Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Beating the winter blues

Hello Friends ~ 

We are in the middle of a cold spell here in the north east.  Plainly stated: it's freezing!  No snow yet but we have some forecasted this for this weekend! It's coming! It's very unusual for New England not to have had a good storm or two by now so all of us are just sitting back waiting for the BIG one to hit. It the mean time we are all walking around like the little brother in a Christmas story (you know, the one that was bundled up so much he could hardly walk?!).  The temps are cold and the wind is piercing.  It makes going to work in the morning almost painful, but coming home at night is absolute bliss. 

This is where you'll find me on most evenings, reading, sipping tea, and watching TV until I fall asleep.  

It's not a bad place to be <3

It's the thick of winter.  Christmas is over and it's too soon to start talking about Spring (even though I want badly...:)  

To pull myself out of a winter bluesy funk I bought myself a new PINK lipstick.  Pink is cheery and I need cheery!  

This little guy is giving me life right now.  It's called Peony Pink but I like to call it Hopeful, because when I wear it gives me hope of brighter, sunnier, warmer days to come!  Spring will arrive someday. 

There will be light! I know it! 

That's the power of a good lipstick, friends! LOL 

Aside from the PINK another thing that perks me up in the winter is citrus!  I love a good CUTIE in the winter.  Such a great snack!  Lemons in water is delightful too! 

Last weekend I tried my hand at homemade soap.  It came out pretty well and I'm excited to make more.  I'll share my experience with you soon, but the funny thing is unconsciously the first scent I went for went browsing essential oils was lemon. Lemon oil and lemon zest for my first batch. Citrus is cleansing & energizing.  It makes you feel good. 

I can't get enough of it!   

*getting crafty in 2019 is getting me through winter too...* 

And speaking of Citrus....

Here is a recipe that I posted last year for Grapefruit Yogurt Cake.  I first made it two winters ago and fell in love with the recipe. The reason this cake is so tasty is because you mix fresh grapefruit zest with the sugar. It's amazing!

I've had a craving for it and want to make it this weekend.  It's very light and refreshing and I think perfect to perk you up on a dark winter's day.....  

This recipe comes courtesy of one of my favorite blogs

Tracy has the best recipes! ♥

1 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon grapefruit zest (zest of one large grapefruit)

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla

3/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon greek yogurt

8 tablespoons grapefruit juice 

1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8½x4½” loaf pan, preferably metal, with parchment paper, leaving overhang on the long sides, and lightly coat with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, baking powder, and ¾ tsp. salt in a medium bowl.
Using your fingers, work grapefruit zest into granulated sugar in a large bowl until sugar starts to clump and mixture is very fragrant, about 1 minute.  This was my favorite part!

Add eggs, oil, and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until light and thick, about 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low and mix in half of dry ingredients, then mix in ¾ cup yogurt. Mix in remaining dry ingredients followed by 5 Tbsp. grapefruit juice. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top.

Bake cake until top is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 50–60 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack. Poke holes in top of cake and brush remaining 3 Tbsp. grapefruit juice over top. Let sit 15 minutes, then run a knife around sides to loosen and use parchment paper to lift cake out of pan and onto rack. Remove parchment and let cool completely.

Whisk powdered sugar, remaining 1 Tbsp. yogurt, 1 tsp. water, and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl until smooth and drizzle over cake. (I needed a little more liquid so I added another few drops of grapefruit juice). Let sit until glaze is set, about 30 minutes.

I hope you are enjoying these winter days and making the most of them.  It's OK to be bluesy, but tell your heart that time will march on and nature will take its course.  So cozy up in front of the fire and know that Spring will be here soon.  

Blowing you big pink kisses from cold New England!  Have a wonderful day!!! xoxo 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

January Days (ordinary life and a few favorite things!)

Hello Friends,

Happy January!  I hope the first two weeks of the year have treated you well.  Are you off to a good start?  I feel like a bit of a slow poke these days because we haven't been doing much of anything. I must admit that I am loving it.  I have big intentions of cleaning my house and doing all sorts of projects around here, but I haven't gotten my mojo yet...I'm almost there  : ) 

I always enjoy the quiet of January after the busy holiday season.  I feel like I'm still recovering from it.  Still catching up on all the sleep I didn't get in December.  January is nap month. 
Whose with me? 

It's been cold here, but thankfully we haven't gotten any snow yet. 

Just a little frost, but mostly rain.  

Christmas is all packed away but some things still remain..... : ) 

I'm not ready to say goodbye just yet....

This one is my favorite... <3

Boots & everyday. 

I was in Whole Foods yesterday and decided to buy myself flowers.  Just because.  

Currently in my bathroom :  

I'm loving the Thayers Rose Petal face mist.  I spray it on my clean face after I get out of the shower
(before moisturizer and makeup).  It helps tighten and tone skin and feels so nice!  Plus it doesn't have any alcohol in it, so it isn't drying. I love it! 

And speaking of showers.....I can't stop with the Bath & Body Works. 

Have you tried this shower gel?

Oh dear, you will never want to get out of the shower!  : )  

 I am not ready to say goodbye to my holiday (sparkly) eyeshadow either. 

In fact, I don't think I will! The colors are so pretty. 

We've been doing easy dinners the past few weeks. 

I've been obsessed with omelets...mainly because I just figured out how to make them without turning them into scrambled eggs! 


Easy after school/work snacks of crackers and cheese. YUM 

Currently on my nightstand.  

What's on yours? 

