Friday, September 16, 2016

Moving swiftly along... ♥

Why all of a sudden does summer feel so far in the past? Didn’t it just happen? This morning it was so chilly that I reached for my warm cardigan and corduroys to wear to work. I almost put on my favorite pair of leather boots, but reluctantly decided to wait – good news is that I know it’s going to be soon : ) 

Crazy thing is only three short weeks ago we were at the beach.  Hard to believe!



It's apple season! 


 Things change fast here in New England. You blink and it’s done.  The foliage is only at its beginning stages. 

I’m on daily watch. 







On Monday I spent the morning cleaning my house. I had the house to myself so I put on this CD and I was in heaven.  I finished putting out the last of my fall decorations and then on a whim I decided to hang lights around my kitchen window.  I usually wait until November to do this, but I was I was in the mood….so here you are.  Too soon?  I don’t think so either.   






Something about these cute little fairy lights makes the kitchen so cozy.  I’m big on lighting.  I like to shut everything off except these and just enjoy the glow : )  Rob made a funny comment (something like  “Merry Christmas!”) but I just smiled and drank my tea.  I think he secretly loves it. Maybe for Christmas I’ll change them to colored lights, but for now I’m in love with these white ones ♥♥♥





 ♥

That night I made a chicken pot pie for dinner and it felt like a holiday in my home.  I love nights like that.


♥ 






So, fourth grade is off to a great start.  Last night was parent’s night at school.  I saw John’s classroom and met the teacher (God bless her!).  Looking at the first and second grade classes, this one seems so big.  He has binders and notebooks and it all seems so grown up (I’m struggling with being happy/sad/happy/sad). This year he’s going to be playing the drums in the school band, which he’s been waiting for since second grade.  He also signed up for junior drama, so we'll have another Christmas show to look forward too.  It’s going to be a fun year for him. He is very excited!  






I’m taking things one day at a time ♥ (you mom’s out there get it : )


Let’s eat….





I know I’ve posted this before (here), but since John has been back to school I’ve been making him this snack so I thought it deserved a repost.  He’s still getting used to his new schedule – going to bed early and getting up early. It’ll take some time to shake off the summer.  After school he’s absolutely starving and I’m trying to find healthy alternatives for him.  If I don’t plan ahead and have something ready, he’ll eat anything and everything in sight.  This seems to tide him over so things don’t get too crazy. 







I saw this in Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food Magazine a few years ago.  It’s so simple! I like it for an afternoon snack for ME as well.







All you do is lightly toast an English muffin.  Then top it with sliced apples and a few thin slices of cheese.  Then toast again. Done! 








Martha suggests using cheddar cheese (which is delicious) but Swiss also works really well. It gets nice and "melty" over the apples.  





The apples will get warm and slightly soft.  It's soooo good!  This snack also proves my point that you can melt cheese on anything and it will taste good. ♥








Thank you for visiting me today! I appreciate it so much! Have a virtual pumpkin spice latte with me on Saturday, won't you?   

Cheers to fall!  xo 





I wish you all a very wonderful weekend doing something you love with someone you love! ♥♥♥




Thursday, September 8, 2016

Hello September! ♥



Hello dear friends!

We've had a busy week getting ready for school to start which is why I've been absent from the blog for a couple of days.  John started 4th grade today (I can't even believe it!!!) and thank heavens all went extremely well! He couldn't have been happier when I picked him up! Whew! All the anticipation was almost too much to bear....for me! He was completely fine : )




Even though the temperatures are still very warm I have switched in to fall mode. No matter what the calendar says, once school starts I say goodbye to summer and hello to a new season. 

My favorite season.... ♥




I will ignore the fact that the news says it's going to be 90 and humid tomorrow.

What do they know anyway???

I'll just light my pumpkin spice candle and all will be as it should be.




The pumpkins and autumn décor have arrived! (and the trumpets played...!)

I held back on most of my Halloween things though.  Gotta have something to look forward to.






