Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Alien...

Mr. B. and I have decided...there's something going on with this woman.

She's on her fourth child in something like 6 years (or less?) and she looks like this. At 8+ months pregnant. With her fourth child. In heels and a fearless formal gown. Did I mention this is her fourth pregnancy? Did I?

Heidi Klum (in case ya didn't know) at the 2009 Emmy Awards.

If this girls not alien she's definitely out of this world.


Real Life Tuesday - 12


Real Life Tuesday has returned. Zippity Do Dah.
My last installation was back in May (May?!). Here it is, just to remind yourself.
Here's the deal: I post a fabulous, unbelievably gorgeous photo. Unbelievable being the key word here. You drink in the beauty and then you get back to reality and tell me what the same situation would look like in your real life. Leave a comment with your - preferably witty - real life scenario and then I feature my favorite the next Tuesday.
Are you game? I hope so...
Here is my lovely featured image from May and my favorite comment (left by the very lady whose blog I found the image on):

via {that unreliable girl}


In real life, mosquitoes would cruise past any and all repellents known to man in order to attack my legs.
Nobody else's mind you, just me.
Starting a fire is also a possibility. Accidentally, of course.

Kit


Not sure whether or not I've got any riders in my little group of readers but I figure this breathtaking scene should give us some fuel for imaginations.
In your dreams:

dace

In Real Life...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Frivolous Friday

One of the sweetest photos from Hollywood. Don't you think?

Katherine Heigl and her husband, Josh Kelley, have adopted a sweet girl from South Korea. Her name is Naleigh.

Precious new family.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Top Show

Here's something about me: I love Broadway musicals and plays. Love them.

They make me cry. Not because they're sad or touching (sometimes they are) but because they are so beautiful. The movement, the music, the costuming, the sets, the theatre...the whole thing makes me so happy and brings so many emotions bubbling to the surface that the only thing to relieve me is to cry.

I love it.



I've seen a few shows in Chicago and some in St. Louis. The Phantom of the Opera, A Christmas Carol, Annie, Les Miserables, The Nutcracker Ballet and a few more but I have one that is just beckoning me to see...


The Lion King




Really. It just looks magnificent. I would cry. Hardcore. I'll have to bring kleenex on that day.

What is the one show (live) that you are just dying to see? Or do you not care about stage shows?

P.S. Last night's Dancing With The Stars inspired this post. They had a little Lion King number as one of their special dances. They also had a tribute to Patrick Swayze. Did you see it? It was fantastic. And yes, I cried.





I'm such a sap!

A-Camping We Will Go

Tomorrow we take our stressed, frazzled little selves to the woods to seek a bit of R&R amidst the trees, streams and...hot dogs.
I'm looking forward to it with careful optimism.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pregnancy Perk #2

Pregnancy Perk #2:
Feeling baby kicks.


Admittedly, this perk could be the very best one.

Apple Season

A Fall favorite: apple picking season.

Do you love this photo from one of my favorite blogs, LeSophie?
I totally love it.

What is your single most favorite thing about Fall? This is a big question, people...there are so many things to love about Autumn.

Monday, September 21, 2009

New Look

How do you feel about my new Star-Crossed blog look? Tried a little something different.

Do you like the colorful background or does it detract from photos/writing? Is the simple white/grey more streamlined?

Just thought I'd get some input.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Balloon Glow

Have you ever had an event that makes you fall in love with your city? Something that's unique (or maybe not so unique) to the town and you just feel proud when you go and admit it's "yours"?

I just had one of these experiences. I'm not so keen on the place I live...there are cities that are safer, chic-er, prettier, healthier...but this was a moment I could take a bit of pride in the place I call home.

The Balloon Glow was this weekend. First of all, the name. Can you just stop and love the name of this even for a moment? It's fantastic. Balloon Glow. You just want to go to something named that.

The family: Mr. B, Evie, my Dad & Mom, Beck, my sister and a sweet friend.
We took a picnic and made an evening of it. Personal preference about pinicing: sit on an adorable blanket on the ground. No tables, no lawn chairs. The ground. Even if you're pregnant. It's better this way.



At dusk the balloons began to mound up all around the park. Like big, hulking beasts they all grew and grew...

We were able to get surprisingly close and even touch them as they inflated. A really great thing for the kids to witness.

When it got dark, and all the balloons were towering above us (maybe 60 + balloons?), there sounded an air horn and the pilots fired up their torches and made their balloons glow. All at the same time.

