouse traps. The funniest thing about the festival was that there are apparently people (who own VERY elaborate costumes) who go to fair after fair, year after year. We definitely heard how Ded Bob was better when he was a strolling attraction who started out at the Texas Ren Fest, and met a guy who had seen the wench show "hundreds of times." I didn't wear a costume (just my sweet new old man hat), but my darling fiance wore a kilt, and my friends Sarah and Jon dressed up like a king and queen. I took lots of pictures, of course. Here are a few of my favorites.

Everyone watching the falconry show

Queen Sarah speaks softly but carries a big...hammer

King Jon would like to Axe you a question. :P

Scotland Forever!

My darling fiance's costume earned him lots of compliments!

Newsies, Merlin, and Braveheart?

Braveheart with Queen Sarah and King Jon (and Merlin)


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mississippi Gulf Coast Half Marathon 2: Electric Boogaloo

Last year, the 1/2 Marathon was my first ever. This year it was my third. I'm proud to say that today I set a new personal record, beating last year's time by 2 minutes (and last month's time by 10!), running 13.1 miles in 1:56:57.
Much like last year- it was SO COLD this morning. Driving over, my car thermometer said it was 38 degrees! Fortunately, it was pretty sunny and by the end of the race it was in the mid-50's. Overall, it was a gorgeous day for a run and the time really flew by for me for the most part. Around 10.5 miles, I started really flagging and my running buddy Margee had to remind me to eat the Gu chomps I had in my belt, and the last 3 miles were pretty tough. Fortunately, I knew that I had a good shot at a new PR which kept me motivated!

Pros of this race:
The T-shirt is long sleeved and the design always makes me smile. What's better than a long sleeved race t-shirt? A long sleeved race t-shirt with a rocket on it!
Whatever energy drink they provided tasted really good. It wasn't too sweet at all.
After the race, there were Nilla Wafers and cups of hot chicken soup. Bliss!!
It's a fast run- flat and uncrowded.
It's cheap- it was $25 prior to Nov. 22 and $30 on race day.

If you run this race alone, you will be bored. It's a small race and there are long stretches where there aren't that many people. It's also not all that scenic- you're running down a road with woods and nondescript buildings along side it for the most part. There are a couple airplanes and booster tanks at one point, but that's about it.

Overall- I like to run this race because I'm on the coast anyway for Thanksgiving and it's a great excuse to eat all the stuffing I can fit in my face. :) Also, I've gotten times I'm proud of both years I've run it. If the opportunity arises, I'd definitely run it again!

As for recovery, I'm doing basically the same thing I did after the Jazz Half Marathon- today I got home, napped, did runner's yoga, then took an Epsom salt bath. Tomorrow, I'll be doing a lot of walking b/c I'm going to the Louisiana Renaissance Festival with a bunch of my friends. So far I'm in more pain than I was last time, but I think that's b/c I had to drive half an hour back to my parents' house after the race and then an hour and a half back to New Orleans this evening, so my legs are kind of stiff. They're not too bad though!

How did you spend your long weekend?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

I'm in Gulfport right now, and I was way too busy stuffing my face to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving yesterday. :) After lunch yesterday, all the guys (my darling fiance, dad, brother and brother's friend Heath) went to Natchez to go hunting, and my mom and I had a girl's night with my brother's girlfriend Stacy and Heath's wife Ashley (and their sweet baby, Zaiden). We watched Mamma Mia and ate candy and popcorn. Yum!

Today, Mom and I woke up at a reasonable time (8am) and went to the local outlet mall to check out the Black Friday deals. We wandered around for a couple hours and I got some nice stuff. The best things I got were 3 pairs of work pants (buy 1 get 2 free at Bass!), a really warm wind and waterproof jacket with a soft fuzzy lining (also from Bass), and a really awesome old man hat from the Gap. I'm obsessed with it. :)
Tomorrow morning I'm running in the Stennis Space Center Half Marathon. I'm really excited b/c last year's was my first ever half marathon. This will be my third. It's supposed to be really cold, which makes for two things: an uncomfortable wait at the start line, and a good, fast race! I'm looking forward to it. Plans for the rest of the day include taking mom to TJ Maxx to look for sheets, picking up my race registration, and meeting Grace for pasta at Salute.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


New plan! Instead of going to Portugal for our honeymoon, we are now going to Spain!
To make a long story short, I won 2 free tickets to Europe at a conference last year and we couldn't use them to go to Portugal in April (due to the Spring being a popular travel time and there not being many flights to Lisbon) so after spending a LOT of time with customer service, we managed to make a trip to Spain work out!
Not that I'm complaining because a free trip is a free trip, and I think that Spain is going to be awesome! So it's time to brush up on my Spanish! Anyone have a Rosetta Stone they want to lend me? :)

Has anyone ever been to Spain? Where should I go? What should I see?

