Thursday, July 18, 2019

Kindred Spirits ♥

We can't remember if it were Instagram or our blogs but somewhere along the road, several years ago,  Billie Jo and I met online.  We started leaving comments on each others posts which lead to emails, which lead to us meeting for the first time last year in Disney World.  From the first moment of us meeting face to face I knew I was meeting my life long friend.  And not only that, our families got along together as much as we did!  

This past weekend Billie Jo and her amazing family hosted Rob, John, and I for 3 whole days! 
We had the best time doing what we love most...just being together!  We laughed, told stories, watched TV in our comfy clothes, made s'mores (which were epic! :) and drank a lot of coffee!  

They treated us like part of the family.  I felt it everywhere!  

We were totally spoiled by their beautiful home!  

I mean....look at this deck!  So lovely and comfortable!  

They boys had as much fun as the girls!!  

We also ate some really great food!!!  I only thought to photograph this delicious breakfast.  I should have taken more photos of Steve's steak dinner and famous omelets.... which were totally blog worthy!  I guess I was too busy eating!  That's a good thing! 

On Monday all of us spent the afternoon at Del Grosso's Amusement Park - a yearly tradition for them that they let us horn in on!  It was SO MUCH FUN!  

I had the best lemonade I've ever had! 

Rides, famous food, games, cotton candy, and more laughs! 

I love this picture of me and Madison!!! 

Some of us did thrill rides and some of us sat on benches in the shade, ate ice cream, and talked. 

We got home that night tired, but full of memories that will last a lifetime! 

Sadly, on Tuesday we had to say goodbye.  As you can see, my new friends Mocha and Kirby were sad to see us go.... : ) 

With tears in my eyes I hugged my friends goodbye and headed home.  We can't thank you enough for such a wonderful time and we are so grateful for your hospitality! It's not easy to find lasting friends and kindred spirits these days.  I feel so blessed to have this family in my life!  

Thank you Billie Jo and the Stoltz family!!!  We miss you all so much!!!  

You can visit Billie Jo's lovely blog here and also her daughter Madison's blog here.   

Have a great day everyone!!! Remember to enjoy the little things in life.  They are the most important! 

Friday, July 12, 2019

In the good old summertime! ♥

Hello Friends!!!  How is your summer going?  We've been doing well.  Here's a little catch up of our summer so far...  

My plan for this summer was to follow no particular schedule.  Since John did not want to sign up for any camps, that left our days open.  He's been wonderful, keeping himself busy at home making movies for his YouTube channel, spending time with my parents, and getting together with his cousins and friends.  We are trying to get in as much beach time as possible on the weekends and eating our weight in ice cream. 

On my days off I've been planning little things for us to do together like picnics, which he complains about, but I think secretly enjoys.  Once night I convinced him to paint rocks with me.  Which was not an easy task, but I finally got him to agree : )   

And it was fun! 

A strawberry (or is it a watermelon slice???)  and a flip art skills need work! 

This past  Monday we brought breakfast and our art supplies to a small beach/marina by our house and had a breakfast picnic.  It was my favorite day so far this summer!  

This past week my friend Julie invited us to visit a beach nearby to where she works.  It was only about a half hour from my house but I had never been before.  We went about 5pm and stayed until 8:30pm.  John swam in the ocean with his friends Michael & Sean and then we got to see the sunset.

While he was swimming I was thinking to myself that THIS IS SUMMER and I'm so happy he's able to experience these little moments.  We had so much fun that night! 

* Julie also took us to the most darling Danish Ice Cream Shop where I had the most delicious homemade ice cream!!! 

I chose peppermint stick because (don't be mad at me) even though I'm dedicated to living summer to it's fullest, I've been watching Christmas movies all month on the Hallmark Channel because of Christmas in July, so I just had too....sorry/not sorry! 


Old fashioned summer fun! 

Love it!!!  

Back at home there's been board games and TV watching while keeping cool in the a/c.  Only venturing out occasionally to see a movie or two. Most recently the new Spider-Man movie which we all LOVED!  I haven't been cooking big meals lately (too hot : ) so we've been keeping things simple - grilled chicken, burgers, salads, pasta salads...whatever is quick and easy.  We are also a little obsessed with sweet potatoes fries right now! 10 minutes in the toaster and DONE!  

These summer days are going by too fast, but we are trying to enjoy them as easily and slowly as possible 

This weekend we have something very special planned.  We are packing up the car and heading out early Saturday morning on a road trip to visit our very special friends in Pennsylvania!  They are hosting us for the entire weekend and I couldn't be more excited (and grateful!!!). 
We've been looking forward to this trip for a long time and now it's finally here. 
My heart is full! 

I'm in charge of packing snacks for the car and Rob assures me we will be making plenty of coffee stops along the way!

Off we go!  ♥ 

Have a wonderful weekend my friends!  I'll be back soon! 

I hope you are enjoying everyday of this beautiful summer! 


Friday, July 5, 2019

Happy July 4th!

Happy Fourth of July!  