The effect was magnificent. I almost cried. Seriously, I did...almost. But I'm pregnant so I'm allowed.

Not glowing:


Glowing!


Neat, right?

It got warm and bright and everyone 'oohed' and 'ahhed' over the beauty of it. Honestly, can you tell its my new favorite thing? :)




And then, my brave girl, Evie got a chance to pose on the basket of a balloon. Even while they torched it. Talk about warm! She wasn't phased a bit. Beck wouldn't dare come within 20 feet of the thing.

The next day there was a balloon race. I saw them floating peacefully across the sky yesterday but we weren't in the park for the launch. The Glow was enough for me.

Turkey & Roasted Red Pepper Sandwich

Our picnic this weekend was completely satisfying. In a big way. Wanna know why?

I made this:

You should have seen Mr. B's eyes light up when I pulled this puppy out of the fridge. He's a big man and an itty bitty ham on croissant wasn't about to please him. The gratification of exceeding your man's expectations...priceless.

Here's the recipe; because you know you want it.


Turkey & Roasted Red Pepper Sandwich

1 round Sourdough loaf
1/2 lb thin sliced deli turkey
6 oz. Havarti cheese
4 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette
4 slices cooked bacon
1 jar roasted red peppers

Cut off top 2 inches of bread loaf and reserve for the top of the sandwich. Hollow out bottom of loaf, leaving 1 inch of border. Reserve the pieces and use for something else later. (I dipped mine in the balsamic and had a nice snack.)

Drizzle the bottom half of bread with 1 T. of the balsamic vinaigrette.

Layer 1/2 of turkey, 1/2 of red peppers (slice them into 'sheets') and 1/2 of cheese. Repeat with the rest. Place bacon on top. Drizzle the remaining 2 T. of balsamic vinaigrette on top. Place the top half of bread on and mush down a bit.

Wrap with plastic wrap and place in fridge for a few hours. Cut into 4 wedges. Serve chilled.

This sandwich isn't just for men...my happy taste buds can attest to that!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Floor-Plan Saturday ~ 7th Edition

The home for this week has me envisioning pumpkins on the porch, glowing windows and hot apple cider simmering on the stove.

Roaring fire? Check. A bowl of candy corn on the coffee table? Check. The laughter of a large family? Check.

Are you with me?





This one is called Appalachian Stream. Good name, right?


Stats:
Bedrooms: 3 actual, 3 possible
Baths: 3 full, 1 half
Floors: 3
Living Area (Sq. Ft.)
First 2222
Second 487
Basement 1541
Total Living Area: 4250 unfinished:520


Main Level:
Pluses: Garage facing away from the front of the home.
Main level master suite.
Washer/Dryer right off the kitchen and an outdoor exit from the laundry room.
Pass-thru fireplace from kitchen to great room.

Minuses: Strange entry way - I like things symmetrical and this one is throwing me off a bit.
Master closet in the front of the home. I don't know why this feels wrong to me.


Second Level:



Just a loft area and full bath. I'm seeing lots of potential here. Kids playroom? Office? Media room? Library? (My favorite is the library.)



Basement Level:



Here are the bedrooms! How do you feel about them being on the lowest level? I sort of love it!
And look at that huge multipurpose area w/ kitchen. Yup, teenagers haven.
I love this plan. Love it, love it. There are a few glitches which is why I'm deducting .5 points from my (oh-so-important) rating.
It gets a 4.5 out of 5 for me.
You?

Sweets for Fall

Here's what you should absolutely, positively do:

Go to your nearest Trader Joe's grocery store.

Pick up a tub of the Ultimate Vanilla Wafers.

Pick up a box of the (seasonal) Maple Leaf Cookies.

Go home and brew a cup of tea.

Put your kids in their cribs and let them nap. Have tea time by yourself - or with a sweet toothed friend.

Thank me later.



Honestly, these cookies are some of the best treats. I'm not even a cookie person, especially boxed varieties.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Shiny

Today feels bright and sparkly and full of promise.
We will take a picnic and celebrate family.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Ohhh...

Disasterously tired this morning.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Occupational Hazard

Ladies Night Out was this weekend. We dined out - what else spells F U N for a mommy but eating delicious food not cooked, served or cleaned up by herself?




I glance at my girlfriend's plate that is almost polished clean - the food was good! - and exclaim, "Look how much you ate! Good job!"



Embarrassing doesn't cover it.