Friday, November 19, 2010


It's kind of funny how many comet names would make trendy childrens' names.
I particularly think that "Arend, Biela, Brooks, Clark, Daniel, Faye, Finlay, Gale, Gunn, Halley, Hartley, Helin, Hill (I went to high school with a Hill), Howell, Levy, Lovas, Maury, Ory, Russel, Swift, Swan, Taylor, Tempel, and Wolf" sounds like more like a Kindergarten class roll than a selection of comets.

DO you like trendy names or do you prefer traditional ones?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Shelly's Christmas Gift Guide (Part 2)

I'm sure you all were waiting with baited breath for my gift suggestions for the gentleman in your life. (And if not, just leave me and my delusions of grandeur in peace.)

I really love shopping for guys. I think menswear is classic and appealing and timeless in a way that women's clothing is not (as an aside, I probably can't pull off these lady's wingtips, can I?) and there are so many neat gadgets marketed towards men! (On a related note, I gave up playing with girls toys when I was a little kid b/c my brother's toys were way more fun.) So overall, coming up with this half of my gift guide has been a lot of fun! (And right after I typed this paragraph, my friend Bonnie, who is apparently a mind reader, sent me a link to a great blog- Tomboy Style. Now I seriously want the wingtips!)

First I'd suggest you check out the new L.L. Bean Signature Collection and the new Land's End Canvas collection b/c I think they've done a good job of making these with an eye to a younger consumer. The styling is more current, and the fits are more tailored- but I think that they both have a lot of casual but classic appeal.

For dressier clothing, I'd check out Brooks Brothers and J. Press (home of the Chuck Bass scarf). J Peterman has some cool stuff if you don't mind the uncertainly of ordering something from an illustration (excuse me while I go drool over the lambskin flight jacket).

For a sportsman's kind of look- I'd go to Kevin's or Orvis.

And of course, there's always Jcrew. I've been really loving their men's shoes lately.

I'm also loving the ties and bowties from Southern Proper.

I've had good success giving men bags as gifts as well. Messenger bags, weekend bags, and shooting bags always come in handy.

As far as gizmos go, I'm always amused by ThinkGeek. I think that whiskey stones, fire starter knives, samuri sword umbrella, moleskin notebooks, a portable hammock, and a coffee cup power inverter, are all cool gifts. The entire site is worth pouring over and I think that they have a lot of stuff that's great for kids as well. I'll keep it brief, but their kitchen gadgets section alone is a thing of joy- who doesn't want a zombie head cookie jar, science themed cookie cutters, a brass knuckles corkscrew (true story I almost bought a clutch with brass knuckles as a handle at the thrift store last week!), a build your own crazy drinking straw kit, a pi ice-cube tray (okay maybe that's just me...), an egg cuber, or a pirate toast maker?

For entertainment, I like to give boxed sets of movies and TV shows as gifts. Star Wars always seems to be appreciated. (As a bonus, here's a really funny video on Talking to your Kids about Star Wars that my darling fiance sent to me last night.)

I'll wrap this up with some outdoorsy gift ideas. I shop for the hunters and fishermen in my life at Cabela's (Pretty much the only thing that makes my dad happier than a gift card from Home Depot is one from Cabela's). Sigg water bottles are great, useful gifts that come in a lot of cool colors. It's always a good idea to check out the deals on things like camping gear at (Right now, there's a pretty good deal on cast iron skillets, for example.) I also think this telescope is really cool. (I think this would be a good gift for a guy with kids- my dad bought me and my brother a telescope for Christmas one year and we all looked at the stars together for years after that!) And if you live somewhere that actually has a winter- snowshoes could be a pretty cool gift as well!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sewing Party!!

