Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The most wonderful time of the year....is here ♥

Hello my friends! 

I can't believe (as I type this) today is December 7th and we are one full week into December.  What have you been up to? 

Over the past two weeks I've been busy shopping and wrapping and probably, out of excitement, not getting nearly enough sleep.  Holiday preparations can be fun, but also a bit stressful. Sometimes I have to tell my self to stop....regroup...and relax.  

Rudolph was on the other night, and we did just that.  Everyone on the couch...me in the middle ♥ 





Here is our Christmas tree.  Every time I look at it I'm reminded of all my Christmas's gone by.  

I've had this Minnie ornament since I was in high school.  

I love her ♥ 




This box of my grandmother's glass ornaments is one of my most treasured possession.  My mom gave them to me after Nana passed away.  I have vivid memories of helping decorate her tree with these ornaments.  I always put them high so they won't get broken.  They are worn and faded in some spots and that's just the way I like them ♥ 




I've gotten a bit of help with my wrapping.  This is our elf Zip. Her brother Zoom is around here somewhere.... He's a bit more mischievous than she is.  They watch over John and keep Santa posted on everything that goes on in our house.  They've also been known to follow him to school and hide in the coat closet. I hope they never go away : ) 




We had our first snow this week! It was just a dusting and within a few hours it was gone.  It was around just long enough to put a pretty coating of frosting on the holly bush.  




John was dancing around the yard as if we had 3 feet of snow! Not to worry, I'm sure there will be more to come ♥ 




Is there anything better than coming home after a long day and finding a package on your doorstep? Nope!

A gift from my sweet far away friend has me in the mood for baking! I can't wait to use this cupcake kit!!! ♥




Back out to the stores I go for more shopping.  Gingerbread lattes and chocolate croissants is my fuel! 




The mornings are dark and cold but so much more cozy with glowing Christmas lights around the kitchen window.  It's makes it so hard to leave in the morning. 




Yes, you do....♥




Things are moving quickly these days.  John is preparing for his drama show next week.  The Jr. drama group is doing A Christmas Carol (21st Century style). I'm not exactly sure what that means but I can't wait to find out. And while he's preparing for that, I'm preparing to make my first Christmas Day dinner ever at our house. 

The lists are out of control around here! ♥ 




I hope you all are enjoying these fast paced days of the season.  Remember to stop, regroup, and relax....
Let's make this time last as long as possible. 

Maybe with a blueberry muffin and some cocoa by the Christmas tree ♥




I'll be back soon with a some home baked treats for you! ♥ 

Have a happy day! xoxoxo




Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving! ♥

Well, tomorrow is Thanksgiving! Wow, wasn’t it just Halloween? 




And since Thanksgiving is a celebration of blessings I wanted to be sure I took the time to tell you how thankful I am to you all ♥




To all my virtual friends  whom I’ve become so close with over the years.  I so look forward to hearing from.  You have enriched my life in endless ways and for that I will be forever grateful ♥




I will think of you tomorrow morning as I take my first sip of coffee and turn on the Christmas tree...




 I will think of you as John, Rob, and I have cinnamon rolls for breakfast and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV.  I’ll think of you as I gather around the table with friends and family and say grace.  I’m sure I will eat too much turkey, but I’ll save you a piece of homemade pie!




 And when it’s all over and I lay my head down to sleep (and no doubt my FULL belly)  I will count my blessing and you can be sure you will be included! ♥





Happy Days to you, lovelies!  Cheers! Xx



(p.s I'm also grateful to pinterest for all the beautiful vintage pictures... : ) 






Monday, November 14, 2016

Italian Bean Soup & the begining of the season...♥


On a blustery November day is there anything better than a pot of soup bubbling on the stove?
I don't think so either.  I was home this past Friday because of Veteran's Day and because it was so cold out I made up my mind first thing in the morning that I was going to make soup ♥


Soup is one of those meals you can make once and then feed on it all week. A bowl here and a bowl there.... It's so warm and comforting to have a hot bowl of soup. 

It really is good for the soul ♥



I made this bean soup, which is a favorite of ours.  Beans are so hearty and good for you.  Rob loves them and so does John.  I don't think he realizes they are actually healthy and I'm not going to be the one to tell him.  Why ruin a good thing : )


The recipe comes together quickly and is very delicious.  Perfect on a windy autumn day.... the kind where you could almost see Pooh Bear flying by the window,.... 




2 (15-oz.) cans cannelloni beans, drained, rinsed
1 (15 oz.) can red kidney beans, drained, rinsed
2 tsp olive oil
2 med carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 med celery stalks, chopped (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups chicken broth (low sodium)
1 tsp dried basil leaves
1/8 tsp black pepper




Mash 1/2 cup of drained beans. Set aside.  Heat oil in a large saucepan over med-high heat.  Add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic.  Cook 3-4 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring frequently. 

