Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Day Pumpkin Cake

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I love waking up to a freshly baked breakfast cake.  Goes perfectly with a steaming cup of coffee.  One less thing to think about after a night of (ahem) too much fun.

This one is so easy and uses simple ingredients.  I also love to get rid of that extra can of pumpkin I have sitting there in my pantry after all the holiday festivities are over.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

2 cups white sugar

4 eggs

3 cups whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups solid pack pumpkin puree

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease and flour a nonstick bundt pan. Sift together flour, soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine oil and sugar. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Add the flour mixture and beat until smooth. Add nuts and pumpkin and blend until smooth. Pour batter into greased bundt pan.

3. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and finish cooling. Dust with confectioners sugar before serving.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Celebrating National Cupcake Day. Adorable Mini Cupcake Ornaments.

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Happy National Cupcake Day!

I go through Etsy kicks.  I am on one now.  I have been stalking different Etsy sellers daily this past week and ordering up a storm.  I just love supporting artists doing it on their own and you can find the most unique hard to find things.

Today's kick...Baby's 1st Christmas Mini Cupcake Ornaments from Amy Miller Designs.  Pure cuteness.  I think I need one of these for Baby Posh Play.  What do you think?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Publisher Photo Book Review and Coupon

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This holiday season we are FINALLY giving our parents photo books of our wedding.  Last year waiting for baby to come we just didn't get it together enough to get the books finished.  Our parents have been making comments for over a year now so we really owe them something beautiful.

We found MyPublisher online while researching which book to use.  My hubs has the full on design setup in his office so he was really serious about finding the BEST company possible.  We used another company for our sign in book for our wedding and really liked them so it was hard to change only with the amazing deals MyPublisher is offering we couldn't resist.

I fancy myself quite the design critique from my years in wine marketing only it's been (ahem) a little while so the old creative juices have stopped flowing the way they used to.  No worries!  MyPublisher offers different book styles and a really user friendly step by step program to put your pictures in order and make them look amazing!  I chose the Wedding Book design for mine and just tweaked here and there to make it work with the overall story I wanted to tell.

From now until December 19th the books are 50% off with coupon code "Book50" just plug it in during checkout and you are good to go!  Such a deal!

I can't wait for our parents to open their books on Christmas morning.  Did I also forget to tell you this...our books came out to less than $40 each!  What a steal!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Rainy Day Chili

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Last month we attended a friend's housewarming party.  In the pouring rain.  The house was all lit up with hundreds of candles.  Wine and mojitos were flowing and friends new and not so new were sharing an evening in together warming up the house with good conversation and laughter.  We pretty much forgot it was raining once the food was served.  The hostess served up the most amazing chili we have ever eaten out of a huge Le Creuset French Oven. She spooned it over guest's choice of hot dogs or baked potatoes.  I haven't eaten a chili dog in YEARS and I have no idea why.  They are so good and perfect for a cold day. She had fun toppings like Fritos, grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, chives, crumbled bacon and more.  Such a great party food!

Her recipe includes some really fabulous secret ingredients including strongly brewed coffee, chocolate and beer. We made our own tweaks and now want to share it with all you lovelies.

Rainy Day Chili

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1.25 pound ground beef
1 pound beef sirloin, cubed
1 (14.5oz) can peeled/diced tomatoes in juice
1 (12 fluid ounce) bottle dark beer
1 cup strongly brewed coffee
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
1 (14 ounce) can beef broth
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
2-3 teaspoons cumin (to taste)
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans
3 fresh habenero peppers, seeded and chopped

-Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.

-Cook onions, garlic, ground beef and cubed sirloin in oil for 10 minutes, or until the meat is well browned and the onions are tender.

-Mix in the diced tomatoes with juice, dark beer, coffee, tomato paste and beef broth.

-Season with brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, cocoa powder, oregano, cayenne pepper, coriander and salt.

-Stir in 1 can of the beans and hot chile peppers.

-Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

-Stir in the remaining can of beans, and simmer for another 30 minutes.

(Picture courtesy of Kyle Dreier Photography who has some of the most gorgeous food photography I have ever seen).

Carolina Herrera Wedding Dress For Sale

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After a year I am finally ready to part with my amazingly beautiful Carolina Herrera wedding dress.  We just moved into our new house and there just isn't room for it.  I would love to see a stunning bride walk down the aisle in it instead of it just collecting dust in my closet.

If you have any family or friends getting married soon and think they might be interested send them this link.



Monday, December 6, 2010

Adorable Christmas Stockings

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I love Pottery Barn Kids.  I got all Baby Posh Play's bedding there and some other little odds and ends for his room.

This holiday I decided we needed new family stockings.  I still have mine from when I was little only my hubby doesn't and Baby Posh Play needed his first stocking so I decided to splurge and get us all new ones.  I ordered these cute ones from Pottery Barn Kids and got our names embroidered on them.  They are supposed to arrive today!

For only $19 each and a small embroidery fee I think they are quite the steal!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Simple Advent Wreath Idea. Without the Wreath.

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We are back from our marathon drive to Utah for Thanksgiving.  For all the naysayers out there.  Baby Posh Play did great!  He especially liked the Loves Truck Stops along the way.  All the cheezy souveniers and interesting people.  He is a fan.

Once we got home I geared up into serious unpacking and holiday decorating.  I was on a search for a cute Advent Wreath idea and finished mine before I saw this one.  How cute is this?  I might have to steal this idea for next year!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chic Thanksgiving Winter Squash Dip Appetizer

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I always buy winter squash.  I love the way they look they just say Fall without saying anything at all.  One of my favorite Christmas recipes is Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash, I might have to share that one with you lovelies later.  For now, look at this awesome Thanksgiving dip recipe.  What beautiful presentation.  I love the natural look of this and what an impressive dish to bring to Thanksgiving and share.  Total Napa style!  Love it!

