Thursday, July 17, 2014

By the light of the moon ♥

When I was a little girl I thought the moon followed me.  I remember the strangest feeling I had riding in a car and watching the moon all the way home.  She was watching over me. My good luck charm. ♥
 I can always count on the moon.  No matter what kind of day I've had - she will be there for me, letting me know that all will be OK. She reminds me that beautiful things will always exist in the world if you just look up.  I'm in awe of her beauty.  I guess I would call myself a moon stalker.  As she used to follow me, now I follow her. 

On the coldest of winter nights I bundle up and scan the starry sky until I find her. Moonlight in the winter is simply spectacular. In the summer it feels more serene . I make my wishes just the same, and she never disappoints me. I feel a sense of contentment under the moon. I've never seen a shooting star, but the moon is always there.   

Through the ages, folklore and traditions have been associated with the moon. It has been said, contrary to belief, that a full moon is Not a negative omen. With all that beauty, how could it be?! From planting crops to conceiving children, there are many superstitions around the moon. 

The light of a full moon is considered a better time to plant vegetables which are grown underground. It is said the moonlight pulls the crops upwards from the ground to result in a bumper harvest! Well done!
The time of the full moon is also said to be a time for curing many illnesses. Standing in her light brings luck. ♥
She can also predict the weather. A ring around the moon means rain will come in three days. Expect Fine weather if there is a single ring around the moon that vanishes quickly.
If a person without fortune stands in the moonlight of the New Moon it is to be considered bad luck. But if he has coins in his pocket and he turns them without revealing them to the moon he will have plenty of money in the months ahead. Also, the wish he's made while turning the coins will be fulfilled!

She's also a hopeless romantic! According to superstitions if a girl wants to know when she is to marry she should hold a silk handkerchief up in front of a full moon. The number of moons she can see through the handkerchief represents the number of months she has to wait before getting married. 

Another superstition says that under the New Moon, lovers should glance over their right shoulder, take three steps backwards, and say the following verse:
"new moon, new moon - true and bright"
"if I have a lover, let me dream of him tonight"
"if I am to marry far, let me hear a bird cry"
"if I am to marry near, let me hear a cow low"
"if I am to marry never, let me hear a hammer knock"

A full moon is believed to rejuvenate feelings of love and stimulate pent up passions. There is nothing more romantic than moonlight, so I have to agree with that one! ; ) I think it's also helpful that moonlight is the most becoming of lights.  We all look like we are in soft focus.  Thank you, dear Moon!

My favorite sentiment about the moon is that the moon I see is the same moon You see. It's the same moon all our loved ones in Heaven and on Earth see.  The same moon that followed me home is the same moon that my son makes his wishes on.  It will be the same moon that follows his children home and their children too.  We can't look directly at the sun, but we can gaze lovingly at the moon and say "thank you" for being there for us. ♥
The next full moon is on August 10th.  For Good Luck just say these words in her moonlight:
"Lady of Luck come out of your hidden course,
Bless your light upon me as the light of the Moon shines above,
and in the Light of Luck will be blessed I, when the Moon is next to be full."
The way I see it, we need all the help we can get, so why not ask the moon?
"Aim for the moon, if you miss you may hit a star."

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Time to sit and be ♥

Two weeks ago, this happened....

Somehow a miracle occurred and I had the opportunity to sit in my favorite coffee shop with a book and a vanilla latte. It was sheer bliss! ♥

The reason it was so blissful was because moments like this are very rare.  I seem to be always running around here, there, and EVERYWHERE! It felt so refreshing to just sit down and let the time tick away.  Just me and Shakespeare. We are good friends now.  He had me at sonnet #18 ♥
Since that day I've been dreaming about going back there.  I've decided to make time for this in my life.  Time to just sit and be.  Summer bucket list/life bucket list. 
There are always other things that we could be and should be doing.  I've found that I am much more productive after I've taken a little time for myself.  Even if it's just 1 hour in a coffee shop. I've learned to let go of the guilt and be good to myself. I'm a better wife, mother, daughter, and friend for it.  The "grind" will always be there.  I'll get back to it later.  Right now, I have a date with Bill and a chair with my name on it waiting for me.  ♥
So tell me, how do you treat yourself? 

Friday, June 20, 2014

A New Hampshire Getaway! ♥

Hello Friends!
I am just back from four days in beautiful New Hampshire! On Tuesday morning we packed up the car and drove about 3 hours to Lincoln, NH.  We stayed in a condo with my parents, right on Loon Mountain.  What a view we had!
The condo had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, kitchen, and balcony.
We cooked all our meals (except lunch) in.  It was so nice after a long day at an amusement park or the pool to just come home, shower, and relax.  Thank you MOM for taking care of us! ♥♥ And to DAD for making us a yummy breakfast on Thursday! ♥♥
We had had a Jacuzzi tub that SOMEONE took advantage of.... do you think we used a little too much bubble soap????!!!! WOW! This was very interesting!

We used the indoor and outdoor pool every day!
But for me it was all about the mountain views! This was taken from our balcony.  I can only imagine this in the Fall! The colors must be spectacular! : )

On Wednesday we took John to Santa's Village.  It's a Christmas themed amusement park in Jefferson, NH.  So much fun! I used to go when I was a little girl and not much has changed since then.  I like to imagine him riding the same rides as I used to when I was little.  One of the best parts of being a parent is seeing things through your kids eyes.  Right now I see happiness, joy, excitement, and silliness.  All the best things!
There were no crowds so we were able to ride the rides two or three times! Sweet!