This plant is still flourishing.  I gave it a friend for the winter :) 

Oatmeal with a splash of maple syrup is my favorite for breakfast these days. 

Daybreak ~

I'll take this over snow.  Not as pretty but easier to drive in.  #truth

And that's how my January is going so far.  Ordinary days are the best days, don't you think? 

I'm slowly coming out of my cocoon and getting myself back into a routine.  I'm starting a fun craft project this weekend that I will share with you soon.  One of my (many) intentions for the new year is to get crafty and I have some fun DIY's planned that I can't wait to show you! 

Happy Thursday, my friends!  I hope you all have a great day! xo 

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Cranberry orange muffins ♥

It's the first week of the year and here I am making muffins.  I'm really pushing it, aren't I? : )
Well it all started when I opened my freezer last night and discovered half a bag of whole cranberries that I had saved from my holiday baking. It was pushed way in the back and I forgot it was even there.  I just love these cranberries and for some reason my grocery store only carries them seasonally.  Needless to say I use them sparingly.
Most of the sweets are gone from the house now as we are supposed to be eating healthy this week.  I'm doing pretty good actually, lots of fruit and yogurt, but hey....a little muffin never hurt anyone.  Am I right? ♥
How about cranberry orange muffins?  Sounds good to me!
I decided to try this recipe from Add a Pinch.  It calls for the zest of 1 large orange.  I didn't have that, but I did have 3 clementine's hanging around my fruit drawer, so I improvised. 
They came out delicious! ♥
If you are in the mood to bake and want a little treat to have with tea (or coffee) these are perfect. 
They come together in no time at all and are totally worth it!
*recipe makes 12 muffins*
2 cups flour + 2 teaspoons  for coating fresh cranberries
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh cranberries (or 1 cup dried)
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
zest of 1 orange
1/2 milk
Preheat oven to 375. Spray muffin tin with nonstick spray.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.  Set aside.
In a separate bowl, toss together fresh cranberries with the 2 teaspoons of flour to coat.
(if you are using dried cranberries you can skip this step)
Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time until each one is incorporated.  Mix in vanilla and orange zest.
Gently fold in flour mixture, alternating with milk.  Stir until just combined. 
Fold in cranberries.  Spoon in muffin tins, filling about 3/4 full.  Sprinkle with a pinch of sugar on top if desired ( I did ♥)
Bake 27-30 minutes.
I made these last night and enjoyed one with my morning coffee and am looking forward to have one (or two) with an afternoon tea.  They are hitting the spot on this rainy January day. 
I hope you all are having a nice weekend! 
The calmness of January is setting in and I'm kind of liking it! ♥

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Happy New Year!

Hello Friends!

Happy New Year!  I hope you all have a magical Christmas.  Ours was wonderful and seemed to go by in the blink of an eye.  We spent time with both our families and had our quiet time too.  It was lovely and just as it should be.  Another Christmas to lock away in our hearts and look back on with smiles.

We all had time off the week between Christmas and New Years.  Our favorite week of the year.  It all seems so calm after the hustle-bustle of Christmas.  We did a lot of couch sitting which felt SO good : )  We did manage to get out to the movies one day to see Mary Poppins Returns.  It was worth it!  I absolutely loved it!!!  Highly recommend it if you haven't seen it yet.  It's got that Disney magic that I love so much.  I was teary several times during the show...I know, I'm so sappy : )  

And now on to the new year! A fresh start. 

The day before new years eve I took my annual winter drive to the beach.  I love seeing the ocean when it's bitterly cold out.  The air is so clean and the water looks crystal clear.  A few deep breaths is all I need....and then I can begin.

Yes it was cold...28 degrees, but I loved it.  The ocean always gives me a sense of balance.  

No hot sun or crowds like in July.  Just me and my thoughts.

And this guy : ) 

We walked and talked, took some photos, and enjoyed the sea air until we couldn't take the cold anymore.  We got a hot chocolate and headed home. 

Goodbye for now, but I'll be back : ) 

New Years Eve we spent some time with friends and made it home just in time to watch the ball drop!  And just like that its 2019!  So much to look forward to this year.  I'm heading into it with a full heart and a positive attitude.

I wish you all the best in the coming year!  I'm excited to share more with you this year. I have recipes and projects I'm looking forward to writing about.  Places to go and people to see, and many cozy days at home.  Thank you for being here with me.  I'm so glad you are!  

Much love from me to YOU! xoxo 

Monday, December 24, 2018

12 Days of Christmas // Seeing the Lights ♥

Last night we made our annual trip to Edaville Railroad to ride the train and see the holiday lights.  I've been coming here ever since I was little, so this place holds many memories for me.  I feel like I've grown up here so its always special to bring John.  For the past few years we've come with my friend Julie and her family. The lights are spectacular! 
We arrived before sunset so we were able to see the lights come to life ♥

Hot chocolate and a treat are essential ♥

We also took time to go on a few Thomas the Tank Engine themed amusements. 
The weather was cold but luckily the sun kept us (somewhat) warm... : )

So here we are on the 24th! All of my "Christmas to do's" have been checked off my list! 
Thank you so much for joining me here as we count down the days till Christmas! 
I wish you all a warm and heartfelt holiday ♥
Please visit my friend Madison's blog today.  She's talking all about self care and doing an awesome giveaway.  You don't want to miss it! ♥
Self care is something we all need during this busy time.  So pour yourself something hot in a mug, get a cookie, cozy up and wait for Santa! 
Merry Christmas my dear friends! I love you all so much!!! xoxo