Thursday, April 21, 2016

April days & mango salsa ♥

It’s Spring vacation for John this week and we’ve been lucky because the weather in Massachusetts has been glorious!  Warm and sunny with just a hint of a cool breeze.  Yesterday I think we hit 70 degrees! We haven’t turned the heat on in three days! Yesterday morning I went peeking around the yard to see if I had enough forsythia to cut a bunch to bring inside and I saw my tulips are about ready to pop.  I don’t want to miss it because unfortunately they don’t last very long.  One quick wind and they are gone so I’ll be checking on them every day.  I don’t want to walk out there to a sea of stems…..that’s happened to me before.

There are pink, white, and yellow buds everywhere and my Mom & Dad’s pear tree already has flowers.  They call this John’s Tree because my Dad planted it when John was born.  It was tiny when they first planted it and now eight years later its big and strong…just like him ♥

My neighbor has similar trees in his yard facing directly across from my living room window which means I get a picture perfect view while I have my coffee in the morning. The birds have arrived as well.  I must remember to get birdseed for the feeders.  I can hear them chirping away every morning.  It’s a nice way to start the day.  Speaking of mornings, lately I’ve taken to writing in my journal first thing in the morning. Actually second thing. 

First thing is coffee, then journal>>>priorities~ 

I  jot down a few thoughts for the day, words of encouragement (wishing myself luck with whatever is in store for me) and then I jump in the shower and get ready to face the world.  My new ritual is helping me gain a better attitude and I find myself in a happier mood than when I watch the news which is almost always bad, sad, and depressing. I walk away feeling anxious and that is no way to start the day. Rob always has it on in the kitchen and I only poke my head in to see the weather and then I leave the room.

This is much better for my heart

On Monday we dug our bikes out of the shed and went for our first ride. (Check that off the bucket list)  I was happy to see my bike and its cute basket I got last year are still in one piece! John is still learning, and getting better every day.  All these years he’s never had much interest in biking – he would much rather roller blade, which I couldn’t do to save my life! Now that he’s interested we aren’t hesitating on the chance to get him going.  It’s great exercise and just in time for summer! ♥

I'm in it just for the basket

I made sure we had a hearty breakfast of blueberry corn cakes with warm maple syrup, crispy bacon, and orange juice before our ride.  It was my first time making these corncakes and they were delicious!  You use 1 box of Jiffy Corn Muffin mix with an egg, 1/2 cup of milk, and 1 cup of blueberries.  Grill them up like pancakes and enjoy!


I got the recipe out of Susan Branch’s new book: Martha’s Vineyard: Island of Dreams which I am somewhat obsessed with.  I’m on my second read of it and cannot put it down.  It’s inspiring me to do so many things I have been putting off for ages.  In her book she talks about her hero’s and I think she would be happy to hear that she’s certainly one of mine! More on that later, but I thought you would like to know that I’m going to be attending her book signing here at the end of the month! I can’t wait!

♥ ♥ ♥

...In the past I may have mentioned that John is really into ART.  He loves drawing and sketching and now… painting!  I would call his creations “abstract” and the surprising thing (even to him)  is that sometimes what seems like a total mess ends up looking like a masterpiece! Now that the warm weather is here he can take his painting outside and that makes me and my basement carpet very happy :)  He painted this the other day while I was cleaning off the bikes.  I leaned it up against the shed to dry and thought how pretty it looks out here.  Blue and green is such a nice combination, don’t you think?  Later that day he painted a smaller version with a tree and clouds in it and I hung it in my bedroom. ♥

So that’s April so far except I saved the best for last because today my friend Donna surprised me with the most delicious lunch. She sits next to me in the office and this morning told me that she brought in enough lunch for two. She made a huge batch of MANGO SALSA that was so refreshing and out of this world that I knew right away it was blog-worthy!  Donna is a great cook and a total foodie!  If you love salsa, then please try this!

5 big tomatoes – diced (drain juice)
3 big mangos – diced
1 bunch cilantro – chopped
2 jalapenos (fresh)
1 red pepper – diced
1 medium onion – chopped
Juice of 2 limes
Juice of 2 lemons
(add strawberries if you like)

Mix together in a big bowl and enjoy!

Donna served it to me with grilled chicken breast and brown rice.  It was delicious! This was the only photo I took before I scoffed the whole plate down.  And I apologize for the quality of the picture – the florescent lights in my office do nothing for this beautiful plate of food! ♥

I told her we should be eating it outside somewhere with guacamole, corn chips, and margaritas!  Such a treat! It reminded me of the fruit salsa I made last year with cinnamon sugar pita chips

I hope you are enjoying these lovely April days. Life for me hasn't been the same since Downton ended but I'm carrying on.  What are you watching now? If you have any suggestions on how to fill the Downton void I would love to hear them. I read there are plans for a movie but I don't know if it's just a rumor.  Fingers crossed it will happen ♥

See you soon! xo


  1. So happy to start my day visiting with you!
    Your April days seem lovely.
    Thank you for both recipes!
    I cannot wait to share the salsa one with Madison...
    And the blueberry one with Peyton!
    Your son is certainly gifted.
    And...I love your bike!
    Right now we are watching The Spring Baking Championship on Food Network.
    It is on Sunday evenings.
    It is really good, and we watch it together as a family.
    Ok, I'm off to start the day.
    Have a lovely spring day!!!!!

  2. Lovely photos and your meal looks delicious!

  3. Hi Danielle! I just realized after reading this that Susan is starting her book tour. I just found out last Friday that I will be in MA that weekend to bring my Daughter for an Internship and I could have gone to the book signing, but it is sold out. I am so bummed!! It would not have been that far of a drive too. I did go to one of her book signings last time and loved it! Enjoy, I know you will!!