It's funny how as soon as I start to decorate for autumn I have an urge to take out my crock pot and make a pot roast! 
The day I decorated (last Sunday) it was actually on the cooler side and I decided to make a "comfort food" meal...meatloaf and mashed potatoes! Soooo good!






September is apple season and the pies will be coming! We are going apple picking in a couple of weeks.  Do you go apple picking or is it just a New England thing?  I've gone every year since I can remember.  It's one of my favorite traditions.  I especially love getting cider and apple donuts!

I can't wait ♥





Isn't this table runner cute? I got it at Michaels Craft Store ♥






 Little friends around the house get decked out for the season too. 

Miss Patriotic Bear gets a witches hat!






When the weather gets a little cooler I'm looking forward to planting mums in the yard and putting  pumpkins on the front steps.  The nursery is full of beautiful colors right now - oranges, reds, and yellows.  It's so hard to drive by and not go in....

Soon! ♥♥♥





I've also started this book sent to me by a special friend! I have haven't been able to put it down!  It's so good and perfect for the season!



currently on my nightstand waiting for me...  


 The days are getting a little bit shorter as time marches on and I can see it's getting darker earlier.  This little light in my foyer is on a timer so we don't come home to a dark house.  My mom made the arrangement for me a few years ago.  I love it!





And here he is! My fourth grader!!  He's in his uniform which is proof it's back to school time.

Still not used to getting up early,  he's got sleepy eyes ; )




Saying goodbye to the lazy days of summer is never easy, but I'm looking forward to all the beauty that fall brings!

Thank you so much for visiting me today!

I hope you all have a happy weekend with the ones you love! xoox





Thursday, September 1, 2016

My top 5 favorite TV Moms ♥



I have a confession to make.  I am a TV junkie.  I love TV and always have.  There is literally a TV on in my house all the time.  Growing up TV was a huge part of my life.  I was raised on sitcoms, soap operas, and game shows.  I remember my whole family sitting in our den watching TV together.  On Friday nights we would watch Dallas. Saturday nights my mom would make popcorn and we would watch Love Boat and Fantasy Island.  Thursdays we would watch Cheers and Family Ties.  It went on and on. TV was family time.   Snacks and cozy blankets were always involved.  It gave us something to laugh at and something to talk about.  TV was different then.  It was better. Don’t you agree?

At some point in my youth my parents allowed me to have a TV in my bedroom.  It was black & white, very small, and I loved it.  My bedtime was 8:00 but mom would let me watch one show and then at 8:30 I had to turn it off. When I couldn’t sleep I would quietly turn it back on and watch Johnny Carson.  I did that a lot.  Somehow the lack of sleep didn’t bother me.  I was grateful to see Johnny and whatever movie or TV star he had on his show that night. 




Every time I see a rerun of an old show that I used to watch it brings back such good memories for me.  It seems like there has been a surge of new cable stations that are now showing “retro” sitcoms and game shows, which makes me so happy.  I try to introduce as many as I can to John, hoping he will love them as much as I do.  When I can  tear him away from the Disney Channel (which is good too) we like to watch Gilligan’s Island, Bewitched, and I’m thrilled to say he’s already hooked on Family Feud and Match Game 78! Score! I’m doing my job!




Thinking about my favorite sitcoms got me thinking about the TV Mom.  These are the women that shaped my perception of what a housewife was. These ladies comforted me and made me happy. They are burned in my brain for all eternity. Who are your favorite TV Mom’s?  Who was it that you wanted to be just like?  If I could jump into my TV set and be a TV mom….. Here are my top 5 favorites!