Add all the remaining ingredients including the mashed beans and whole beans.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20-30 minutes.  

Garnish with some Parmesan cheese and some crusty bread and butter on the side. 

Enjoy ♥

**you can adapt this soup and add any veggies you want - In the past I've added cooked broccoli, green beans, and even little potatoes.  Anything will work **




And here's my little boy today, growing up way too fast. We had a lovely weekend that seemed to go by way too fast.  Mondays are coming quicker and quicker these days. And with that, I'm starting to feel the "shift".  The shift that tells me Christmas is coming.  It's my siren song!  I heard my first Christmas song on the radio Saturday and that was that.  I'm hooked!


I made a decision last year that this year I was going to decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving. Yes...I'm turning into one of THOSE people!  Don't get me wrong, I haven't done one bit of shopping yet (although I am guilty of list making...).  The reason I want to put my tree up early this year is because I always seem to feel rushed. This year  I want us to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in our pj's by the Christmas tree.  We can have our late night pumpkin pie by the twinkling lights of the tree.  How festive!  I won't have to think about when can I squeeze in decorating in between shopping and wrapping and baking. I want to enjoy the process ♥



I was nervous as to what Rob would say about me wanting to put the tree up so early but when I told him he loved the idea! He even got into the spirit himself and hung the lights outside already! Yup, I definitely married the right guy! ♥




I have a few days off this week, so tomorrow it begins. Beloved fall will slowly fade away for another year and Christmas will magically appear ♥ ❅☃


{pinterest}

Have a happy week my dear friends! As always, thank you for vising me today. 
I am so grateful for you! xo


Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Rainbow Connection ♥

I think I must have been around 9 or 10 when I first heard Karen Carpenter sing.  I remember my parents had a 45 record of Top of the World that I would listen to on the living room stereo.  I had no idea who she was or what she looked like, I just knew she had the most beautiful voice I had ever heard. 
 
 
 
 
 
When I was in my early teens I bought a cassette tape of The Carpenters Greatest Hits.  I listened to it so much I practically wore it out. And then came the Christmas album, Christmas Portrait, which is still my favorite holiday album of all time. Every Christmas I would check it out of the library and listen to it over and over.  Oh, how I loved it so!  It wasn't until I was much older that I learned how sad she was, how she had anorexia, and died so young.  This was before the Internet so information didn't travel as quickly as it does now.  All I knew is that I loved her voice, and Rainy Days and Mondays was my song in junior high.
 
 
 
 
 
You know how certain songs stir up nostalgia in you? Whenever I hear a Carpenters song I am instantly taken back to those early days when I was hearing Karen for the first time.  Listening to her now with my adult ears my heart breaks for her, but my little 12 year old ears only hear happiness and joy coming from the little cassette player in my bedroom. 
 
 
So why am I telling you this? Well, on Friday I accidentally came across a Carpenters recording that I had never heard before.  It's another song that I LOVE and I couldn't believe that I had never heard this version before. 
 
 
One of my favorite songs is The Rainbow Connection, from the original Muppet Movie (1979).   I have heard many, many versions of this song over the years and  aside from Kermit himself, none as beautiful as The Carpenters. 
 
 
 
 
There's something about the words to this song and the feelings it stirs up in me that makes me so comforted to hear it.  I think about the innocence of my childhood when my parents were young and I had not a care in the world.  I loved the Muppets (still do!) and seeing The Muppet Movie for the first time on HBO was such a thrill! (we had just gotten cable) Remember Kermit riding his bike? I still don't know how they did that :)
 
So now that you understand my love for these two things....you can image my joy when I stumbled across a YouTube video of The Carpenters singing Rainbow Connection. I was so emotional my eyes filled with tears ♥
 
I wanted to share with you the link to the song so you could hear it for yourself.  I hope you listen and enjoy it.  It's my way of bringing us together. 
 
 
 
 
If my life had a soundtrack, this song would be it.
 
In these uncertain times we live in I hang on to the things that comfort me...my family, my friends, and my memories ♥
 
 
 
 
 
 
I'm sure John will have his own nostalgic moments like I do someday. 
 
 
And that's a really nice thing to think about....♥
 
 
Have a wonderful Monday, friends! I'm so grateful for you! xx
 
 
Love,
the lovers, the dreamers, & me
 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

One Word Wednesday....♥


"Bacon"











Another Halloween has come and gone.  A fun & spooky night was had by all! ♥ 

And once again we turn the page to another month. The month of Thanksgiving and parades and planning for Christmas.  The month of cozy blankets, hot tea & toast, and dark candlelit nights.  
The month that I love just as much as October.  