This one comes from our good friend Martha Stewart. I guess we have finally forgiven her for our hilarious Martha wedding day faux pas.

Makes about 6 cups


* 1 winter squash (about 2 pounds), such as butternut or turban, unpeeled, seeded, and cut into 3-inch pieces

* Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

* Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

* 2 heads garlic, tops cut off to expose cloves

* 1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature

* 8 scallions, white and pale-green parts only, sliced 1 inch thick

* 2 chipotle chiles (canned in adobo sauce)

* 2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream

* 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

* 1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese (about 4 ounces)

* 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

* Paprika, for sprinkling

* Roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), for garnish

* Breadsticks, for dipping
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place squash on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss. Spread squash in a single layer. Place garlic on a piece of parchment-lined foil. Drizzle with oil, and wrap loosely. Place on baking sheet with squash. Bake until squash is soft and golden brown, about 50 minutes. Let cool slightly.

2. Meanwhile, melt 4 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add scallions, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes.

3. Scoop flesh from squash, and transfer to a food processor. Squeeze garlic from skins, and add to squash. Add scallions and chipotles, and pulse until smooth. Add remaining 6 tablespoons butter, the sour cream, cream cheese, Parmesan, and lemon juice, and pulse until just combined but not smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Pour into a hollowed-out squash or a serving bowl. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Sprinkle with paprika, and garnish with pepitas. Serve with breadsticks.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Posh Play Cellar. Beer is the New Wine

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Beer might not be the new wine in anyone else's world only in mine.  It totally is.  Ever since I was pregnant I couldn't stop CRAVING beer constantly.  I would tell everyone.  Bring me a beer and a blue cheese turkey sandwich from my favorite deli to the hospital.  My husband was SO appalled.  Do you REALLY want everyone including the nurses seeing you DRINKING in the hospital.  This is when he would get the really scary pregnant wife glare and the topic would drop immediately.  Needless to say I did not have a beer in the hospital or that turkey sandwich with blue cheese.  I did have a beer shortly after at the urging of my Mom of all people who said it encourages milk production.  My extrememly intellectual and research OBSESSED hubs was not having it.  That is until he actually found lots of studies that supported my Mom's stand.  Turns out moms have been given beer for centuries to encourage milk production.  Who knew?  Fabulous!

I only treat myself once in a while only now I am totally obsessed with poshing out the beer drinker in me.  It is so NOT posh to carry around a bottle of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale when everyone else is delicately clasping fine crystal Riedels.  At least I don't think so.

So my research has turned up some pretty fun gifty gift beer stuff for the hubs and if you just happen to imbibe too then that is just extra buttercream frosting on the cake.
Princess Electrics
Beer Tap Cooler
$65 on sale.  Regular price $119.99.
So you can't go wrong with the name of this brand.  Princess Electrics.  Love!  This is the least ugly of the beer taps I have seen and you can still hide display it prominently on behind your home bar.  I also can't pass up a bargain and this is such a great holiday deal!  So perfect for the hubs and his Monday Night Football buddies and you can sneak a glass too.  Here is your link for more information.

Jaye's
Coptic Multi-Purpose Tub, Green
$29 on sale.  Regular price $85.
Serve up a tub of Coronas in this bad boy and you just kicked it up a notch.  Who says beer accessories have to look cheap and trashy?  Gone are the cheap plastic tubs and hello to this little cutie.  I will definitely be purchasing one for our new abode. Here is your link for more information.
Vellum
Set of 4 Suit Glasses
$59 on sale.  Regular price $135.
How cute are these fun beer glasses.  Now you can do the party stroll without looking like a college sorority girl.  Another good gift idea for guy's poker night.  Even though they totally won't appreciate the cuteness of this set.  At least you can.  Here is your link for more information.

Pottery Barn
Found Beer Crates
$99-$129
A new way to serve or display beer at your holiday get fete.  I am so in love with this rustic chic look I can baely stand it.  Beer service just got a little posher.  Each crate is unique which makes this find all the more gift worthy.

Congratulations Prince William and Kate Middleton

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I have been loving Kate Middleton since I first got a glimpse of her way back when.  I love her effortless style, her cute twists on tradition and her overall poise under tremendous amounts of pressure.  Even though this means I won't get to be PRINCESS now.  I am totally head over heels for this adorable pair.  I can't wait to watch all the wedding planning and festivities as they unfold.  I was four when Princess Diana walked down the aisle and it seems like yesterday.  I am so excited to see Prince William step out on his own and show the world what he is made of!  His mom must be so proud.

(Picture courtesy of Marie Claire UK).

Monday, November 8, 2010

Chestnuts Roasting In Your Oven

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Yesterday we bundled up and headed up to Apple Hill for some good old fashioned apple picking.  My husband grew up here and went with his family so a little piece of his childhood is wrapped up in the whole experience so I indulge him and suggest going as much as possible this time of year.  I love seeing him get so excited and revisit all his childhood memories each time we go.  It was pouring rain yesterday so I also selfishly wanted to break in my new Hunter boots ( which I did and it was a fashion success)!

Since it was so cold and wet outside we stayed in the warmish store area and I perused the aisles as the hubs mulled over ten different varieties of apples and which to buy.  I came accross a basket of chestnuts and instantly I was transported back to the blistering cold Christmas I spent in Hamburg, Germany.  One of my favorite things about Germany was the Weihnachtsmarkt or Christmas Market in the center of the city.  Walking around in the freezing evening air the only way to warm up was holding warm chestnuts in gloved hands and downing as many cups of gluhwein (spiced mulled wine) as possible.  You know I mastered the art of drinking gluhwein and brought that skill home with me.  Only I never did figure out how to recreate the roasted chestnuts I experienced.
Here in California we don't have Christmas Markets or roasted chestnuts so I looked around for how to do it at home and found a pretty easy oven method I wanted to share.  If you stick around for a while I just might share with you my homemade gluhwein recipe only for now try this chestnut recpe from Kyle's Italian Food Blog.

