Last week I talked pants and have been haunted ever since. Everywhere I look there is someone in the cyber world rocking all three of those “scary” styles. To top it off I stumbled across 3 articles about how skinny jeans are out and flares are where it’s at. Weren’t we forced into the exact opposite not so many years ago? Guess I should have held onto those Gap Long and Leans…
They can switch which denim we should be wearing all they want, in the end I’m forever and always an essentials kind of girl. Timeless pieces have my heart. How on earth I have yet to own a classic trench then is beyond me. There could not be a better, more classy option for this time of year. You could be sporting a t-shirt, jeans and flats – throw a trench over top of it all and you’re instantly one sophisticated woman. The quintessential confidence booster. Why again do I not have one? This is the season to remedy that and here are a few I am eyeing:
1Calvin Klein double-breasted belted trenchcoat/2Victoria’s Secret long trench/3Gap classic trench/4Forever 21 classic double-breasted trench coat/5ASOS trench with biker detail in skater fit
Today my baby boy is nine months old. What? How is it possible he’s been out of me as long as he was in? Life is moving by far too quickly for my liking. SJP is 50, Bingham is 9 months – I mean, when is it going to stop? Oh yeah, it doesn’t.
Instead of bawling over my coffee I thought it’d be more productive to share 9 things I’m liking right now…
1Tiny, secluded, quiet Kelleys Island. My heart is craving that first sip of coffee by the lake./2Rachel Hollis blew up the internet this week by sporting a bikini with…gasp, stretch marks and a slightly saggy belly button. Thank goodness because now I know about her fab blog, The Chic Site./3Dainty geo necklaces have me swooning and this guy is under $3. You’re welcome./4Last night was our 2nd time attending Disney on Ice. As always, Disney does it best (like there was ever a question)./5Shan’s strawberry coffee cake is calling my name this weekend./6New Balances for toddlers. Um, cute!/7“FourFiveSeconds” is my sing-a-long jam, which is strange because I can’t stand Kanye (notice the cropping on the image). /8I’m slightly addicted to swimwear for girls. And this palm bikini is to die for./9If you have yet to see this ad you must do so right now. Like right, right now. It’s hilarious.
Cheers to the weekend!
If we are home on a Sunday I almost always try to make a double batch of pizza dough. This is my best attempt at plan ahead meals. A decent one at that considering we could eat homemade pizza every other day (okay, everyday). Typically we top our pizza with whatever needs to be used before going bad and some mozzarella cheese. Every now and then though there will be a not so subtle hint for certain combos. Like when Sticky brought home two bunches of asparagus. The man had a hankering for one of his favorite pizzas and I can’t say I blame him. This asparagus pizza is outrageously delicious.
Shaving the asparagus is at first fun, and then a little tedious, but well worth all of the effort. Be sure not to break off the tough end that you typically would when making asparagus. You need that guy for your “handle” while shaving.
I have always used a regular vegetable peeler and it works just fine, but I think one shaped like a “Y” would be even better. (The mandolin I would avoid, don’t even entertain such a thought.) Also, no worries if the shavings are inconsistent in depth and length. The diversity will give your pizza a fantastic texture.
We firmly believe that the reason this pizza is so dang good is because nothing outshines the asparagus. There are definitely little adjustments you can make as far as toppings go, just be sure not to overpower that green mound of heaven you slaved over.
You will be tempted to pull this guy out of the oven as soon as you smell that dough mingling with the roasted asparagus. Drink a beer, do a dance, make out with someone – whatever it takes to not open that oven. Wait until the crust is golden and the cheese has just started to brown. This is the point of pizza perfection.
Roasted, slightly crunchy asparagus on a bed of melted cheese and crispy, warm, olive-oily crust. Finished with just spritz of lemon. This is spring in pizza form.
shaved asparagus pizza
- 1 unbaked 12" pizza dough
- 1 bunch of asparagus
- ¼cup grated Parmesan
- 4oz mozzarella cheese shredded
- 2tsp olive oil
- ½tsp coarse salt
- ½tsp black pepper
- ½tsp red pepper flake
- ¼ red onion thinly sliced
- ½ fresh lemon
- Preheat oven 500degrees. Stretch or roll pizza dough to a 12" round. Place on a pan dusted with flour or cornmeal.
- Shave asparagus with a vegetable peeler and place shaving in medium bowl (do not snap off the tough ends - those are your handles for shaving). Toss shavings with olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flake.
- Top dough with parmesan and then mozzarella. Next add onion and then pile asparagus on top. Bake in oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until crust is golden and cheese begins to brown.
- Immediately after pulling out of oven squeeze fresh lemon juice on top. Slice and devour!
