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Casual Friday

Sweater: Target; Shirt: H&M; Scarf: India; Skirt: Made by me; Belt: Old; Shoes: F21

This is not what I'm wearing today.  However, after a week of (successful, thank the heavens) potty training and [insert super original chipper cheery statement about this abysmal winter], this is what I WANT to be wearing.  Comfy but doesn't look like I've spent additional hours near the potty for the last few days.  Ever since Merrick pinned this outfit, I've been wanting to recreate it (see her cute version here), and I think it will be making its share of reappearances.  Although hopefully far from a potty.

Happy Easter, everyone!

Linking up with Frills for Thrills

S'more Eggs

Yesterday, we had a little Easter egg hunt with our playgroup.  Aside from needing to have the egg hunt indoors since it was freezing and windy and BAH willwinterneverleave, it was adorable watching all the kiddies run around finding eggs.

Of course, because I am the queen of procrastination, I remember late last night that I had to take some pre-filled eggs.  We don't generally keep candy around, and I didn't think to use some of the millions of stickers we have on hand.  I considered sticking some clementines inside, but a whole one wouldn't fit and I thought they might dry out if I pre-peeled them.

So I was searching the cupboards for something to stick in, and spotted some marshmallows.  Since we have a wood-burning fireplace (LOVE), we tend to keep those, grahams, and chocolate on hand (exclusively for s'mores, and never for any mid-afternoon slump purposes, of course).

The purpose of this extraordinarily long explanation is that I put a 'mallow, a graham, and some chocolate chips together and called it a s'm'egg and called it a night.  Nothing particularly mind-blowing, but the kids liked it and I didn't have to make a run to the store.  Can't ask for much more, right?

Things That Make Me Happy Monday

Sweater: F21; Button down: Old Navy; Necklaces: Old; Jeans: Target; Boots: Payless; Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington
  • Some weekend crafting to make matchy boy/girl Easter accessories like the huge nerd that I am.  (Never fear, you will be subjected to photos soon enough.)
  • This watch, c/o Daniel Wellington.  I've been wanting a simple leather watch for a while and this one is perfect.  Review to come.
  • The Easter program at church.  All music, with some of my very favorite songs.  So, so beautiful and uplifting.
  • Oh, and this delightfully warm and dry and springy weather that is allowing us to all be free from sickness forever and ever.  Not.  Can't be happy all the time, right?  Evidently the weather can be miserable with a capital misery all the time, though.

Pinterest Challenge Update

I'm lame and behind.  Alas.  I did wear an outfit from my list of pins to do!

 Blazer: H&M; Shirt/Jeans: Target; Shoes: Payless; Belt: J.Crew Factory
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I mean, it's nothing earth-shattering, but blazers and plaid, what's not to love?  Now that I'm looking at it, I think it would be a subtle and fun St. Patrick's day outfit with the sparkles in the belt and shoes.  Hindwhat?


I also made the winter minestrone, but it was...not a raging success.  We were in the middle of our gazillionth sickness and I got distracted and the veggies got overcooked and I made the beans in the pressure cooker and they were undercooked and...yeah.  Maybe we'll try that one again and report back.

My Phavorite

We took a little trip to my beloved Philly this past weekend. Oh, how that city makes my heart sing.  And Nat.  Philly makes Nat sing.  And dance with umbrellas.  Even with the miserable rainy/snowy/haily/sleety/slushy/gucky/whycan'twinterjustbeOVER weather we had (resulting in some camera fogginess and blurry pictures...alas), it was a blast.  We ate lots of food and saw pretty places and it was swell.



Winterizing Florals

 Sweater/Pants: Target; Blouse: thrifted; Boots: Zappos; Umbrella socks: F21
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Being a very patient person, I waited approximately 2 days to wear these pants.  My mind knew they were probably better suited to warmer temperatures, but my heart just wanted to wear my $11 floral pants already.  So my heart said, Mind, why don't you just wear them with some boots and layers and call it a winter outfit?  So my mind told my body that and after some communication hangups, the three little piggies lived happily ever after.  And I got to wear my floral pants.

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy
and Because Shanna Said So 

Things That Make Me Happy Monday

Top: Old Navy; Skirt: J.Crew Factory; Necklace: Old; Gloves: Target; Tights: F21; Boots: Payless
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  • Making my first souffle on Sunday (with lemon caramelized fennel and onions, and goat cheese). Yum.
  • My sweet sister's birthday.  And making a chocolate cake for it.
  • Attending an Iron Chef party with lemons as the theme.  Bad that 3/3 bullets so far revolve around food?
  • The GORGEOUS weather we had this weekend.  Spriiiing!!
  • Having baby c's 6-month / family pictures taken in Old Town Alexandria on Saturday.  So fun.
  • Pi Day is this week!