My friends and I have been completely inspired by the blog New Dress A Day, and decided to get together, take a trip to the thrift store, alter whatever we found, and wear it out! I think the results were really great!
My dress ended up needing the least TLC of anyone's, but I also tailored my friend Stephanie's dress down from a size 18 to a 6, so I definitely did my part today. I've made a few mosaics to show our before and after pictures. Overall, I will say that altering a dress is way easier than sewing a dress from a pattern, and I will be scouring thrift stores for more alterable finds in the future because this was entirely too much fun!!

My dress didn't need much work- but the bell sleeves had to go!
I did all the sewing for Steph's dress- we took it from an 18 to a 6!
Sarah T. chose a blue skirt that fit perfectly and paired it with an Eli Tahari shirt that needed some help. She removed the sleeves and gave it a new collar!Sarah L. found a very long striped taffeta skirt- it was adorable once she made it a mini!

We all also found several additional items at the thrift store that we loved and brought home. Have you ever found something amazing at a thrift store?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Shelly's Christmas Gift Guide (Part 1)

Since the holidays are rapidly approaching, I thought that putting together a little list of gift ideas would be fun! So if you're looking for gift ideas this year, I hope I can provide some inspiration. For this guide, I'll be linking to things that are primarily girly. Part two will focus on gifts for guys.

Homemade- I think that baked goods make wonderful homemade gifts. Choose something that's easy to make in bulk and keeps well like Scottish shortbread, meringues, or if you're feeling creative, you can make a cake in a jar! (Cake in a jar can be made two ways- you can bake it in the jar, which means that it will last up to 6 months, but the downside is that you can't frost it. Alternately, you can bake a cup cake and then put it in a jar along with frosting for an adorable presentation. I think both are great ideas. Here's a another link in case you are team pie.)

Paper- I LOVE paper products. I think that cards and stationary are great gifts because they fall right into that "this is so nice but not something I'd buy for myself category." Also, it harkens back to that golden age when people wrote letters instead of email. I'm a huge fan of Crane and Kate Spade stationary.

For the dreamer- I love sleepy time presents like herbal tea, lavender eye pillows, cute slippers, and PJ's! (A note on those PJ's- my darling fiance has two pairs of Brooks Brothers PJ's and the fabric is so soft. Highly recommend.)

For the reader- Kindles are great because you can get books, papers, and magazines! Plus, they solve that pesky problem of having to balance packing space versus reading needs (I usually need at least 2 books for a long trip!) when you travel.

For the fitness enthusiast- I'm not advocating that you give a gym membership to someone who isn't a religious gym goer (because that could possibly be misconstrued), but if you are looking for a gift for someone who loves a particular activity- gear is always appreciated. For runners, I'd suggest a spibelt, running clothes, or a sample pack of Gu. Yoga enthusiasts might like a gift certificate for sessions at their favorite yoga studio (ditto for Pilates studios) or a little something from Lululemon. A camelbak is a great gift for anyone who spends a lot of time outdoors.

Jewelry and accessories- obviously the options in this category are practically infinite, but here are a few things I think are awesome. I love this clutch, all of these five necklaces, this pin, these too. And since I hear that in some parts of the country (not New Orleans this year, apparently) there' a thing called winter- knitwear can also make a great gift.

Obviously there are tons of gift options that I haven't covered like books, wine, and decorative Christmas platters (you laugh, but I was pretty thrilled to receive several last year since I host a yearly Christmas party), but one lowly blogger can't do it all! Stay tuned for part two- gifts for the guys.

What's your favorite thing to give as a Christmas gift?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I've never been incredibly adept with makeup. I feel like some girls are just born with an innate understanding of how to apply it, whereas I'm lucky if I remember to slap on some lip gloss before I leave the house in the morning. ( I do wear light foundation, mascara and blush, for the record. It's just that nothing stays on my lips anyway!)
There are several reasons I'm not a huge makeup person. My mom never wore very much in the way of makeup, I am generally running late in the morning and don't like to spend any extra time getting ready, and I have very small facial features (which I don't think can really carry a lot of makeup- if that makes sense).
I do, however, like to amp up my look a little bit for special occasions in which I will be photographed repeatedly. So this means that I have to think about wedding makeup.

I think I want to do it myself.

