Thursday, January 31, 2013

Winter?Weather Wednesday

An unseasonably warm two days appeared in the middle of this week.  I am not ready for Spring.  I think its because Summer is such a Looooong season here, I really embrace cold weather. And the outfits and layers of clothing that go with it.  So what do I wear on a January day when its 70 degrees outside?  Winter wool shorts of course.  And tall boots and a short sleeve turtleneck sweater.  No tights. No jackets. It was fun.  Now bring back the cold please, just a little longer.
You can check out more fabulous winter outfits over at ...
pleated poppy
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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Wheat Belly Recipes #4

 Flax Seed Wrap is an easy fix for the sandwich craving. Takes about 5 minutes tops to create and can hold any variety of ingredients. It's about the same texture as a wheat tortilla. Holds up as a "eat with your hands" option, unlike other wheat free loaves.
3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1 pinch of sea salt
1 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 tblsp water
1 large egg
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Stir in oil, water. Beat in egg until well blended. Spray or grease a glass pie plate. Pour mixture into pie plate and tilt back and forth until mixture spreads evenly across bottom. Microwave on high 3 minutes. Remove from pie plate with spatula, flip over and fill with your choice of ingredients. Enjoy!

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Wheat Belly Recipes #3

Chicken "tortilla" soup - a mexican soup recipe from the Wheat Belly Book by Dr. William Davis.

So easy, delicious AND you get to top with cheese, avocado and sour cream.  I may have to go make some right now.  Hint double or triple the recipe, it really only makes 4 servings.

4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup evoo
1 lb boneless, skinless, chicken breasts cut into 1/2 in chunks
2-3 garlic cloves,minced
1 large onion finely chopped
1 red bell pepper finely chopped
2 tomoatoes (I substitued one can of diced tomatoes which I rinsed until clear)
3-4 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped (left this out for family soup)
sea salt and black pepper
I also added 2 tsps of cumin and 1 tsp dried cilantro

Bring broth to a boil and keep simmering over medium heat.  Add all the ingredients except the chicken and garlic.
Heat the oil in a large skillet and saute the chicken and garlic til chicken is nicely browned
Add chicken to the soup. Return soup to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes.

Top with your choices of shredded cheeses, avocado slices and sour cream.  Enjoy.

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

DIY - Distressed Cutoff Shorts

A diy (do it yourself for the uninitiated) on distressed jean cutoffs. I've seen on Pinterest and Polyvore many cute looks with these shorts. After searching the stores for a great pair and then stopping myself with that lightbulb moment where you say "i'm going to pay what for what?" I got on the internet and found some helpful how to's on cut-offs and distressing.   There are 100's of links and Youtubes out there so google away if you want more ideas on the topic.  I compiled inspo from several to come up with my DIY. I picked the oldest pair of jeans in my closet (that still fit).  And commenced getting crafty.  

Sharp fabric scissors and a sharpie are basic tools.
Using a pair of shorts you like the length of to determine how long. Most of my shorts alas are in the storage bin! I used these running shorts.  Erring on the side of caution I added an inch to the length.
 Cutting your jeans off on an angle for a more attractive line. 
Fold in half, lining up the top waistband. Cut off the other leg.
Shorter in the front and longer in the back is the way to go.  I achieved this by folding up the cuff on the same angle and marking on the inside from outseam to inseam. Then turned inside out and cut along that line (only across the front edge).
Now the fun part. Distressing.  Draw lines on your shorts with your sharpie where you want to have distressed spots.
Carefully using your scissors, begin to trace the line using light pressure. If your jeans are thick or new this may take some time. Mine were old so it was really quick. It feels a bit like scratching the fabric. 
Just as the line starts to look fuzzy and separate, stop and use your fingers to pull gently apart.

After one washing the shorts looked like this.  I cut off the longer strings which get buggy for me.
And here's how a 40 something Mom O' wears denim shorts in the winter.   
Short enough but not too short? Could I go shorter? Do I dare? 
I will probably add some more distressing to these.  Its a fine line between distressed and slutty. 
I did some distressing on the back pocket too.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What I Wore Wednesday - Winter Sunshine

These cords from Jcrew are so sunny.  I love some yellow and these will definitely elevate the mood.  Truthfully, this Wednesday morning I am sitting in my second-day sweat pants home with a sick kiddo.  But I may just be inspired to go shower and put on my sunny pants! Hope you are too.
JCrew cords, and blue stone necklace, Old Navy chambray shirt

See more What I Wore Wednesday and get inspired at:
pleated poppy
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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Wheat Belly Recipes #2

Still following the Wheat Belly Plan, I'm getting more creative with vegetables and looking for healthy proteins that we can all enjoy.
Emerils Perfect Roast Chicken was just that, perfect.  The veggies in the roasting pan got pretty black by the time it was done but the pan gravy turned out delicious, I discarded some of the blackest veg for the gravy, and strained it. Then used a fat separator to serve.
My meal was served with a mixed field greens salad with chopped tomato and
Emerils vinaigrette and also Roasted squash, zucchini and broccoli using this Rachel Ray recipe (added the broccoli well into the cooking of the squash so it wouldn't get too mushy)
The kids got a side of farfalle pasta.  Everyone enjoyed it.  A dinner winner!

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Together in Ten - Makeup

Inspired by a favorite blog, Together in Ten, here's my 10 minute - or less- face.