Cauliflower Pesto Pasta with White Beans & Kale

We don't do a ton of pasta around these parts, mostly because I hate cooking lunch so we generally like to have enough for leftovers for the 3 of us, and a pound of pasta doesn't usually cut it.  But I loved this recipe because it's fresh and light but hearty enough for all of us for dinner and lunch.  And it keeps well.  And it comes together in under 30 minutes. And it makes use of Virginia winter-season vegetables so I don't have to battle pangs of guilt while buying eggplant at Trader Joe's.

Fresh, hearty, quick, good leftovers, and uses a winter pesto? I'd say that's a winner on all counts.

Cauliflower Pesto Pasta with White Beans & Kale

adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

1 medium head of cauliflower
1 clove garlic
Generous pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 almonds
2 ounce chunk of Parmesan cheese
2-3 T fresh cilantro leaves
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Coarse sea salt

1.5-2 cups fresh kale
1-1.5 cups white beans (I cooked great northern in my pressure cooker ahead of time and had them in the freezer, but you can also use a can of cannellini)

1 pound whole wheat pasta

  1. While pasta is cooking, trim leaves off cauliflower and cut into large chunks.  Pulse in food processor until it looks like bits of couscous.  (I did this part in my little mini food processor, and just did about a quarter of the cauliflower at a time.)  Transfer cauliflower to a large bowl.
  2. Pulse the garlic, pepper flakes, almonds, cheese, and cilantro in a food processor until the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs.  Combine mixture with the cauliflower.  Add oil, vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, adding more as needed (I probably used about a teaspoon of salt).
  3. Wash and de-stem the kale and cut into chiffonades (thin little strips).  If using canned beans, rinse and drain.
  4. Boil water and cook the pasta until al dente.  Reserve 1 cup of cooking water and drain off the rest.  Toss the hot pasta with the cauliflower pesto and about 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water, adding more as needed.  Mix in the kale and beans.  Serve with additional Parmesan cheese.

Casual Friday

 Cardi: J.Crew Factory; Blouse: c/o Go Jane; Jeans: Target; Shoes: Payless
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(Or, you know, Thursday.  Or every day.)

Sometimes you just need an outfit that is "you."  This outfit is me - me before fashion blogs, me of 2005 - blouse, cardigan, jeans, flats.  Done.  And you know what, me?  You're not so bad.  It feels good to be you.

Happy weekend!

Roasted Beet Salad with Citrus, Goat Cheese and Almonds

As part of the Pinterest Challenge, I wanted to make this beet salad.  What really caught my fancy, though, was the pairing of beets and goat cheese.  For some reason, I really wanted to add "clementimes" to it, and it needed some sort of nut.  So, I really used the pin as more of a jumping off point.  Still counts, right?

For what it's worth, we all had a minimum of thirds of this (Nat had fourths. I kid not).  It was that good.

Roasted Beet Salad with Citrus, Goat Cheese and Almonds

4 Medium Beets
Olive Oil
Sea Salt

4 Clementines or other citrus, peeled
4 oz. Goat Cheese
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 T olive oil
2 T balsamic vinegar*
Salt & pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 425F.  Chop beets into bite sized pieces.  I never peel mine, but you may if you wish.  Place beets in roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.  Toss to combine.  Roast beets until firm-tender, about 25-30 minutes.

2. When beets are cool, combine with clementine slices, goat cheese, and almonds.  Drizzle with olive oil, vinegar, salt & pepper to taste.

*We used a fig balsamic, and while any kind will do, the fig was amazing.  It was perfect for bringing out the sweetness in beets.

Things That Make Me Happy Monday

Sweater: Gap; Button Down: Downeast Basics; Pants: Old Navy; Socks: old; Booties: Zappos; Hat: Target; Necklace: c/o Eclectic Ornaments
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  • Brunch.  Can we all just agree that brunch is the best meal?  We headed over to Eastern Market on Saturday and had fried green tomato eggs benedict, blueberry buckwheat pancakes, potatoes, and green chile cheese grits.  And now I want that for every meal always.
  • Sunday afternoon books.  It's become a bit of a tradition that Dan and I sit and read a book together while the kiddos nap and the sun streams into our living room on a Sunday afternoon.  The. Best. 
  • This outfit.  Layers, stripes, colored pants, boots, argyle, statement necklace...gang's all here.
  • Baptisms.  We had one in our church congregation on Saturday, and it was really lovely.  It was the first Nat had seen and I loved hearing his reaction and him wanting to be "baptized like Jesus," too.
  • My sweet, giggly, smiley baby.  Seriously, this girl will smile for anyone and everyone at any time.  It makes my life.