Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Baileywick Black Bean Salsa

I haven't posted a recipe in a long time but this one was too easy and delicious to pass up.  It actually came from a cookbook that my friend Jenny gave me that was put together by parents in the school she teaches in.  (The school is called Baileywick, which is why I call it Baileywick Black Bean Salsa.  I like the alliteration.) 


It is easy- there's some chopping involved, but it took me about 15 minutes to put together.

It's delicious. 

It's healthy.

What's not to love?  Make it and serve it with some scoops as a dip, or else use it to accompany tacos as a side dish or topping.   It probably goes great with margaritas or a Corona.  I'll find out in a few months.  So enjoy and thank Jenny when you're done for passing this cookbook along to me with this little gem in it.  Oh and while I'm bragging on her, let me just mention she was teacher of the year this year at her school.  Because it's my blog and I can brag if I want to. 


Now chop, chill and eat!


  • 1 can black beans, rinsed + drained
  • 1 can white shoepeg corn, drained
  • 1 chopped red pepper
  • 1 chopped red onion
  • fresh cilantro to taste
  • jalapeno, chopped (added to taste)
  • juice of 1 lg lime
  • 2 T minced garlic
  • 1/2 T Adobo brand seasoning*
  • 4 T olive oil

Mix all and chill for 1-2 hours (up to overnight.)


*I actually didn’t use the Adobo brand seasoning.  I just used salt and pepper.  But I was shopping in Wally world the other day and was in the international aisle and passed right by it – so it does exist and is easy to find!


And, as a side note…this is the secret best place to buy spices instead of buying them from the baking aisle. 


They don’t have every spice but they have a lot of the common ones – paprika, garlic, onion, parsley, cumin, chili pepper – and they less than a dollar for each bag.  You get a smaller amount, but that’s okay – does anyone ever use the spices in those jars before they go stale anyways??

So, that’s my hidden tip for today.  You’re welcome.  Now, go eat.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Real Life Pinterest: Junior League Tour of Fine Spaces

I have this sort of fascination with going to open houses, despite the fact that I’m not actually buying a new house anytime soon.  It’s partially because I’m very nosy but also because I have always, always loved architecture.  (Little known fact: my 2nd career choice when I was in high school was architecture but as it turns out, I lack the, how do I put it, precision and carefulness it requires.)  So when I saw that the Junior League had a Fine Home Tours which was basically 10 back to back open houses - most in my favorite neighborhood in Winston – I decided I had to go.  Coupled with the fact that each house was going to have a local chef offering samples of their food?  Yup, I had to go.

I talked my other housie and foodie friends, Kate, Charlie and Anne, into going and we set off on our culinary and home design adventure.  I didn't really know what to expect but it was amazing.  It was really like being in a real life Pinterest page.  Each home was more beautiful than the next.  The homes are chosen because they have had work done by local contractors - kitchens, bathrooms, landscapes, renovations, etc and they were all truly incredible.  Most of the homes we were in had been built in the 1930s-50s and they each have such a unique sense of charm and style, but it was very cool to see how the renovations - some quite modern - worked within the homes.

And the food was quite great too!  Chilled avocado soup with chicken salad sliders?  Mini cheesecake bites?  Cake balls?  It really was like walking through real life Pinterest - I just needed a craft station at each house to have rounded out the experience.


If you live here locally and like design, I'd highly recommend doing it next year - it is an annual event.  I am definitely signing it up for it next year - and I'm coming hungry.

These were a few of my favorite features from some of the homes that we went to.  They aren’t great pictures because they are all from my phone – lots of people were snapping phone pics but I would have felt over the top voyeuristic busting out my SLR.


My kingdom for a farmhouse sink and subway tiled kitchen!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pretty Much the Same Thing

Anne is in the midst of some serious crazy training for her first half marathon and wonderful friend that I am, I volunteered to run with her on Friday to get one of her short runs out of the way.  I'm not running a ton these days, mostly because there's a little sweet potato sized baby sitting on my bladder, but it's been amazing weather this winter and it's made me downright mad that I haven't been out there as much.  So I told her I'd do a short run with her, knowing it would make me get out there and I'd be happy once I did.

