Monday, October 17, 2016

I made us a video! Hot apple cider ♥

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....... :) 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Apple Picking ♥

Hello from rainy Massachusetts!
It's pouring buckets
here today but I thought I would share with you some pictures from our day of apple picking on Friday. 
The sun was shining and it couldn't have been a nicer day. 
John had a half day of school so we met up with some school friends and off we went to CN Smith Farm. 
We come here every year : )

Apple, apples, everywhere!

After filling our bags we headed to the farmers market. 
On the short walk over we passed the pumpkin patch and farm animals ♥
 I love the white ones!
(that's my creepy shadow : )
I came home with a pumpkin, two big mums for the front steps, and more apples than I know what do with!
I ♥ country stores!
Rob would have loved this spicy pickled garlic....

We had a lot of fun that day! 
I enjoy walking through the orchard just looking around and taking in all of the beautiful nature.
After picking we got apple cider slushies and donuts to bring home ♥

I'm making my first pie tomorrow for my Dad's birthday dinner. 
The rest I'll freeze for the holidays. 
Thanks for stopping by today!
I hope you are having yourselves a wonderful weekend. 
Happy Columbus Day and for my Canadian friends...
Happy Thanksgiving!
See you soon! xoxo

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Apple muffins and my fall bucket list ♥

Happy October!


It rained all day yesterday.  It was gloomy and cold and I was thankful it was Saturday.  I wore a soft blue and gray plaid shirt and my comfy Keds.  If I didn't have to take John to his drum lessons in the morning it probably would have been one of those "stay in your pajamas all day" days.   It's okay. I was changed before dinner.

Way before....: )


This is the second weekend in a row that it really felt like Fall.  We haven't turned the heat on yet so I've been doing my best at keeping the oven on at all times.  Here is last Sundays roast chicken.  I prepared it Julia Child style, stuffed with lemons and onions, and it was so wonderful I can't even describe it to you without smiling. 

(yes, that's mashed potatoes smiling at you in the background....♥)

For dessert I made apple crisp. With the oven on all day, I decided why not put dessert in too.  These are the meals I daydream about in July when  it's 95 degrees and humid. 

It's finally here ♥

We had plans to go apple picking on Friday but it rained so we had to cancel. Obviously I had apple on my brain and I still do because this afternoon I made apple muffins. 

I used Susan Branch's recipe from Vineyard Seasons.  It was my first time making them.  The only changes I made were to leave out the walnuts (because of John's allergy) and I didn't add the apple rings to the tops - only because I didn't have enough apples. Honestly, it didn't even matter. 

They came together quickly, made the kitchen smell incredible, and were the perfect snack on a rainy day.

I love, love, love, these muffins! ♥ 

2 cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
4 tbsp butter
1 cup peeled apple chopped
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I left these out)
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs
cinnamon & 2 tbsp sugar
12 apple rings, cored (use small apples)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together the first 5 ingredients. Cut in butter with a pastry blender (or fork).  Add finely chopped apple (and nuts if you used them). Add milk to beaten eggs.  Stir into dry ingredients, just to moisten.  Fill buttered muffin tins.
Place an apple ring on the top of each muffin and sprinkle the tops with cinnamon mixed with sugar to taste. 

Bake 20 minutes.


I ate one right out of the oven! Sooooo gooood!

On the next page of Vineyard Seasons, right next to these apple muffins, is a recipe for Maple Pecan Scones that I almost made.  It was a toss up between the two. Since I didn't make the scones I'm going to add them to my fall bucket list, which I'm just realizing is mostly about food... 

Have you made yours yet? Here's a peek a mine....

Fall bucket list:

make a pumpkin cheesecake (I've never made one before!)
make maple pecan scones
clean out John's closet/donate clothes
spray paint pumpkins black and gold (saw on Martha Stewart and always wanted to try it)
start Christmas shopping
watch It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
drink as many pumpkin spice lattes as humanly possible
start meal planning - writing everything down
try one new recipe a week
use my crockpot more (because it's a lifesaver!)
volunteer at John's school
make more youtube videos
Clean our winter coats (cold weather is coming!)

When I woke up this morning it was still raining.  I plugged in my white twinkle lights and flipped on the coffee pot. I heated an apple muffin in the microwave for 15 seconds and put butter on it. I  ate it standing at the sink staring out the window at the rain.
That's just what I do ♥
 We went to an early morning mass and then met a friend for coffee and donuts.  Now it's back home to finish up some homework and settle in for the day.  To me that means, couch, blanket, a book, and a brownie : )
Not bad for a Sunday!  
Welcome to October! I wish you many days of crunchy leaves and pumpkin spice! ♥♥♥

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! ♥♥♥