They also have water slides, which are the best part! ♥

On Thursday we took a ride to North Conway Center.  It was a perfect day for browsing in and out of stores.  My favorite is Zeb's General Store.  
It's very old fashioned with wood floors and penny candy!

So much to pick from! John had money to spend and he chose a bag of licorice to take home.  It lasted about 30 seconds!

Old fashioned Coke machine!

I couldn't leave without visiting the Christmas corner.

After that we walked over to the Train Station across the street to take a peek at the trains.

Browsed the five and dime....

And had an iced coffee at my favorite coffee house and art gallery.  This is a cool place : )
Small town America. 

It was a lovely get away.  We had lots of laughs and lots of fun!  But every good thing must come to an end sometime.  This morning we packed up the car and home sweet home we came!

As we speak I'm elbow deep in laundry, laundry, laundry!  You've Got Mail is on and I'm listening to it as I settle back in to my routine.  As good as it feels to get away for a while, it's even better coming home.  I'm looking forward to sleeping in my own comfy bed tonight and having coffee in my favorite mug in the morning.  It's the little things ♥

Happy Days!!! xoxo

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Arugula & grape salad ♥

Today I would like to share with you one of my favorite summer salads.  I posted this picture on Instagram the other day.  I was surprised to hear how many people love arugula!
Arugula wasn't something that I grew up eating.  In my house we always had our salads with iceberg lettuce (which I love!).  The first time I ever had this salad I was in my 20's.  It was a hot August afternoon at my husband's grandparent's house. They were celebrating a special festival day in Italy and it was a big family affair. We were all eating outside. There was music, bocce, pasta, grilled chicken, homemade pizza, wine (oh, was there wine!) and this salad! It was a fun day! The kind you think back on and smile ♥
You know how there are just some things that stick out in your mind? Well there are two things that I distinctly remember about that day. #1 I discovered I'm a terrible bocce player and #2 I fell in love with arugula!
I also had never had grapes in a salad before. Grapes? Really? Let me tell's so good! The sweetness of the grapes balance the peppery flavor of the arugula.  It's so delicious and perfect for summertime!
Start with arugula....

Dress it with a little olive oil, salt & pepper.
Then add a handful of red grapes.

Toss together and enjoy! That's it!
The other night I served it with BBQ chicken, potatoes, and corn.  It was the perfect addition!
The next night I added a can of white beans to the salad and topped a pizza with it.  It was delicious!
Arugula also makes me feel like I'm eating something super fancy, but in fact, I'm not.  It's just good and that's all you need to know : )

I'll be back soon with my summer bucket list.  Have you made yours yet???? It's time!
Bye! xo

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Roasted cherry tomato bruschetta ♥

Hello Friends! I hope you are all having a great weekend so far!  Don't you feel like the weeks are just flying by?!  We went summer clothes shopping yesterday so I'm feeling pretty good about diving head first into June! Plus I finally painted my toe nails (a pretty sparkly pink) which means I'm  sandal ready! YAY! Tonight we had hot dogs and ice cream at the beach and ended the evening with a round of mini golf! Yup, things are feeling pretty good around here! ♥

If you follow me on IG/twitter you will know that last week I went on a roasting binge! I was roasting everything in sight, include these yummy cherry tomatoes.  I love bruschetta and it tastes even better when the tomatoes are roasted in the oven.  I saw this version on Rachel Ray's website. I thought it would be a perfect appetizer for a little casual get together we were having that night.  She adds a layer of roasted garlic spread under the tomatoes. What?! I'm in!

recipe from
extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
1 large garlic bulb
1 pint of cherry tomatoes
a handful of parsley & basil, chopped
2 baguettes, batards, or other 2-3 inch wide crusty bread, cut into slices and toasted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut off the top of a garlic bulb to expose the cloves. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Wrap tightly in foil and roast in the oven for 40-45 minutes. 
Arrange the tomatoes on a foil lined baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven 30 minutes. 

Take the garlic out of the foil and let everything cool. 

Once the garlic is cool, squeeze all the cloves out of the bulb and into a mixing bowl. (just give the bulb a pinch and they will come right out : )

With a fork, gently mash up the garlic.
In a separate bowl combine the tomatoes (and all their juices on the baking sheet), parsley, and basil.  Mash them together ♥
Toast little slices of bread and brush with olive oil.
Now, spread a thin layer of the garlic....  

and top with the tomatoes!

Your only worry is to pleeease make sure that everyone has a least one.  You do NOT want to be the only person at a party who did NOT have the roasted garlic!  ♥ 

Open a bottle of wine and you've got a gorgeous appetizer for many....
 Or just one... : )

This is a left over plate that I had for myself after our party.  I could make a meal out of these tomatoes! In fact, I think I did! ♥

Have a lovely Sunday, Friends! The weather here is so beautiful lately.  I'm hoping to go on a bike ride and plant more flowers in the back yard.  I'm also on a hunt for a succulent plant for my kitchen counter. Let's hope I find one!
Bye! xo