I love cake, especially those that are named carrot. But it can’t be dry and the carrots absolutely must be the star (yeah, I’m talking to you raisin). We often see carrot cake in double layer form, but that’s not something I am apt to make at home. If a double layer cake doesn’t turn out you have wasted a good chunk of your life between the prep and mess. That’s no fun for anyone. This is why I prefer a good ol’ coffee cake. One layer, minimal icing (if any) and there is usually a streusel topping involved. Plus it was invented to go with your coffee. It’s basically breakfast food. Fool proof, easy to devour breakfast food.
As a child I was certain coffee was actually in coffee cake. I can remember sitting at my granny’s dining room table thinking I was big stuff eating my caffeine laced dessert. She never told me any differently…she’s pretty awesome like that. Whoever decided there needed to be a cake specifically for coffee is pretty awesome as well.
There will always be a debate when it comes to carrot cake. Some people like raisins. Others gag at the thought. I need the crunch from a walnut – this would make my brother in law cringe (you’re weird Chuck). But one thing most of us agree on is that carrot cake must absolutely be moist. And cream cheese frosting needs to be involved. This version delivers on both counts.
For obvious reasons carrot cake is considered a springtime dessert. (This would make a perfect addition to your upcoming Easter brunch.) But let’s not let a bunny sway us to believe that after April 5th any and all carrot cake making ends till next year. It’s a dessert that can and should be enjoyed year round. I know I will be enjoying this again and again.
carrot coffee cake
- For the cake:
- 1½cups flour
- 2tsp baking powder
- ½tsp fine salt
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- ¾cup sugar
- ¼cup vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- ½cup milk
- 2cups shredded carrots, patted dry
- For the streusel:
- ½cup brown sugar
- 2tbsp flour
- 2tsp cinnamon
- 2tbsp butter, melted
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- For the icing:
- 1tbsp unsalted butter. softened
- 2oz cream cheese, room temperature
- ¾cup powdered sugar
- ½tsp vanilla extract
- 2tbsp milk
- Preheat oven 350 degrees. Grease and lightly floor a 9" round or square pan.
- Whisk flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together in a medium bowl.
- In a large bowl stir together sugar, vegetable oil, egg and milk. Add the dry ingredients and combine until just combined. Stir in shredded carrots.
- With the now empty medium bowl (that they dry ingredients were in) add the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, butter and walnuts (if using). Stir until combined.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan. Spread evenly and then top with streusel. Bake in oven for 25-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Allow to cool completely in pan.
- While cake is cooling beat butter and cream cheese together with hand mixer. Slowly add sugar until well combined. Add the vanilla and beat a little more. If you like thick frosting stop here, if you want more of a glaze add milk until you reach desired consistency (one tbsp at a time).
- Ice cake (I used a sandwich bag to "drizzle" icing over cake) and enjoy!
A couple of weeks ago I was walking around as proud as a peacock over my workout routine. Then just like that the exercise gods were less than impressed by my cockiness and cursed me with a cold. But not just any cold. No, no, no, no, no… This was by far the nastiest cold of my existence. My head pounded, stomach ached and nothing, I mean nothing, tasted good. The worst of it was the fatigue – all my limbs felt as if they were made of jello. Everyday for about a week the cold strengthened, which in turn made staying on that workout routine more difficult.
The good news is I was determined not to allow the cold to be my excuse for falling off the tracks. The bad news it was nearly impossible for me to accomplish what I do when normally healthy. Typically at the end of a workout I feel good. Really good. Those workouts though, they were different. I felt disappointment in myself. What is the point if I am only doing half as much? It felt like I had taken 5 steps forward and then 7 back. A really annoying mind game that can squash motivation in an instant.
These are the times we need to remind ourselves to take it easy. Be patient. Let our bodies heal. I kept thinking “I just need to get on that treadmill and sweat this crap out of me” but physically it wasn’t going to happen. What did get an extra workout that week was my mind power. It would have been easy to allow the negative thoughts to take over and in turn do zero exercising. That zero exercising would have only caused more ugly thoughts towards myself. A vicious path that only leads to one destination – derailment.
So yes, for a few days my workouts were pretty wimpy. But that’s okay. By the second day of feeling back to myself, so did the workouts. In fact shortly after the cold left so did Sticky for work. This meant I really had to prioritize and make sure I got that workout in with two littles on my own over the weekend. As you can see Bingham loves to watch mommy do her thing…
(Before judgement begins I swear he didn’t start looking this pathetic until the cool down part of the video. It’s like he’s sad Jillian is over and everyone is done jumping around. Or maybe it’s his look of sympathy for his tired and sweaty mom. Regardless he’s darn cute.)
Illness, injury, travel, that extra piece of chocolate cake…all can cause one to veer in the wrong lane. It’s a mind game to not succumb to these road bumps. And another goal worth accomplishing in your path to feeling awesome.
Keep moving! I will be too…