Preheat your oven to 425 F (210 C). Take your chestnuts and make a cut across the round side of each to keep them from exploding, and arrange them either on a rack or on a cookie sheet. Roast them until the skins have pulled back from the cuts and the nutmeats have softened (exactly how long will depend upon the chestnuts, but at least 15-20 minutes). Remove the nuts from the oven, make a mound of them in an old towel, wrap them up, squeeze them hard -- they should crackle -- and let them sit for a few minutes.


Peel the skins off and enjoy!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Little Thanksgiving Tablescape Inspiration

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Since we just moved into our new house it seems like we missed all of summer and most of the fun of decorating for fall.  Not to mention we are on the road for Thanksgiving this year and heading off to Utah for a family get together so we won't be hosting anyone at our new place.  Good and bad.  Kinda gonna miss getting our house all dolled up only at least we have more holidays right around the corner.  That and we don't have to pull everything together in time for guests.

For now I am going to do a simple fall tablescape in our breakfast nook area just to get us going in our new home.  I am totally obsessed with white pumpkins this year.  Oh and fairy tale pumpkins!  Have you seen them?  They are in our local Trader Joe's stores and they are just so cute that next year my house will be bursting with them.  I love the chic and simple look of white pumpkins and rustic accents.  This table is a blend of simple elegance.  Can I also throw in there how much I love the spray painted squash!  Any excuse to accessorize vegetables.  I'm there!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween Lovelies

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Don't you just love these cute Candy Corn insprired pomander balls?  Want to make them?  Learn how here!

Happy Halloween everyone!

(Picture courtesy of Intimate Weddings Blog).

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Chez Posh Play. Creamy Easy Crock Pot Pork Chops.

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I love easy recipes that make good dinners.  Usually I am totally on the organic natural side of the fence so this one is a little different only still a good choice compared to take out or fast food.  I really try to cook dinner every night.  My secret is easy no fuss crockpot meals and prepping dinners throughout the day so that dinner doesn't have to be a stressful event.

This one is so easy it takes less than ten minutes to prepare and cooks all day.  Another bonus?  Your house will smell amazing and every time you walk in you can relax knowing dinner is almost done!

Ingredients

Four boneless pork chops
1 can of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 medium yellow onion
About ten medium size mushrooms
8 oz. sour cream
One tablespoon of olive oil
About 1/4 cup of flour and one tablespoon
Garlic to taste
Paprika to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

-Take the four boneless pork chops out of the packaging and dredge them in flour.  I usually take a plate and pour flour about 1/4 inch thick and then roll the pork chops around until they are covered.  Lightly salt and pepper each pork chop and sprinkle some garlic powder on top.

-Heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet.

-Place the pork chops in the pan and brown slightly about 2-4 minutes for each side.

-While the pork chops are browning slice the onion in 1/8 slices and spread them out over the bottom of your crock pot.

-Turn your crock pot to low.

-Once the pork chops are done browning place them on top of the onions.

-Slice mushrooms and sprinkle them over the top of the pork chops.

-Open the can of soup and spoon it over the mushrooms. Then put about a tablespoon of water in the can to get every last bit out and pour that over too.

-Put the top on and walk away.

-Cook for 10-12 hours on low heat depending on how hot your crock pot gets.

-About twenty minutes before dinner take the pork chops out and spread them on a cookie sheet.  Put them in the oven on low heat to keep them warm.

-Put about 8 oz. of sour cream in a bowl and mix together with one tablespoon of flour.  Put this in the crock pot and mix until blended.  Turn crock pot to high and let simmer until thickened.

-Remove pork chops from the oven and plate them with cooked brown rice, egg noodles or mashed potatoes.  Pour sauce over and garnish with paprika.

Your family will love this dinner!  The pork chops are tender only not falling apart.  Serve with seasonal steamed vegetables.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

No More Weeds for this House

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I couldn't resist one more opportunity to post a picture of Nancy Botwin.  So I won't be channeling her anymore since our house got sweeped by every imaginable inspector, electrician and contractor.  The house looks good and the grow op is history!  Looks like the little gardeners were pretty good at what they do and they didn't leave a trace.  Except for some annoying patched holes in the wall our house is no worse for the wear (that we know of).

We are supposed to close tomorrow only in typical annoying real estate fashion it looks like we are going to go straight to the wire and close on the last possible day, Friday.  Pretty annoying since we have the next two days planned out with projects and the move and all.  Hey no big deal guys we will just shuffle everyone's schedule that we know and reschedule every single thing we have planned for the next two days.  Ack!

I know I shouldn't be complaining only after 7 months of this nonsense I think I have a right to be just a teensy bit annoyed!

So I might be off the grid for a while since who knows when we are going to have internet access or if the house will actually close.  Then maybe I can catch up on the latest season of Weeds!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Jogging Strollers 40% Off and Tell Me Which One To Get

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I am pretty much obsessed with jogging strollers right now.  Our infant system the Chicco Keyfit 22 has been awesome only I am ready for a more heavy duty stroller.  I have been going back and forth between the BOB Revolution, the Mountain Buggy Urban Jungle and the Phil &Ted's.  See I love the Mountain Buggy.  The hubs is obsessed with being a BOB Dad and my sister in law has the Phil &Ted's and has been singing its praises for months.  She says they are all the rage on the East Coast.

Here is where I am at.  BOB Revolution holds its value and seems to be the most popular in our area for jogging strollers.  The Mountain Buggy just looks cooler to me is that so wrong?  Phil & Ted's can convert to a double without having to buy ANOTHER jogging stroller if we have baby number two and it isn't as WIDE as the BOB Dualie.  Thoughts anyone?