We made plans to run at 4:30 when she got done teaching, so we would have just enough time to run and shower before heading out to celebrate her brother-in-law Charlie's birthday.

On Friday morning, I got a text from her about our running plans.  It said:

"We could meet at 4:30 to run or… we could go get our nails done and not need to shower before dinner."

Look, when you offer a pregnant woman the choice between running and getting her nails done...

Well, I think we know how this story ends.


(Especially since there's a frozen yogurt place next door to my nail salon.)


Shellac french tips are my very, very favorite.  They last forever!  I got 3 weeks out of my last one.

(And, PS, I should point out for Anne's sake she got 4 miles in on Thursday and 7 miles on Sunday, so I think she did just fine without my "help.")

Friday, March 23, 2012



The day of the much anticipated doctor’s appointment finally arrived and we got to finally find out whether Baby Cline was a boy or a girl.  And clearly, based on Buddy’s accessories…. It’s a boy!!!

It’s amazing how much just knowing that it is actually a he has made the whole thing suddenly seem more real.  After we found out (and confirmed that Baby Boy Cline was healthy and all that good stuff), Matt and I went out for lunch at the District and our topic of conversation was easily shifted to what he might be like.  It just feels a little easier to imagine a little person just knowing the gender.

Although I have to say, I was totally surprised it was a boy!  Ever since the 100 year old lady at the gym who has never spoken to me before or since looked at me when I was 7 weeks pregnant and asked if I was pregnant and told me that I looked like I was carrying a girl, I had been pretty convinced there was a a double XX chromosome baby swimming around in there.  I mean, if someone can predict you’re pregnant when you look like maybe you stopped at Bojangles for breakfast on the way to the gym, then clearly they can predict the gender too right?  I thought so.

So, it’s a boy!  Time to build a 6 foot fence around my house and to learn to throw a spiral.  Or maybe, before all that, I should do my baby registry or pick out a crib or whatever else you’re supposed to be before these little human beings show up and start bossing you around.  Because now we’re halfway (halfway!!) there and I’m pretty sure it’s only going to get more and more real as the weeks go by.

Poor little Spuds was used for our Facebook announcement of BBC’s gender reveal and he sat through many, many takes before I got the one I wanted.  All this modeling work is hard work on a pupdog as evidenced by this nap I caught him taking after his photog session…


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Week 19: Before + After

I've been (somewhat) keeping up with the March Photo-a-day prompts on Instagram and today the prompt was "before and after."  I couldn't think of anything particularly creative, so I just snapped a picture of my breakfast chai ingredients before and after to post.

On my way home from Dance Trance, I caught sight of myself in the mirror at the Y bathroom.  I realized I was wearing the same outfit I had worn a few months, when I had just completed a 3-month strength training program with my friend Heather and had snapped an “after” picture to send her.  Coincidentally, it turns out I was about 2 weeks pregnant in that picture.  My outfit was the same, but boy did my profile look a little different.   I snapped a picture when I got home and posted it as my "before & after."


It's weird when you live with the day-to-day changes, you know your body is changing but you don't really really grasp the full change unless you go back and compare it to where you started.  Obviously I've seen the number on the scale change, have switched full time to wearing Bella Bands and yup, pelvic bones are thing of the past - but seeing the before and after picture was really the first time I had grasped how much my body had already changed in a relatively short period of time. 

And to think this is really a "before" and "during."  Hoo-boy.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Weekend Scenes


I have mixed emotions about using my iPhone camera so much.  On the one hand, I love that I can capture the little day by day moments of my life that I definitely wouldn’t bust out my big camera for.  On the other hand, I’m less likely to get out my big camera when I’ve got my little camera phone handy.  These are the things I like awake and think about at night. I know, I know – first world problems.

Oh what a fun weekend.  It was jam-packed as usual with friends, food, babies, gym time, Buddy snuggles and naps.