Wishing you all a happy November ♥

xoxoxoxo


PS - sorry...that was more than one word... : ) 











Monday, October 17, 2016

I made us a video! Hot apple cider ♥

Hello~
 
I made you a little video today which I just posted on my You Tube channel.  I am still new at the whole "video thing" so forgive me if I sound nervous : )
 
To celebrate fall I made us hot apple cider.  You Tube decided to focus on this pumpkin cake I had cooling in the background, but that's ok.  I'll gladly share that with you too! ♥
 
 
 
 
 
I hope you like the video.  I'm going to try to do more little ones here and there! ♥
 
 
 
 
To start off the week here are a few pictures I took Sunday after mass. 
 
 
 
 
Sometimes it pays to take the long way home....


 
 
I took these home! ♥
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 As always, thank you for visiting me! Have a wonderful week! ♥

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Currently : October love ♥

chrysanthemums on my front steps make me happy...♥


In Google, the definition of cozy is as follows:  giving a feeling of comfort, warmth, and relaxation.  This is how I view October.  Trying to stay as cozy as possible at all times. And honestly, it isn’t very hard. 
October is my favorite month because after the long, hot, and humid summer, we are rewarded with sunny days, crisp cool nights, and the most beautiful colors you could ever imagine.  It’s truly a gift. 
Spent Sunday morning baking apple pies... ♥


Right now we are I am experiencing that precious time of year where I don’t need my heat OR air conditioning.  We can just be…  I sleep with the windows open so the moon and stars can watch over me.  It’s chilly but I enjoy bundling up with an extra blanket.  It’s worth it.  The fresh air in the house is so glorious after months of air conditioning.  Another few weeks and the heat will be on so I’m enjoying this now while I can. 

October is sleeping weather….

  
Scarf & boot season has arrived! Yaaaay....♥ 


When I woke up this morning (still dark out…) it was so chilly I went into my dresser and pulled out a scarf to put on over my jammies.  Yes…it’s officially scarf season!  Rob was already up, so I could smell the coffee coming from the kitchen.  You know where I went next.   Hot coffee taste extra good on cold mornings, doesn’t it? (that goes for tea too) That first sip warmed my whole body.  Happiness….
   

Pumpkin spice everything...♥ 


The foliage in my neck of the woods hasn’t reached its peak yet, but I can see it coming. I notice the subtle changes in color every day on my drive to work.   It makes the traffic a little more bearable.  My happy place is being home on the weekends, making soup, or pies, or cards for my friends. 

 I wish I had one of those neighborhoods where my girlfriends could drop by anytime for tea, but sadly I don’t.  I would keep a tea set out all the time if that were the case.  We could have pumpkin scones and talk about all the girl things that our husbands don’t care about.  We could do crafts, sew, work on our scrapbooks, and talk about anything other than politics (which I am so sick of I can’t even stand it). 

  
Me, every day...♥


Last night for dinner I made grilled cheese sandwiches.  Another thing that seems to taste better when it’s cold out.  Toasted buttery bread with ooey-gooey, melty cheese inside.  Oh yeessss!  We had canned tomato soup with it (yes, I go there).  I cut my sandwich into strips and dunked away! It was so good!  John isn’t a fan if tomato soup so he had chicken noodle, with his Sammy on the side.  Just as good I suppose.  I had no complaints from anyone in the peanut gallery. 


  
 Gorgeous colors in my parents neighborhood...♥


Halloween is on the brain lately.  The last I heard John was planning on being a banana.  We saw the cutest costume at Target. Last year he was hot dog so I guess we are sticking to a food theme.  I would like the get the costume soon because they go fast.  Walmart and Khols already have Christmas trees (and music!) set up.  And while I love the holidays, I want to enjoy the fall for a little bit longer.  Last Friday I resisted the urge to go into the seasonal isle (i.e. Christmas explosion) at Khols even though I was so tempted. It was calling me…. but I kept on walking. I have, however started my Christmas list and marked a few dates on the calendar for holiday shopping. 



 
Butternut squash soup...♥


And speaking of lists…. little by little I’m crossing things off my bucket list.  As I’m typing this I am drinking a Dunkin Donuts pumpkin spice latte.  It’s so good and never gets old.  Never.
This weekend I doing a closet purge.  It’s time to fill some donation bags with last year’s clothes that don’t fit us anymore and make room for some new things. After all that work, I’ll surly have a nap and hopefully watch something spooky on TV. 

I have such a craving for hot cider so off to the store I go to get some for the weekend. I heat it up with cinnamon and a splash of orange juice.  It’s such a treat.  The smell alone will make you happy. Maybe I'll make you a little video and show you how I do it ♥  



Take a walk with me...♥


I hope your October days are filled with comfort, warmth, and relaxation. 

Wrap up in a cozy cardigan and enjoy your weekend.

You deserve it! ♥♥


Flowers from a far away friend made me feel happy and blessed....♥


Happy Friday! I'll be back soon! xoxoxo



Boooooo....... :)