Today one of my new fav discount sites Zulily is having a HUGE sale on strollers.  They are offering 40% off on Mountain Buggy strollers and 35% off on Phil & Ted's strollers!  Need an invite to join ZulilyHere you go!

So I need you bloggy moms.  Which stroller should we get?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Marijuana, Moisture and Mold Oh My!

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This isn't a pitty party of one.  This is just the latest in our fun filled adventure into home ownership.  So if you have been reading my blog for a while you know all the ridiulousness we have encountered during our dream home search.  There were cars crashing through fences and landing in yards.  There were realtors loligagging for weeks on Disney cruises.  There was cat pee, there was graffitti and there was house after house which we spent countless hours traipsing through to find just one house that was right for our family.

We are a week away from closing.  We are supposed to sign docs tomorrow.  Then Tuesday night the email arrived.  Weeks overdue we finally got the disclosures.  I quickly took a peek while getting Baby Posh Play all dried off from his bath, in his pajamas and ready for bed so if your wondering I didn't retain much.  Good thing the hubs is an attorney and SCOURS documents for a living.  Tucked away on like page 37 or a packet of over 60 pages he found one quick little mention.

Upstairs bedroom formerly used to grow marijuana.  Hole drilled into guest bathroom.  Holes in roof patched by painter.

Now I don't want to get all political here only I will leave it at.  We don't smoke pot only don't really make judgements either way on those who do.  Whatever.  To each his own.  As long as you aren't getting behind the wheel or doing anything stupid.  Whatever.

That is until now.  See the thing about illegal stuff is it isn't so much the end user that is harming anything other than possibly themselves.  It is the whole process of how the illegal stuff gets imported, produced and sold into the market that I have issues with.  Especially now!

So it turns out our house wasn't so much of a grow HOUSE it was more of a grow ROOM.  You know whose room was used?  That's right our cute little Baby Posh Play's future room. Ack!  At first we didn't think it was too big of a deal.  Sort of annoying.  Maybe a little creepy.  Definitely not a deal breaker.  We decided to swap his room with my office so I would be writing in the former greenhouse and he would be slumbering in a nice clean environment.

Then we started doing some research.  It turns out grow rooms and grow houses have all sorts of lovely issues which I never even considered.  See hydroponics require water so growers drill holes wherever they see fit to find water.  In our house that would be right through the closet.  Then these tubes or pipes used often drip and cause water damage, mold and dry rot.  Fun!  Want to know more?  Lots of growers also are experts in jacking HVAC systems to ventilate their grow environments.  Since HVAC systems aren't built for this they rust and grow yep you guessed it more MOLD!  Then these tricky modern day gardeners also need electricity for high tech lighting so they just drill away, swap wires, tap into the electrical panel, steal electricity from the street and overall turn homes into fire traps waiting to happen.

I never knew just HOW MANY houses were being ripped apart and abused until I did a quick search and found COUNTLESS cases right in our home town.  Crazy!

So this gets me back to the basic issue for today.  It isn't the end users who are tearing apart our country (literally) piece by piece it is the process of getting it to the end user.  When money is involved some people have no regard for anything.  Property, people or the future.  Example of our house.  Cute little family buys new house in the 90's.  Start having financial issues and move away back to their home town and rent house to nice enough looking 20 somethings.  The 20 somethings rip the house apart piece by piece and turn it into their own money farm.  Who knows who they give their product too and who knows who is getting hurt or hooked in the process.  20 somethings either get busted or move along to the net victim and original owner can't afford to fix the house when they find out what happened so they go into forclosure.  That's where we come along.  We happily put an offer on the house.  Do necessary inspections and are never the wiser.  Then find out lurking underneath the tranquil exterior there is a sorta seedy past.  Now we are stuck with a house that required almost $1,000 worth of extra inspections, the bank is getting stuck with our requests to remidiate issues and we might not even buy the house at the end of all this and will be out over $2,000 in total inspection costs.

Enter Mold Man.  So now the future of our family resides in Mold Man's control.  Mold Man needs one business day to process our house.  For now let me share Mold Man's tips for keeping your house mold free.

-Ventilation is key to keeping mold away.  Open bathroom windows after showers.  Make sure your attic is breezy.

-Don't clean with bleach.  About 20 years ago bleach mannufacturers replaced more aggressive ingredients with water.  Bleach actually just dissolves mold shells so they are now food for even more scary molds that take over.  Instead clean with white vinegar.  Easy right?

-Clean your house!  Lingering moisture, dirt and dust amazingly all transform into mold if left to stew for long.

-Buying a house?  Call the mold man in your area.

-Most importantly?  Don't turn your house into a grow house.  If you need to smoke.  Plant a garden or build a greenhouse.

So instead of becoming a real life Nancy Botwin (she does have a ridiculously cute wardrobe and is a pretty hot mom) I will hope that our house is mold free and I can continue on being a struggling stay at home mom in a mold free, drug free house.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Homemade Doughnuts. Husband Not Included.

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See this tossled hair cutie?  He is my exhausted husband who whipped all of us up some wonderful homemade doughnuts on Sunday morning.  I didn't think there was a lower fat way to make doughnuts until my Mom showed up on Saturday with a handy new pan from Wilton purchased at our local Sur la Table store.  It's a doughnut pan that requires no oil and no frying!  What a concept!

I first stumbled upon Wilton last week while reading some fellow bloggers postings like this one at Oh My Sugar High. (By the way. Oh My Sugar High is giving one reader a fab prize from Wilton that includes Pre-Baked Halloween Cookie House Kit, three  Silicone Mini Jack-O-Lantern Pans and two Halloween Cookie Shapes Pans. This prize package has over a $70 value)!