#1 Lucy – This should come as no shock to anyone.  I love Lucille Ball and always have.  I Love Lucy has been my favorite TV show for as long as I can remember.  I wanted to be Lucy Ricardo, and still do! Her hair! Her perfect lipstick!  All those pretty house dresses and hats! Oh the hats! I still love watching just for her outfits alone.  Lucy was hilarious! Yes, she loved being a housewife but her true aspiration was to be in show business.  How many times did we hear “Ricky, can I be in the show?”.  He always said no, and yet she always ended up in show! Lucy and Ricky would fight (and he would yell “Lucy, you got a lot of splainin’ to do!”).  He always forgave her in the end and they would kiss and make up.  One of my favorite episodes is the one where Lucy talks Ricky into teaching her to drive.  It’s disastrous! But now Lucy wants to teach her BFF Ethel to drive.  Highinx ensue and my heart sings with joy…I love it so much! Lucy always wanted to be president of her ladies club. She aspired to impress her friends and wanted to be the best at everything she could.  She was never the best but we love her anyway.  She wasn’t afraid to look silly or unattractive (although she never was).  Like when she got locked in a walk in freezer and had icicles hanging from her hair, or had a bucket of paint dumped on her head while she was on a scaffold spying on Ricky, in a neighbor’s apartment, through a window.  Lucy’s home was neat and tidy and she was always looking for ways to save on her household budget – mostly because she had spent too much money on a dress or new hat (I don’t blame her).  When little Ricky came along we saw Lucy as a devoted mom who was sad to send her son off to nursery school and spent the night in the hospital with him when he had his tonsils taken out.  Yes , I love Lucy.  She’s my favorite TV mom and my favorite TV everything!




#2 Carol Brady – Carol is here out of my nostalgia and love for the Brady Bunch. I mean, come on.  I love the Bradys!  And who doesn’t want to be Carol? I mean….aside from her hair (mullet??) she has it all.  Carol was a stay at home mom, but she had something that all the other mom’s didn’t have…ALICE! Is it just me, or did Alice do everything? Every once in a while you would see Carol in the kitchen helping make dinner or something, but for the most part all the household duties went to Alice.  Carol spent her time sitting next to Mike, doing her needlepoint.  They would talk about his day at the office and then one of the children would drop in and need some advice.  Carol would offer her wise words and then the world would be right again. Carol was president of the PTA, volunteered in school talent shows, and wasn’t afraid to have fun square dancing or riding a mule down the Grand Canyon. Family time meant everything to Carol.  It was Mike who shelled out the punishments when needed.  Carol could do no wrong. 




#3 Donna Reed – my TV life change for the better when I was in elementary school.  Nick at Nite’s TV Land started showing old shows that I had never seen before.  I was introduced to The Munsters, The Patty Duke Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Leave it to Beaver, and my favorite of the bunch – The Donna Reed Show!  At the time Donna Reed was on Dallas playing Miss Ellie.  My little 3rd grade mind was blown!  Anyway, I developed a love for the Stone family.   Donna is the ideal middle class housewife. She was beautiful and funny.  She drove a car, which most TV moms of the time did not do.  She wore pearls and heels and somehow seemed a little more “hip” that June Cleaver.  There was a bit of zaniness to Donna.  Every day was an adventure.  She gave Mary dating advice and was always there to give Jeff a pep talk when he got a bad grade in Math. She volunteered at her fair share of charities, but she also sometimes worked as a nurse. She was very modern for her time.  In one episode called The Ideal Wife, Donna is annoyed that everyone is calling her perfect and she sets out to prove that’s not the case…which of course it is! Sorry Donna…you’re perfect!




#4 Thelma Harper – Ok, I may be alone in this one but I love Thelma from Mama’s Family.  (It all stems back to my devotion to the Carol Burnett Show!) Thelma loved her family, but she wasn’t afraid to tell them when they had disappointed her or done something wrong.  She told it like it was – no holding back!  Her rants still make me laugh! She didn’t approve of her daughter in law, but had to live with her and somehow make that work, which was enjoyable to watch.   She took in her juvenile delinquent grandson Bubba, and tried her hardest to reform him. Sometimes she was successful and sometimes she was not. But she loved him no matter what. Thelma was president of the Church Ladies League and mostly palled around with her neighbor and best friend Iola (the queen of the pink gingham dress).  They would go to bingo or argue over who had the nicer garden. She cooked a big dinner every Sunday afternoon which everyone had to addend and severed dishes like pineapple salad and rum balls. She wore house dresses just like your grandma, delighted in a cold beer,  and if you stopped by her house at any time you would probably find her dusting something…. She was cranky, but loveable at the same time.   There was always a little bit of truth in everything she said. 