I remember when I was in high school and college, getting one's makeup done for a special occasion (at least in the bustling metropolises....metropoli....metropolai? of Natchez and Hattiesburg) meant going to Dillard's or McRae's (which doesn't even exist any more! Clearly, Belk's bought McRae's just to make me feel old!) and getting your face done at the Estee Lauder or Clinique counter.
In all truth I wasn't really a fan of their work. You know the saying that when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail? I guess the deep south equivalent is that when all you have is a makeup brush, everything looks like a contestant in a Miss Mississppi Pageant.

Not the look I'm going for

I'd say my least favorite experience at the hands of a Clinique girl was when I was being prepared for a sorority formal and she said "Oh! You have the tiniest eyes and lips!" While proceeding to attack me with purple eye shadow. Yeah, That's not really a compliment.

Although I could use the makeup artist at my salon on my wedding day, I have a couple of other reasons besides my distateful experiences at the hands of the Estee Lauder girls for wanting to do my own makeup.
1) I'll need to touch up my makeup throughout the day anyway.
2) It seems like a good chance to splurge....I mean, invest in, some nice makeup!
3) I think that if I do it myself, it will be more "me."


So...thoughts? advice? tips? Any favorite products to suggest?
I'm thinking about going to either Sephora or Mac to buy the makeup I'll use....

Are you one of those girls who "gets" makeup or do you find it a little intimidating like I do?

Sunday, November 7, 2010


My darling fiance's mother gave us a KitchenAid mixer as an early (and greatly appreciated) wedding gift. I wanted to try it out today, so I decided to make meringues! I've never actually had meringues (although I love lemon meringue and key lime pie), but I thought they'd be the perfect thing to make in my mixer since they are so difficult to make by hand. Luckily, they turned out to be simple and delicious with the help of my mixer.
I used a recipe posted by Jenna at Eat Live Run, and added mini dark chocolate chips because someone in her comments suggested doing so. I'm glad I did because the rich chocolate was the perfect counterpoint to the airy sweetness of the sweetened egg whites.
Basically, I just mixed 3 egg whites, 1/4 tsp of cream of tartar, and 3/4 of a cup of sugar until the egg whites formed stiff glossy peaks, then folded in 1/2 a cup of mini-chocolate chips. I used two spoons to plop little meringue clouds onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper and baked them at 200 F for nearly two hours. Mine took longer than Jenna's recipe called for and I think it's because mine were bigger meringue blobs rather than the little meringue kisses she made- so adjust your time according to the size of your meringue. Just don't open the oven for a least an hour if you don't want your meringues to crack!
When the meringues were done, they were hard on the outside, and they got slightly harder as they cooled. The insides were spongy and full of air. (and chocolate!) They're so good that I'm not sure I'm going to be able to take them to work to share!

Hello, Gorgeous

Egg whites and cream of tartar
Let's get this party started!

Something's Happening!Wow! All that delicious fluff from 3 little egg whites!

Adding Chocolate Chips
Happy Little Clouds
The finished meringues. I ate two of them right after I took this picture!
What's your favorite dessert?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Wedding Inspiration Update

It's been a while since I've blogged about wedding stuff, but I spent some time tonight updating my wedding inspiration board. I've split it into three boards- one for the ceremony, one for the picnic (we are taking advantage of the Peristyle since we have it all day by having a picnic between the morning wedding and evening reception, to refresh your memory), and one for the reception.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Finish Line

I found a picture of me, Margee, and Jen finishing the Jazz Half in the photo album from their website. I'm making a pretty tortured face. Can you tell I was pushing it at the end?
Also, how amazing are Margee's pink leopard leggings? :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Goody Two Shoes

In the past two days, I've voted, gotten my flu shot, had my oil changed, worked out, and and eaten plenty of veggies. I've been so responsible! Bleh! :)
As far as my recovery from the half marathon, it couldn't have been better. I swam on Sunday like I planned, then spent the afternoon walking around the quarter and tailgating for the Saints game. I though I had probably over done it in terms of being on my feet so I took another Epsom Salt bath and I had almost no pain on Monday, which would normally be my worst day in terms of soreness.
Sunday was a lot of fun. I got to see my friends from college, Belmont and Brittany, who I haven't seen in a couple of years. I also sold my costume for the day (a pair of cat ears that were really cute, but at least 4 years old) to a random lady at Pat O' Brian's for $20 (which was way more than I paid for them!) The coolest thing was that my friend Jon won the costume contest at Pat O's and got $100!
He was teen wolf!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Jazz Half Marathon Recap