I am now completely obsessed with Wilton for their fun and innovative approach to baking and giving us tools that actually work!

I can't guarantee a husband who loves baking as much as mine. (It's his serious attorney destressing activity.  Hey I can't complain)!

Only I can definitely guarantee doughnuts that turn out just as wonderful  and beautiful as ours!

We tried the Cinnamon Sugar mix from Stonewall Kitchen and next weekend we are on to the Chocolate with Chocolate Glaze.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Gone for a Minute

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I have been away for a while.  I can't say I was living on a fancy island for a with no internet access and I can't say I was discovered and ran away to Milan for their fall fashion shows.  Nope.  I have been living with my Mom and six month old baby.  That's all.  Just here.  Like I am in high school again.  Only I guess I didn't have a baby in high school so now there is two of us crammed into a room.

We had to move out of our house about ten weeks ago and since then we have been on a housing roller coaster which started with us having to move in with our parents.  We are so blessed to have parents who actually wanted us around only I am pretty sure without the baby it wouldn't have been offered so easily.  I am living with my Mom and my hubs is two hours away so he can be close to work.  We see each other on weekends.  Not ideal especially for newlyweds like us and extra especially since we have a baby now.  Did I mention we STILL haven't been out on a date night in six months?  That one year anniversary just came and went and we spent it at Cheesecake Factory with baby.  It was actually pretty fun only someday somehow somewhere the hubs and I need a moment to ourselves.

After three offers on three houses all which crashed and burned (one literally) we are on to our fourth and SHOULD be moving in two weeks.  A real house.  All to ourselves.

I hope to start writing again.  Since the new house has a room for my office.  MY OWN OFFICE! Right next to the baby room it should be easier.

Love to my bloggie friends and hope you are all doing just fab!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Bethenny and Me

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What can I say.  I obsess over the Housewives.  Not all of them.  Mostly just Orange County (come on they were the originals) and now New York.  When Bethenny came out with her own show I had to watch.  So there is a really funny character on the show (her wedding planner) who totally reminds me of someone I used to work with.  I emailed my friend who also used to work with me and said...

Have you seen Bethenny.  Isn't it hilar!  Doesn't the wedding planner remind you of (to be unnamed person we used to work with). I can't get over it!  So funny!

This was her response...

Bethenny?  I am assuming she must be on TELEVISION.  I can't say I know what you are talking about.  Especially if she is on TELEVISION.

Ummmm so who on earth uses the word television any more and who uses it twice in the same short email response.  She didn't make it bold. I did because that is how I read it.  I think what she meant to say was...

Really Posh Play.  Your pedestrian time wasters you indulge in daily are just too fluffy for my incredibly important schedule. Television is just a main stream tool to keep the masses down. Sad you are now one of them.

So maybye she wasn't being that mean only I have to say that since I have become a Mom my non mom friends are just a little snotty with me at times.  I know leaving my job and becomming a full time stay at home Mom is a big game changer only I am still the same person.  Sure I am asleep on my feet most of the time and the witty reparte doesn't come as quickly as it used to.  I might not be up on foreign politics and just making sure we have an ample diaper supply in the house at times seems overwhelming.  Still it is me!

I think Bethenny is fun regardless of Mom haziness or not.  I also give her lots of credit for doing everything that she does and keeping her self depricating humor even when things get crazy.  If you can't laugh at yourself who can you laugh at?

On that note...

Want to know my defiinition of being a new Mom this week?

When you come home from the grocery store and stand on the front porch trying to open your front door with your keyless entry button from your car.  Then you stand there for another four minutes wondering why it won't open.

Now what would my highly intellectual friend think about that?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Can I Get a Chair

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Last night I spent most of a lovely evening out with good friends in a bathroom stall.  Let me explain.  It was my husband's good high school and college friend's birthday and we all went to celebrate at a steak house just outside our town.  Baby Posh Play usually loves restaurants so we thought he would do great.  He was such a good baby only he got hungry part way through the night so I whisked him off to the ladies room for a little dinner in a more quiet environment.  The bathroom stall.  I know breastfeeding in public is a controversial issue which seems a little ridiculous to me.  Most of us were breastfed right so why does everyone make such a big deal out of it?  Guys get to peel off their shirts in summer and flash us their sometimes (usually) unattractive bods so who cares if I cover mine up and feed my baby discreetly at a dinner table?  Out of respect for the group I usually skulk away to the nearest bathroom just to avoid confrontation about the appropriateness of public breastfeeding.

So we sat in the bathroom stall.  Baby Posh Play eating away and me chatting with him quietly and enjoying our time together.  The thing is I love him so much I could spend ten minutes with him in a sewer and be completely content.  Only it occured to me.  Why was I sitting in a totally expensive restaurant on a toilet feeding my baby?  Cleanliness issues aside it just isn't that comfortable.  Why has our society tucked away breastfeeding moms and not made more accomodations for them?  If it wasn't 100 degrees here I would probably go to the car only we can't do that here in the summer.  Why can't public establishments at least put a freaking chair in the bathroom for moms to sit down and properly feed their babies?

I started thinking about all the older establishments that we frequent and how many of them have makeup rooms and dressing areas of the bathroom where ladies used to apply makeup, chat and I am assuming breastfeed.

Nordstrom does it right!  I love their plush ladies rooms with a whole room just for breastfeeding.  One mall in our area has family bathrooms where they have breastfeeding areas and stalls, comfortable chairs, flat screen TVs, bottle warmers and more.  I have started trying to only shop there just because it is so much more convenient and I want to support a company that makes accomodations for moms.  As a new Mom it is hard enough figuring everything out that it would be nice if we were actually an accepted part of society and not some group relegated to behind toilet stall doors.