#5 Marion Cunningham- Marion was the glue that held the Cunningham’s together.  She was a devoted mom and complete supporter of her children.  Marion always looked pristine, with and apron around her waist and her hair in a perfect twist. She also served as a sort of surrogate mom to Fonzie and was the only one allowed to call him by his full name…Arthur.  I loved their scenes together.  In one of my favorite episodes of Happy Days, Ritchie was playing in a very important basketball ball game.  During a climactic moment when Ritchie was about to make a rebound shot, Marion screamed (in a totally silent gymnasium) “Come on Ritchie, you can do it!” Only a mom would be allowed to do that.  You couldn’t get mad at Mrs. C.  In another episode Marion, feeling unappreciated, has an argument with Howard and decided to get a job as a waitress at Arnolds.  She has one horrible day of work and realizes that her place is in the home and her family appreciates her after all. She’s the quintessential 1950’s mom and that’s why I love her!


It was very hard to narrow it down to just 5.  If I could list some honorable mentions I would probably say Elyse Keaton (Family Ties) Edith Bunker (All in the Family), Shirley Partridge (The Partridge Family), and if we are talking drama’s I have to name Olivia Walton (The Waltons) but that’s opening up a whole new can of worms!  I could go on about this forever!




So, what do you think of my list? Who are your favorite TV moms? I would love to hear your favorites!!! 



Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Zucchini chocolate cake ♥

Hello!

Well here it is on Wednesday and I meant to post this on Monday.  This week has somehow gotten away from me.  Not a bad thing, because time flies when you're having fun : )

Here's a little peek into this past weekend....




Saturday morning baking session: Is it a cake or is it brownies? I'm still not sure. 

The recipe calls it brownies but I think it's more like cake. Either way, zucchini and chocolate go together like cream & sugar.

Very, very good!




First shred your zucchini.  You need two cups.  After shredding put it in a towel and squeeze out as much water as you can. 




The recipe comes courtesy of Allrecipes.com

Here's how to make it:

1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cups walnuts (optional)




Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9x13 baking dish.
In a large bowl, mix together oil, eggs, sugar, and vanilla until well blended.
Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. 
Stir into the sugar mixture (I used an electric mixer on low).
Fold in zucchini and nuts.  I did not put nuts in mine.




 Spread evenly into the prepared pan.  Bake 25-30 minutes. 

So good! Can be served as a dessert, snack, or even a breakfast cake.  I've done all three.

It does have a veggie in it after all!

We had ours with just a little whip cream, however baked in bundt pan with some chocolate frosting would be delicious too!





On Saturday night we got all dressed up and attended my niece's wedding.




This was John's first wedding ♥

He had so much fun! He made fast friends with the DJ and danced the night away :)




Everything about the wedding was gorgeous!



The beautiful bride!



Congratulations to Alycia and Mike!

They make a wonderful couple!



Our table....




And my adorable parents who make me so happy : )



Table selfie ♥




We got these pretty succulents to take home as favors. 

Since there were three of us I get to keep all three! Yay!




On Sunday morning we made a last minute decision and went to the beach. 

This was our first time all summer.

It felt good to dip my toes in the water and breathe in the ocean air. 




It was an absolutely perfect beach day!  




We met my in laws there and spent the day sitting under my pink and white umbrella talking while John swam and played in the sand. 




 He and I broke away for a bit and took a long walk along the water.  We talked and talked and collected shells.  It was my favorite part of the whole day ♥




 And with that we say goodbye to summer....




It's been a fun filled season!




But tomorrow is September 1st.... and you know what that means!


 photo booth fun at the wedding!

I'm switching to fall mode.....pumpkin spice and everything nice!


Enjoy your last day of August, dear friends! xo