Together in Ten - Makeup

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What I Wore Wednesday

Banana Republic shirt, H&M sequins, Miss Me jeans, rose gold bracelet, Michael Kors rose gold watch
 Saturday date night outfit.  I've been hoping to try the sequins over shirt look inspired by this -

And this -
JCrew Sequins

I will have to try more variations on this one, because there's just something about sequins that make you feel really swell!
As always a shout out to the What I Wore Wednesday blog..
pleated poppy
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Monday, January 14, 2013

Wheat Belly Recipes #1

I received the Wheat Belly book by Dr. William Davis as an after Christmas gift, along with the book Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes.  I've been told I like going all-in on a new project and this is one of those times. I'm going all in on the wheat free, low carb plan. Curbing my sweet tooth and maybe losing a few of the holiday pounds are the incentive.

Putting together meals without wheat or carbs is not as hard as I thought, but finding "snack" foods that satisfy that craving for a carb-like nosh is a little trickier.  I've tried one recipe from Wheat Belly and my #1 accidentally stumbled onto a second.  #1 is trying to eat less white flour, less carbs but I'm not encouraging her to go all in on the plan.  We have many friends who eat gluten free by choice and I can vouch for their health.  This makes me okay with her making smart choices in regards to gluten-free foods.

Here are the first true "recipes" I've made on this plan.
Wheat Belly's Pumpkin Spice Muffins (used coconut milk and omitted the walnuts)
2 cups ground almond meal "flour"
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans 
or top with 3 raw pecan halves1/4 cup ground flaxseed "flour"
3/4 cup splenda or stevia
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice mixture or 1 tsp allspice, 1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 can (14 or 15 oz) unsweetened pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sour cream or coconut or almond milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup walnut oil, melted coconut oil (I used this), or extra-light olive oil
Preheat oven to 325F, grease 12 cup muffin tin or use muffin liners. Stir together dry ingredients in large bowl. Separately combine wet ingredients and oil.  Mix the wet ingredients into the dry. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake until toothpick comes out dry, recipe says 45 minutes, I would say more like 1 hour.  
While Wheat Belly does not consider counting calories or fat necessary, I have a habit of tracking them.  I use the iphone app MyFitnessPal which will also track carbs so that is what I'm focusing on now.  The Wheat Belly allows 50-100 a day.  High on the scale of carb free diets I think, but it does allow fruit and the occasional peanut butter or 90%cocoa chocolate square!  ; )

Made as I did omitting walnuts and just topping with a couple of pecans, the nutrient info for one muffin is: 200 cals; 16 g fat; 7 g carbs. These are great warmed or toasted with cream cheese for breakfast or a snack.

Second recipe is the sugar-free version of a gluten-free Peanut Butter cookie.  We used 3/4 cup Splenda in place of sugar and omitted the chocolate chips.  We used Archer Farms All-Natural Organic crunchy peanut butter.
Using our version the nutrition information for one cookie is: 75 calories; 1.3 g carbs; 6 g fat

And they are great, I must say.  Maybe its a couple of days with no white sugar and no white flour but I liked these as well as any traditional peanut butter cookie I've had, my grandmother's recipe excluded.
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Saturday, January 12, 2013


Over our New Years holiday down the bayou we took a 5 minute car ride from my in-laws house to visit Laurel Valley Plantation's Sugar Mill site and slave quarters.  The 1987 film Angel Heart was one of several films to shoot on location here.  This plantation was in operation from 1830's to 1920's.  Even though some improvements were made to the structures during the 100 odd years they were inhabited, their original intent as housing for slave labor is a haunting reality.

Small bridge over creek. Electricity on quarter home presumably added for movie shoots? Only 2-3 of the quarter buildings were wired. 
Double creole quarters
Ghosts? for sure

The Sugar Mill itself has fallen apart.  What's left is some of the outer brick walls and surprisingly quite a bit of "artifacts" from the plant.

After coming home, I did some research on the internet and found a lot of older historical shots of the plantation.  If you're interested, here's a link to some housed in the library of Congress. Laurel Valley Plantation Photos
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Thursday, January 10, 2013

What I Wore Wednesday

Classic Conservative. I haven't felt very inspired lately in the fashion way. Perhaps it's the "winter coat" I've put on over the holidays! This ensemble only passes the post test because it incorporates a few of my favorite classic wardrobe staples. The straight leg dark denim jean, the white button down, and the suede loafer. Added a messy bun and fun earrings to elevate beyond boring. Beyond boring? I hope so. Never fear next fashion post is a DIY and is a lot more funky. As always a nod to
The Pleated Poppy blog for inspiring me to get dressed on Wednesdays.

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Hunter Boots

Hello there.  Red Boots. They've been on my wish list for at least two years so when Santa dropped these red Hunter Boots under the tree for me I was oh, so delighted!  They live up to every bit of my expectations.  Comfy, versatile, practical (well, they will be when it rains or snows), and let's not forget STYLISH.  (umph, if you even dared say trendy there, you are so BAD. ;) )  I have been rocking red boots for many decades dating back to a suede, knee-high foldover pair I bought on my first ever trip to Chicago in 1991.  (had a matching purple pair too.)  I'm not afraid to don a bold hat either. Ask my sister-in-law about the red Guess hat she affectionately referred to as a "pimp" hat; circa 2001.  I am so pleased with this gift I deemed it necessary to wear these boots every day last week.  I had hoped to get a little more creative, but so many ideas, so little time.  The wreck, that is my household post-holiday, kept crying out for attention and steering me away from fonder pursuits.  Still it's a start of what I'm sure will be a 2013 love affair with My Red Boots.
Patagonia jacket, Kate Spade ski hat, Gap leggings and sweater
Loft sweater (old), Banana Republic jeans, Old Navy blanket scarf 
Target trench and plaid shirt, Old Navy jeans and sweater
Gap navy sweater, Target shirt
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