Don't even get me started on those horrible Koala Care diaper changers in public bathrooms.  Not only are they usually in the most inconvenient place in the whole bathroom they are never stalked with the liners they claim should be used.  I have never in my three months of breastfeeding and diaper changing in public bathrooms ever seen a stocked Koala Care diaper changer.  Not even in the expensive steak house.  Come on America let's start treating breastfeeding Moms like the loving women that we are.  Let's at least start building public bathrooms with chairs!

(This cute bathroom chair courtesy of Eddie Ross).

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Garage Sale Day

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Today was garage sale day which means we are one step closer to our big move.  I finally convinced Mr. Posh Play to part with his beloved college furniture.  It took years so I am pretty proud of myself for finally getting rid of all his junk.

It was a long day in the summer heat.  We made $180 gave $30 to my Brother in Law for working it with us and just deposited $150 in our savings account.  A nice little chunk of money for something fun for the new house.

Have you ever had a garage sale?

Who are the garage sale stalkers who arrive right before it starts and just hover over you until you get everything set up.  Why do they get up before 7:00 A.M. on a Saturday just to peruse other people's junk?  Don't get me wrong.  I am just as much of a sucker for a good deal as the next guy only you will not find me anywhere except for in my pajamas at that time on a weekend morning.

Who is the guy who glued himself to me asking question after question.  Bike parts?  Bikes?  Car covers?  Tarps?  Cell phones?  Old cell phones?  Camping gear?  Who is this biking, car covering, tarp hoarding, cell phone using camper?

Baby Posh Play was totally enthralled by it all and thought it was awesome all these people were coming in our front yard just to see him.

All I know is I am more than ready for a good lazy morning!

(This picture courtesy of PaulaDeen.com and a new website I might have to start reading more).

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Home in Thirty Days

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We kissed off that short sale house we were waiting for due to safety concerns after that car went through the fence.  Then we were totally scrambling to find something else.  What we loved about our short sale house (pre crash) was how unique it was and how it wasn't just another track house like the one we live in now.  We searched and searched.  We looked at everything in our price range.  When I say everything.  I mean everything.  My husband and our realtor dragged Baby Posh Play and I (in 100 degree heat) through every ramshackle foreclosure in our budget and price range.

Then we found a little gem in a sea of houses that just weren't us.  A custom home built in 2004 that just got flipped with new paint and carpets.  This house sparkles from floor to ceiling with new hardwood (not laminate) flooring and a jetted tub in the master bathroom!  Can you say Mom time away from the boys!

The house was a foreclosure that some investors bought at auction.  A great deal only we put in our offer over a week ago and just finally heard back last night!  We got a counter offer to our offer and we signed it this morning!  Next step.  Appraisals and inspections.

I haven't been blogging this week because I was totally wallowing in self pity for days.  The thought of schleping me and Mr. Posh Play and Baby Posh Play to our parents houses or friends houses or who knows where until we got a house just wasn't the ideal situation.  Especially in the peak of summer heat.  One move with a baby is quite enough for this new Mom!

(Here are the barstools I am really hoping Mr. Posh Play agrees to let me buy.  Another piece of furniture for my Pottery Barn list).

Sunday, July 11, 2010

When a Car and a Fence Meet

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I have been writing about our new house we are waiting for short sale approval from the bank on.  We love this house.  It is such a cute house.  It is in the best neighborhood with the best school for Baby Posh Play and he could even walk there.  That is once he starts walking.

Last week our friends drove by the house and saw this.

How can we possibly buy this house knowing that a car could just come through the yard at any moment?  The car went all the way onto the back lawn!  If you are wondering why the yard looks so sad it is because the owners moved out over a year ago and turned the water off.  I was really excited about fixing the yard up and doing some landscaping.

It's official we are homeless as of August 15.  We are packing up our house today and we have absolutely nowhere to go.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Just Thinking

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Today I am just thinking about.

-Why a car went through the back fence of the short sale house we are trying to buy.  Why it went over the retaining wall and onto the back yard grass.  Why the selling agent still hasn't told us and why my friends just happened to be driving by and noticed the damage.  Why I can't be one of those people who thinks it will never happen again.  Why I can't even look at the house anymore without wanting to cry. Why there is no way we can buy that house now.

-Why we made another offer on a different house over 24 hours ago and have heard nothing.  Why the selling agent of the new house is on a Disney cruise and I am sitting here.  Why if the Disney cruise has internet service he still hasn't gotten back to us.

-Why Baby Posh Play is growing up so fast.  Why he doesn't fit into newborn diapers anymore and I had to buy size 2 yesterday.  Why he insists on rolling around the house trying to get somewhere, anywhere other than where I put him.  Why he doesn't want to just sleep in my arms anymore like he used to.

-Why my husband's work still has a raise freeze and even though he is doing his new job he isn't getting paid for it and doesn't know when he will get his raise.  Why people don't understand that good employees need to be compensated for a job done right.

-Why it has to be so hot here that we sit inside all day during summer instead of enjoying the outdoors and why we can't find a house with a pool in our price range.  Why I am not floating in the pool that we can't find on a raft with a tall glass of ice cold juice.

-Why some weeks things seem like nothing goes the way you think it should only really it is working out the way it is supposed to you just don't see it that way yet.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Time to Bake

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When my husband gets stressed out he bakes.  I think now that we are married he is rubbing off on me.  As I sit here today with Baby Posh Play we are waiting to hear back on an offer we made on a new house.  The short sale is taking too long and as it is we will be homeless next month so we just can't keep waiting.  We put in an offer today and in standard real estate timing for us the selling agent is on vacation.  This wouldn't be unusual for anyone else since it is summer only every offer we have put in so far has been delayed because the selling agents are on vacation.  Clearly I need to get my real estate license soon just so I can be on vacation on all the time.  So back to baking.  I decided to bake to get my mind off sitting here and waiting.  Especially since we are going on over a month of waiting and I have had it!