I ran the Jazz Half Marathon this morning and it was a great race. I finished in 2 hours and 4 minutes, which is longer than my first half marathon, but not by much. The key differences were that this race was very slow and crowded for the first few miles and we stopped and took some pictures along the way. It made for a fun, no pressure race, which was nice. The course stared by the Convention Center, wound it's way through the central business district, then went up St. Charles Ave., around Audubon Park, and back to the Convention Center, so for the most part, it was pretty scenic. I ran with my friends Jen and Margee, which was great. They're both really good runners and keeping up with them helps me push myself to go faster. And they dressed up in 80's attire as well, which was really fun.
I'm trying to apply myself to my recovery this time b/c I had a very poor recovery last year. It was really cold, I had to ride for 45 minutes in the car to get back to my parents' house, and they didn't really grasp the concept of resting one's legs and kept asking me to get up and go do stuff until I finally gave up and went home to New Orleans so I could get some rest. I remember being sore for like a week. This time, I want to be able to run again by next weekend.
After the race and after party, I went home, showered, and took a two hour nap. I woke up feeling like a new person (I find napping really helps me heal) so I got up, ate some lunch, and went to the grocery store. Despite the benefits of napping, I do get really stiff if I sit around too much after my nap. After my grocery run, I chilled out for a little while, snacked on chips and salsa, then did some chores. Next I did a 10 minute Yoga for Runners video that left my legs feeling much looser. I started this post, then saved it and went to get Mexican food with my friends. Now that I'm home, I'm going to watch a movie and soak in Epsom Salts.
As of right now, I'm feeling pretty good- slightly stiff and sore, but I've felt worse after some long training runs. I'm not going to end up sitting on the couch with bags of frozen veggies on my knees at any rate.
My plan for tomorrow is to continue with my active recovery by swimming a few easy laps at the gym, then going to a Saint's tailgate. Who Dat!
I'll leave you with some pictures taken by Jen, one of my fellow 80's girl runners. (Other bloggers who I saw today were Grace, Lindsey, and Keith. It was Lindsey and Keith's first half, so congrats to them!)

Before the start of the race- it was dark!

In front of a spooky house on St. Charles Ave.

Post Race Party
Eating Kung Pao Chicken and rocking some truly awful bangs

Friday, October 29, 2010


My half marathon is tomorrow!!!! I'm definitely sitting on the borderline between excited and nervous. Wish me luck! :)

p.s. I've edited this to add my costume for the race! 80's workout girl! :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dusting Off My Sewing Machine

The good thing about my general wardrobe dissatisfaction is that I've been using my sewing machine a lot more to alter my clothes that just aren't quite right. When Grace posted a tutorial on how to alter your pants- I knew that I would have to give it a try!
I had a pair of light khaki corduroy pants that fit great at the waist, but belled out below the knee in a decidedly dated way (I think I've had them since college). I also wasn't worried about ruining that pair of pants because I have lots of corduroy pants. (So comfy!) They were the perfect pant to try to alter.
You should definitely check out Grace's tutorial if you want to try this at home because I think she explains it a lot better than I do, but here is what I did to alter my pants.
First I used a pair of skinnier pants as a template and traced them on the inside of the pants I was altering, using a pencil (if you want to do things properly, you should iron and pin them. I tend to take shortcuts when I sew which is probably why I'm not really all that good at it!)

My Template

Next I sewed along that line. I flipped them inside out, checked the fit, then went back and made a few more adjustments inside (it was hard to get the fit just perfect b/c I only needed to take the pants in up to the knee- the thighs were already fitted and the transition from stitching to no stitching was a little awkward).

Gotta Fix This

Then I did the same thing on the other leg.

Right= before, Left= after

Finally, I cut off the insides where I'd sewn the pants, ironed them into a new seam and stitched that down along the cuff. I went from bell bottoms to matchstick cords!
Thanks for the great tutorial, Grace!

Eat Your Heart Out, JCrew!

In other news, I went to the mall after work today and got four sweaters (I can't find the link for one- a hot pink v-neck merino sweater from Banana Republic that I somehow got for $12 because I win at life... oh and the third sweater I linked is in black and was marked down for much lower than the one that's linked- shopping in stores is paying off!) and a dress (for $15!), so I feel like my wardrobe has become at least a bit more versatile!