Our celebration began on Wednesday evening with our town's annual fireworks display.  It's always a fun time for everyone to come out and have hot dogs and ice cream and watch the fireworks.  It was hot that night but we had a lot of fun.  I treated myself to a strawberry shortcake ice cream! I haven't had one in YEARS and I forgot how much I loved them.  It was so good and brought back a lot of memories! 

On Thursday we spent a lazy day at the beach with family.  It was awesome! John spent hours in the water with his cousins riding waves, while the adults were comfy up on the sand, under our umbrellas, enjoying each others company.  It was such a nice, relaxing time.  We ended the day with homemade blueberry pie for my mother's birthday and watching the Boston Pops Fireworks Show on TV.  I love the Pops and it's my tradition to watch them every year....from the comfort of my own couch!  (we also switched the channel to see the fireworks in New York and wow, they were amazing too!!).  


I hope you all had a happy and safe holiday! 

It was tough getting up for work today after all that beach time.  Its not as easy as it used to be, but at least it's Friday!  
Yippeee!!! :) 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!!


Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Our Days ♥

  Some days are just too beautiful to be spent indoors.  Yesterday was one of those days! 

John and I decided to have a picnic lunch at a nearby beach.  

We picked up sandwiches and drinks and headed for our spot.  A picnic table under the trees overlooking the ocean. 

The weather was perfect! 

We talked about what he wants for his birthday and what movies are coming out soon. 

All the important things in life 

I wish these days could last forever.  

Sometimes I wonder about what life will be like when he's all grown up. It's exciting to think about his future but it also makes me sad.

My mommy heart doesn't want anything to change 

But it is.  And it will.  And I'll be OK.  

That's why I cherish days like this.  Our special time.  

With picnics and car rides and silly faces 

He's taller than me now and his voice has changed. 

He's so grown up, but he'll always be my little boy. 

And I tell him that every day! 

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Lemon Ice Box Angel Cake...because it's hot out!

Hello Friends! Happy Saturday! It's been a hot week. We finally put our air conditioner on and I can't even believe we waited this long.  The important part is now it's icy cool in here even though it's we are reaching 90 today!  Summer in New England is no joke.  It gets hot. And if the heat doesn't bother you the humidity will, just ask my hair : )
As I type this post we are having a thunder storm. I love a good thunder storm, don't you? The best part is when it's over the air will feel so much better.  Like those Florida thunder showers we get every time we go to Disney.  They don't last long and once they're over the humidity has broke and it's wonderful. 
So now that we are in the thick of the heat & humidity I've been searching for recipes to try that are easy and refreshing.  I've been a little Pinterest obsessed these days, but I can't help it -  it's where all the good ideas live!!  I pinned this recipe a few weeks ago just waiting for the right time to try it.  It really felt like summer this week (and July 4th is quickly approaching!) so I gave it a whirl.  It was really good and just what we needed! ♥
Another requirement I have for summer recipes is make sure it's easy, has few ingredients, and that it doesn't take that long to make....this fit all my requirements : ) 

You start with an Angel Food Cake.  You can make your own or pick one up at the already baked at the  market.  I have to be careful with grocery store bakeries because of John's nut allergy so to be safe I baked my own.  I used box mix and it was very simple.  I just added water and whipped up the batter till it was fluffy.  It was kind of fun, actually!

Hands down the prettiest batter I've ever made.  So light too! It was like meringue!
If you've like me and have never baked an angel food cake before my only tip is to make sure you bake it exactly according to he box directions.  This includes making sure your pan is big enough.  The batter is going to RISE and it may spill over.  I put a cookie sheet under my pan just in case and let's just say it's a good thing I did. 

Apparently (according to the box) this is how you cool an angel cake.....hanging upside down on a bottle. 

I was so nervous the cake was going to be a nightmare to get out of the pan but surprisingly it wasn't. Once it was completely cooled I removed it from the bottle, ran a sharp knife around the edges, and it came right out. Whew!

The original recipe I pinned from Joyful Homemaking (click here) uses two 9" rounds for the recipe.  I decided to make a bundt cake and cut it in half.  Either way will work.
While your cake (or cakes) are cooling, make the filling. 

Simply stir together two 8oz containers of cool whip and one package of lemon Jello mix.

What you get is a light lemon-y dreamy filling! It's so good!!!
*note* the original recipe called for another container of Cool Whip and another half a box of Jello mix. l felt like I had plenty of the filling (because the bundt cake is obviously a bit smaller than if I used the 9' cakes) and I didn't need the extra.  Also I felt using one box of the Jello mix made it plenty lemon-y.  You can give it a taste and if you want to add more go for it*

Now frost away!  Some in the middle and with the rest cover the whole cake ♥

I think this would be delicious if you added fruit in the middle.  Strawberries, peaches, or blueberries! When I make it next time I'm going to try that! ♥

Now freeze!  Put the whole cake in freezer and leave it there for a few hours to set.  You don't have to cover it, just find a safe, level space in that freezer of yours ♥
And this is what you get!  It's light and fluffy and very cool & refreshing!  YUM!!!
I hope you all enjoy your weekend! It sounds like the rain has already stopped (yay!) and John and I are off to check off some summer bucket list items....stay tuned! 
Happy Saturday, friends!  Stay cool!  ♥