If you don't mind heating up your kitchen this week these muffins are totally worth it!

Kemp’s “You-Won’t-Believe-They’re-Whole-Wheat” Blueberry Muffins from Gourmet Magazine

For muffins

1 3/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 large egg

1/2 cup whole milk

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 1/2 cups blueberries (about 7 ounces)

For topping

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Equipment:

a muffin pan (preferably nonstick) with 12 (1/3- to 1/2-cup) muffin cups

Make muffin batter:

Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle. Butter muffin pan.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl, then whisk in zest.

Whisk egg in another bowl, then whisk in milk and butter. Add to dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined (batter will be dense). Fold in blueberries. Divide batter among muffin cups.
Make topping:

Stir together sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over batter in cups.

Bake until a wooden pick inserted into center of muffins comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes, then unmold onto a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Baby Night Night Botique Prettiness

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I recently won a giveaway and last week the most adorable baby girl one piece, headband and matching tank top for me arrived.  Since I don't have a baby girl I am giving the sweet little baby girl outfit to a friend who is expecting her little girl any day.  I can't wait to give it to her!

Baby Night Night Botique features all sorts of cute things and they are all carefully hand sewn and decorated.  Another Etsy store I will be obsessing about.

I decided to take a look at Designer/Owner Tricia's blog while I was at it.  She features all kinds of fun sewing projects and design projects that almost make me want to learn how to sew!  I really do want to learn.  I just don't know if I have the patience.  Only really what is my excuse?  I can at least try right?

I especially love her Monday Recycle Me Sewing Projects.  I will definitely be featuring some of them once I figure out what a talented seamstress I am.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July

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It's baby's first 4th of July and we are spending a quiet day at home and then hitting the country for a little down home barbeque with friends.  I think we will miss the fireworks this year since it might be a little too much for the first holiday for Baby Posh Play.

All our love to all our blog friends and hope you each have a wonderful holiday filled with great friends and family!

(This beautiful wedding picture is courtesy of Elizabeth Anne Designs and Open Air Photography).

Saturday, July 3, 2010

It's Official

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I gave notice yesterday.  I am a Stay at Home Mom.  For the first time in my career I have no idea what I am doing.  I am ready!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

First Time Away

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Last night was my first real night away from Baby Posh Play.  I had to get my hair done.  I didn't highlight it the whole time I was pregnant except for once right before our wedding.  I have been missing my hair stylist like crazy and in a moment of desperation right after I got out of the hospital I went to my husband's hairdresser in our town to get highlights (huge mistake) and looked exactly like I did when I walked in only even more frumpy.

My hairdresser is about 30 minutes away so it was a big trip to get my husband home in time to take over and get to the salon and be threre for three hours.  I will admit.  I held myself back from crying the whole time.  I am so fortunate to have an amazingly fab hairdresser who I have been going to for years so she chatted me up the whole time to forget about my anxiety.  I did text my husband about two times and it took everything I had not to just put him on speaker and keep him there the entire three hours so I could hear every single detail of what was going on.  I did it.  I got beautiful highlights and a cute haircut and got out of there and called my husband from the car.  He said Baby Posh Play was asleep and I should go ahead and grab us dinner.  Really?  How could it be.  Did he really have this seamless night that he was portraying?  It never goes that good for me and I am a full time Mom!

I grabbed some quick drive through and headed home.  When I got there I burst into tears and charged up the stairs.  Baby Posh Play was asleep swaddled and looked like he had a nice relaxing night.  I ran back down the stairs and asked my husband how it went.  He not only got both bottles completely emptied he did bath time, pajama time, play time and stuck to my schedule I so controllingly left on the table.

A part of me is really relieved that my husband has turned into such a good Dad.  Only a part of me was completely sad that Baby Posh Play is totally fine without me for a night.

The upside?  It made waking up at 12:30 A.M. for eating time really exciting since I missed that little baby boy more than I could even stand!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What is it About Guys and Their T Shirts

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Let me start by saying this is a picture of my husband.  This was taken years ago.  He got this shirt while we were away on a business trip together for a convention.  Let me also say he is a highly succesful attorney and would be mortified that I am sharing this picture with all of you.  That's what he gets for not reading my blog.  The shirt was a joke and I have not seen hide or hair of it since this picture was taken.  It does give photographic example of my latest marital confusion.

My husband has about 30% of our walk in closet in our bedroom and then another walk in closet in his home office.  Our shared closet is filled with business suits and dress shoes and his office closet is completely jam packed with jeans, t shirts and casual clothes.  When I say jam packed I mean jam packed.  There are STACKS of jeans and PILES of shirts and the entire FLOOR is covered in clothes.  Then he also has a dresser in our room filled with more clothes.

The strange part?  All he really wears when not working are two pairs of casual shorts, two pairs of jeans and maybye four shirts.  What are these shirts you ask?  Ridiculous thread baren memories of his past.  Stupid law school shirts, old college shirts and one or two decent casual shirts that I can be proud of.  He wears these shirts over and over and washes them over and over and now you can actually see right through most of them they are so thin.

The other day I decided to get adventurous and organize his dresser drawers while he is at work.  Now don't go thinking I am going to win the wife of the week award or anything.  I mostly did this to benefit myself so I don't get waken up at 7:15 A.M. after spending hours awake during the night with our baby to the sound of.

I have no socks.  I really need new socks.  I can't find any socks.

With further investigation during my daytime prowling I found that the man does not indeed need more socks.  He has an entire drawer full only they are pushed in the drawer along with old shirts and other oddities.  On the upside I did find most of my missing socks.  Bonus!