"I guess that's what I get for going to dinner with a mom of preschoolers." Was her simple reply. She's still my friend. Thank God.





photo from here.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Floor-Plan Saturday ~ 6th Edition


The return of Floor-Plan Saturday! Yay!

For me, at least. This featurette only got 6 votes from my little poll - the least of all the options.

Don't care. I love floor-plans and this is my blog so here we go!

I'm returning with a pretty little coastal type southern home. The wraparound porch is what's killing me. I'm a sucker for those!
See...the exterior is white. White is good. I got this plan from the Southern Living website but I have no clue how to find it again and give you all the stats. Boo on me.
So we'll just have to do with photos today.
Here is the Main Level:
Favorite first floor feature? The media room secluded off the kitchen. So wonderful! People love to gather around the kitchen and it's so so nice to have all the electronics (ugly!) stashed in a far-away corner instead of in the main living area (like my house...).
And this 'Keeping Room'. What is it? Is it a southern thing? What would you do with it? I might use it as an eat in kitchen area plus put all my wonderful books in there.
I also adore both fireplaces on either side of the home when you walk in. How welcoming!
Upper Level:
Everyone has their own bath upstairs and the laundry room is in the large master closet and opens off the hallway. How do you feel about that? Yay or nay?
And here are some photos of the house finished and decorated. So you can visualize a bit more.
Here's a shot of the dining room...I think. I don't like that such a lovely, large room has a teeny weeny table. Hum...
I think we're seeing the living room here (but it could be the keeping room):
Another angle of the dining room with the keeping room through the doors:

Favorite room, the kitchen:
Upstairs we have bedrooms and baths:


And a porch shot...oh...relaxing...


How did ya like it? Let's rate.
I give it a 3 out of 5...maybe a 4.
I like the decor but it was a bit contrived and predictable for me. Pretty palate though and very relaxing.
I'm glad Floor-Plan Saturday is back.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Frivolous Friday Mini

Nicole Ritchie and Joel Madden had their second baby this past week. It's a boy. His name?
Sparrow James Midnight Madden.

Does that name seem a little Pirates of the Caribbean to you or is it just me?

He joins his big sister Harlow Winter Kate.

How do you feel about these names? How do you feel about the return of Frivolous Friday? ;)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Just Peachy

This week Baby B is the size of a peach. I adore it.

I'm going to have to make a ritual to start buying the fruits that represent baby size every week/month.

Don't ya just love a good peach?

Because She's Cute

Just had to share this perfect Tim Evan Cook photo...


Perfect for September, no?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Yay!

Ree Drummond of the fabulous Pioneer Woman blog is coming out with a cookbook! Eee! I love cookbooks so much better than Internet recipe searches. It's so much...cozier.

Anyway, the book comes out on the 27th of October and she's going to be signing in my city in November. I am so there.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I Can Die A Happy Woman Chocolate Frosting


This is the recipe for the chocolate frosting I used on Beck's birthday cake. Make this frosting. Make it; even if you don't have a cake to put it on. Put it on a graham cracker if you have to...just do it. It's so yummy.


Chocolate Frosting
Ina Garten

6 oz good semi sweet chocolate (I used a Ghirardelli baking bar)
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 extra large egg yolk, room temp
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon instant coffee

Chop chocolate and place in heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until just melted and set aside until cooled to room temp.

In the bowl of eclectic mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat for 3 more minutes. Turn the mixer to low, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, then beat at medium speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until smooth and creamy. Dissolve the coffee powder in 2 teaspoons of the hottest tap water. On low speed, add the chocolate and coffee to the butter mixture and mix until blended. Don't whip! Spread immediately on the cooled cake.


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Rain Today

It rains this morning. Rainy Saturday mornings beg for Pinocchio and kids wrapped in blankies.
I'm giving myself the permission to simply sit (with unfolded laundry strewn around) and read the morning away. I promise myself I'll be productive later - I also promise myself that I don't have to keep my own promises to me.
The banana nut muffins are ready...

photo from {dailyrelish}

Friday, September 4, 2009

Ashley Miller Photography

My friend takes some gorgeous photos. Up until now it's been a hobby...luckily for us, she's turned it into a business! Ashley does a wonderful job. As evidenced by these brilliant photos.

My kids had the privilege of sitting for her a couple of weeks ago and I'm thrilled with how the photos turned out. Aren't they precious?




See more of her work at her website: Ashley Miller Photography
And here's her personal blog: {la buena vida}