Friday, I went out to lunch with my friend Denise and met her little boy Sam for the first time.  He is just a little 6 week old bean and napped peacefully the whole time we ate our lunch and chatted about strollers, FMLA, bosses, Chi Omega and wine.  Denise and I were sorority sisters at Wake, and she and her husband just moved back here in July for residency so it’s been fun reconnecting with her since they have returned.  And Mozelle’s was perfection as usual – I’ve never had a single bad plate of food there.  (I’ve had some subpar service experience, BUT the food has always been awesome.)  This time I had a tomato pie and creamy succotash.  I didn’t even know if I liked succotash but if there’s a place that could convince anyone to like it, it would be Mozelle’s.

After lunch, I went and ran some errands before meeting Anne over Akanksha’s to meet baby Ayanna for the first time.  (2 days old!)  We ended up snuggling so long we missed Body Pump, so we went and did our own weight lifting session in the free weight room before heading up for Dance Trance, which Anne was teaching.  Matt was working, so Anne and I continued our Friday night with pizza and salads at The Loop. 

Saturday morning I met Lauren and baby Jeffery at campus for a long walk through Reynolda Gardens, Graylyn and Buena Vista.  It was an absolute perfect morning for a walk – we have been spoiled rotten by this March weather.  Lauren and I hadn’t seen each other since our coffee date back in December so we had much to catch up. It never fails to amaze me how much farther I will walk or run if I can chatter away while I’m doing it.

After our walk, I was feeling pretty motivated so I rolled up my sleeves (just kidding! already short sleeves! it’s 80 out!) and did a legit cleaning of our house.  I am kind of obsessed with a Christmas present I got from my mom this year – my Shark steam cleaner.  I really, really, really hate cleaning floors.  I will avoid it until I start to notice that my floor looks like the dressing room of a Walmart – which between the dog and my messy cooking style is about 3-4 days. Then I will finally drag out the vacuum and the Swiffer, mop or whatever contraption I’m attempting to use to restore cleanliness.  This little baby is the best of both worlds – first you vacuum and then you pop the little cloth cover on and switches it to steam and you listen to purr while it steam cleans your floor.  When it’s done, for about 5 minutes, I actually do have floors that I would eat off of.  (Whatever, product review mid-blog post?  It’s my blog and I’ll ramble if I want to.  Too bad I couldn’t get Shark to sponsor this post though!)

When I realized it was St Patrick’s Day and I was not going to be partaking in any green beverages, I convinced Matt to swing me by McDonald’s so I could try a Shamrock Shake for the first time.  (Official review: Meh.  Stick to Cookout Mint Shakes if you’re craving a green shake.)  On the plus side though, no hangover!  We joined the Glenns for a little shamrock pre-gaming (Car Bombs for everyone who isn’t pregnant!) and then went over to our friend Dave and Kathleen’s for homemade pasta.  Very delicious. Very Irish.  (Kathleen did point out her sauces made the dish look like the Irish flag!  Well played!) 

I did not get any corned beef and cabbage and soda bread this year, and I’m still smarting over that.  I need to check if HT is putting the corned beef on sale this week post St Patty’s Day because oh how I crave that salty, quasi rubbery, stringy delicious meat.  (The Irish are not known for their culinary affairs, ya’ll.  It’s just tradition.)  I did, however, find another great St Patrick’s Day clearance item – I was visiting Babies R Us to do a little product research and hyperventilating over stuffocation when I saw those 2 cute onesies on the clearance rack.  I couldn’t resist!  Although I had to stop and count on my fingers to figure out that I’d have a 7 month old by next March!  (OMG!)

Sunday morning I had a relaxing morning on my porch with a chai and a pupdog – I have finally figured out that it is a good investment for me to buy the Chai from Harris Teeter and make it at home.  I always talk myself out of buying the $4 carton (and $3 almond milk) because it’s so expensive (my reasoning.)  Then I did the math and realized I can make 5 chai’s out of those 2 cartons making them $1.50 each instead of $4 at the ‘bux.  Oh.  Hey, math major.  (And um, yeah, I reuse my cups from Sbx because I think chai tastes better out of a paper cup.  Quirk.)