When I finally revealed my project to him he was pleased.  I said I was going to finish the job and do his entire dresser.  His response?  You can throw away ANY of my shirts only don't throw out a single one of my law school shirts.  How could I even CONSIDER throwing away a faded black now almost purple shirt with LAW SCHOOL printed in block letters across the chest.  Someone might forget he is a lawyer after all.

I mean really.  So I ask you.  Why does he hold onto these souveneirs of the past?

I equate it to my old sorority shirts or cheerleading shirts.  Sure they are cute.  The shorts with the paw on the booty sure were awesome when I was 17 and jumping around the football field only by the first semester of college the cheer garb was a thing of the past.  No paws decorated any of my attire and I did not head out of the house in anything that would indicate my participation in cheerleading during my formative years.  Same goes for the good old sorority shirts.  It was really cool to remember the fraternity date dash and I definitely sported that commerative shirt to many a hung over breakfast with the girls during college.  The sorority letter sweatshirt from my big sis was adorable and I wore it all around the beach on windy nights.  Only the day I walked across that stage and took that diploma the sorority shirts made a quick exit into a storage bag and remain there not to be worn again.

So what is it about guys and their old t shirts?  Will I ever understand his attachment to his 20's?  Will he ever wear the nicely pressed Polos I buy for him or am I in for years and years of remembering the glory years?  Eventually these things have to fall apart don't they?  A t shirt can only be washed so many times one would think.

Indian Apricot Chicken

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I got really spoiled when I was pregnant.  My husband cooked for me all the time and he is an amazing cook.  Now that I am a stay at home Mom I am the one doing the cooking and I love to cook only I am so not inpired every day to make something exciting.  I am really trying to cook seasonally and make interesting new dishes that incorporate all the amazing ingredients we have available.

Last weekend we picked up a bag of fresh apricots right off the tree from my in laws house.  They are really ripe so I had to do something with them quickly.  I found this recipe for Evin's Indian Apricot Chicken on Allrecipes.com and sort of made it my own.  Here is my recipe.

Ingredients

2 chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces

2 teaspoons garam masala

1 teaspoon garlic powder

salt and black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 yellow onion, finely diced

1 1/2 cups chicken stock, or as needed

1 cup apricot preserves

1/4 cup white vinegar

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1 teaspoon lime zest

1 tablespoon butter

2-4 apricots cut in quarters

Directions

1. Season the chicken with garam masala, garlic powder, salt, and pepper; set aside. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the onions in the hot oil until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken; cook and stir until the chicken pieces are no longer pink on the outside, about 5 minutes. Remove the mixture from the pan and set aside.

2. Pour 1 cup of chicken stock into the pan and bring to a simmer. Scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan; stir in the apricot preserves and vinegar. Thin with the remaining chicken stock as needed to create a smooth sauce. Season to taste with the hot sauce. Place chicken back in pan; simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Stir in the apricots, lime zest and butter before serving.

Serve with basmati rice.




Monday, June 28, 2010

Free Nail Polish and It's Toxin Free Too

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My Mom found me this awesome polish when I was pregnant since my husband and I made a decision to avoid as many toxins as possible when I was pregnant.  I admit I did get my hair highlighted once.  Only it was for my wedding so I made the case for it.  Besides that I went as natural as possible.  Now it is a lifestyle choice that I don't want to give up!  I have the base coat and top coat and I did my own pedicure and it has lasted for weeks!  Support this cool brand and let's get rid of unnecessary ingredients in beauty products that have the potential to hurt us and our kids!

You have until Wednesday to claim your free bottle!  Just visit their website for details.

Want to know more about Zoya?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Wedding Guest To Be

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I haven't been to a wedding since.  Oh I don't know.  MINE!  Last October.  I haven't been a wedding guest in ages which is weird because I do have lots of single friends.  Come on ladies let's get serious Mom needs an excuse to get out and party!  I have not been out since Baby Posh Play was born in March.

We have been invited to two fab weddings in August and September one week apart.  Now I have something to work on for the next two months.  Getting ready for my wedding guest debut!  (By the way.  Has anyone been watching Jersey Couture?  I just watched some chick spend $1,000 on a wedding guest dress.  Seriously?  I guess it must be an East Coast thing)?

For now I am going to drool over the potentials.  Like this little number from Jessica Simpson.  I know I am still obsessed with this avocado green color.  It was our wedding color and now Baby Posh Play's room color and who knows what else I will infuse with this color before the year is up.  Don't you love a formal dress with pockets!  Totally cute.  I might have to buy it especially since it is only $65 on sale at Ideeli!

Need an invite to shop Ideeli?  Here you go!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Why Do Mother In Laws Say Things Like

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We just got married in October so I am still getting used to my new fam.  They are great and I am blessed to have a whole new group of people who love me.  Only some days they just say the wrong thing.  Here is my compilation of the latest and greatest.

Her-You know your hair is going to start falling out soon.  In chunks.  Big chunks.
Me-Really?  It hasn't yet and it was so pretty when I was pregnant that would be sad.
Her-Just wait.  It will.
Me-Hmmm I hope not.
Her-You will.

Her-Baby Posh Play still has blue eyes.  They will be brown soon. (My husband has brown eyes and I have blue eyes).
Me-Hmmm maybye only I am holding out that they will stay blue.
Her-No they won't.  The (Blank) browns are strong.

Me-I am just so tired all the time.
Her-Get used to it.
Me-I know only I think it will improve as time goes on.
Her-It won't.  Get used to it.

Me-It is so cool to think about what Baby Posh Play will be when he gets older.  The President of the United States, a future basketball star or who knows.
Her-Ha! (Snort) Not with the (Blank) genes he will not play basketball.  His Dad was so clumsy.
Me-I am quite athletic and so is my family so you never know.
Her-Ha! (Snort)

Really?
 

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