Buddy helped me in the afternoon to clean out the future baby room and put some goodies up on eBay (if anyone would like some never-even-taken-out-of-the-box Pottery Barn curtain rods….now is the time to bid!).  We sold the mattress and frame recently on Craigslist so the room is quite empty and starting to look ready for the next thing.  Which is a crib.  Which is still kind of surreal and crazy to me.  A crib.  (And a baby in that crib.  Yea, this is all not really quite sinking in yet, still.)

Then it was back off to the gym for my favorite combo -  Body Pump followed by Dance Trance.  It’s tough to knock out those 2 classes back to back but I always feel like I can kick butt afterwards – and that I can skip the gym for a day or two afterwards too.  After dinner, us dance trancer girls scooted back to the house where Matt had prepared pizzas and salad and was watching the basketball games with the boys (and Zoey!).  It was still pretty warm even as the sun was going down, so we got to enjoy our meal al fresco on the porch again.  It is definitely my favorite room in the house and I love that it’s already been warm enough for us to use it!

And then, just like that, Sunday night was setting, the weekend was ending and it was time to do Monday all over.  The days are long, but the weeks are short.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Meeting Ayanna


There is nothing quite like a 2-day old baby.  Anne and I went over on Friday to meet Ayanna, two days after she was born.  She was just a sweet and snuggly little bean our whole visit.  And her Momma and Daddy seem quite taken with her – we can see why.  Welcome to the world, Ayanna!  Congratulations, Jacob & Akanksha! 


Thursday, March 15, 2012

And They’re Like … It’s Better Than Yours

I had a not-so-awesome week at work this week and on my way on Thursday, I was thinking to myself “oh how I would love to relax with some vino tonight.”  Well, lil 19 week old fetus says “that ain’t gonna happen, Mom” so I tried to think about what would be the next best thing when lo! a highway detour took me right by Cookout.  (Thank you, single lane on 52 NB.)

Oh, Cookout.  Delicious, delicious Cookout. I literally have not had a Cookout milkshake since 2006.  I know the exact year, because Zac and Jamie and I were going to see Failure to Launch at the $2 theater (terrible movie) and we snuck in our milkshakes.  I had just started working at Wake teaching the weight loss classes for a research study and thought “Hmm, maybe I should look up the calorie information on a Cookout milkshake!”

Terrible, terrible idea.  I haven’t had one since.

Although this information was partially enlightening to explain the good 10 or so extra pounds* that I carried around in college.  You see, after many a fraternity party, my girlfriends and I would somehow find a “willing” pledge to drive to Cookout and get us milkshakes.  And hush puppies.  The combination which should preferably be eaten together – hush puppies dipped into your milkshake.  If you’ve never tried this before, I suggest you start with the Oreo and go from there.

While I was waiting in the drive-through line for my milkshake – and oh what the heck, my hush puppies too - it suddenly occurred to me that I never once paid for my milkshakes in college.  Never!  Who did?  Was it the pledge?  Was it the brother who sent the pledge?  I suddenly felt horribly guilty that someone had footed my milkshake bill for the better part of 3 semesters of college and I had never once even asked someone if I should chip in.  How entitled was I?!

But then I decided that since women have to go through pregnancy and childbirth, it was the least the males of the world could do to pick our milkshake tab for us in college.  So that settled in and I felt better about this debt.  (Although I still do wonder who it was who paid for them?)

These are the things I think about sometimes.  I should probably keep them to myself instead of blogging about them. 

And just in case you’re wondering, the hush puppies and milkshake combo is every bit as good at 19-weeks and totally sober as it was at 19 years old and, um, not. 


I’m just not going to make it a weekly thing this time around.  I promise.


Although I don’t think someone would mind if I did….



(*Editor’s Note: Those 10 pounds also maybe also a little something to do with beer.  Or Fox Run White Zinfandel mixed with Sprite.  Or the fact that you could Pizza Hut on Deacon Dollars.  Or the Benson candy bins.  Just sayin’.)