Friday, August 23, 2019

Blueberry Pie Oatmeal Bars

Hello Friends! 

 I am writing you tonight from the comfort of my cozy bed.  It's been a long week and I've been dreaming of this moment since Monday.  I was on the go all week, busy at work, and the worst part is that it's been so HOT here.  I'm talking over 90 degrees for days on end.  The air is thick and humid.  It feels yucky to be outside. By this point in the summer I'm over it.  Not to say I didn't love this summer.  It was wonderful....but it's time for it go.  The heat makes me tired and I feel like lump.  It's time for cozy sweaters and crunchy leaves.  I'm so grateful I live in an area where the seasons change.  I don't think you can really appreciate a season if you have it all the time.  It's got to go away so we can miss it.  I went grocery shopping tonight and when I was walking to my car I saw that it was dark out and it wasn't even 8pm!  We are losing light and that's the first sign change is coming. 

Because it's been so hot  I haven't had much energy for baking.  I've really missed it too.  This week I was determined to get back into the kitchen.  I enjoy having homemade desserts after dinner and I love trying new recipes!  I was surfing around Pinterest and came across this recipe for Blueberry Pie Oatmeal Bars that looked interesting.  Its one of those 4 ingredient recipes that is so easy it's almost criminal.  Perfect for when you don't really feel like doing much work but want something homemade.  I had all the ingredients on hand so I thought I'd give it a try.  

They came out delicious!  A slice of blueberry pie, in a bar....: ) 

The recipe comes from Mom on Time Out blog  (I adapted the cooking time slightly : ) 

1 yellow cake mix
2 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
3/4 butter, melted 
21 oz can blueberry pie filling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
Line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper or spray with non stick spray.
Mix cake and oats in a large bowl. 
Add melted butter and stir until crumbly. 
Firmly press down half of the crumbs into the bottom of the pan.
Carefully spread the blueberry pie filling over the crumb layer. 
Spread the remaining crumbs over the filling and press down gently. 
Bake as directed according to the cake mix box.  
(mine baked for 30 minutes)  
The top layer will be golden brown : ) 

Let cool completely before cutting.  Store in the refrigerator. 

(I imagine any pie filling would also work.  These would be yummy with cherry, apple, or strawberry filling, don't you think?)

John absolutely loved these! I plan on making them again when he starts school to put in his lunchbox. 

These blueberry bars are the best kind of dessert because they are perfectly acceptable for breakfast also. Nice with with a cup of coffee or tea.  Not too sweet, but hit the spot when you need a little something.  I really loved them! 

Little by little, as fall approaches I will be getting back into baking.  I currently have canned pumpkin in my pantry and I'm not afraid to use it! : ) 

I'll be working out my "end of summer funk" by taking John back to school shopping on Monday.  At least one of us is looking forward to it (me!).  He's got a week and half left of vacation and let me tell you, he's clinging to every minute.  He celebrated a birthday last week and I'll tell you all about it next time. I can't believe he's 12!!!  

Have a great weekend everyone!!  xoxo 

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Weekend in The Berkshires ♥

Hello Friends!  

I am just back from a wonderful 4 day weekend spent in Stockbridge, MA.  A beautiful quaint area tucked in the western part of our state.  Every summer Rob's family does a family getaway.  For the past several years we have gone to New Hampshire.  This year we changed it up a bit and tried a new place (for some of us, anyway).  I had never been to  the Berkshires before.  I was pleasantly surprised by the charming shops, beautiful views, and quintessential New England feel.

We were only a 5 minute walk from the famous Red Lion Inn, which we had lunch at on Friday.  Our rental was a very old home - with secret passages, multiple doors, and even a phone booth in one of the closets??  It was decorated with Normal Rockwell artwork, who is the hometown celebrity in Stockbridge.  I was lucky enough to visit his museum on Saturday and I enjoyed every minute of it! What a great and talented man he was!

That evening we packed a picnic and went to hear the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood.  It was an amazing experience.  Maybe not so much for the kids (whom I heard yawning through most of it....: )  but for the adults it was quite a show. 

Our final day was spent my favorite way, meandering down old streets, browsing shops, and eating ice cream.  We even took a little nap in a screened in favorite room on the house.   The weekend started off hot and humid (which I did not enjoy) but luckily the temperature dropped a bit on Saturday and by Sunday I even felt a hit of fall in the air.  It was a fun weekend spent with family, playing games, eating good food, and catching up. It made my heart happy to see John having quality time with his cousins, some he only sees a few times a year.  They rode bikes, went on a hike, and stayed up to the wee hours of the morning laughing.  For me, that was the best part of the trip.

Our home for the weekend.  On the right is the screened in porch. 

It was so comfortable! 

Walking around the town I kept thinking about how pretty it must be in the Fall and then I came upon this river.  I could totally feel FALL here! : ) 

Our picnic at Tanglewood courtesy of my sister in law! My favorite meal of the trip!
It was as good as it looks! 

The grounds were gorgeous! 


All of us! (I am hiding in the back : ) 

It was good to get home on Monday. I layed down and took a 2 hour nap!  I was back to work on Tuesday feeling refreshed. 

Only 2 more weeks of summer my friends (because on my calendar once it's September, summer is over!).  Fall is right around the corner, and I personally cannot wait! 


Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Happy Birthday Lucy ♥

Happy Birthday to Lucille Ball!  Today marks what would have been Lucy's 108th birthday!  Lucy is an icon and if you visited my blog before you've probably read my ramblings on how much I adore her. 

I've loved her ever since I first saw I Love Lucy when I was 9 years old and I still love it just as much (maybe more) to this day!  Lucy and I are old friends.  She's been with me through thick and thin.  Always there to make me laugh (some times cry).  I watch I Love Lucy everyday and no matter how many times I've seen Lucy ballet dance, or stuff chocolates down her shirt, or put 13 cakes of yeast into 1 loaf of bread I laugh...because it's still funny!  Lucy is comforting to me.  She makes me feel good. 

I think she would have liked that 

Lucy is my inspiration.  She's my role model.  She was a beautiful, smart, funny, professional, and a self sufficient woman.  She was a devoted wife, mother, and friend. Also, I might note that her biggest success came after the age of forty! So there's that too! 

Today I would just like to say Happy Birthday in Heaven to my favorite red head!  So many people love you, but only I know just how much you have meant to me. 

Tonight many AMC movie theaters across the country are having a special viewing of 5 colorized I Love Lucy episodes in honor of Lucy's birthday.  It just so happens my local theater is one of them! I'm so excited to see Lucy on the big screen, in color! 

In her words....

"One of the things I  learned the hard way was that it doesn't pay to get discouraged.  Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself."   -Lucille Ball 

My favorite Lucy post  I wrote last year that sums up my feelings perfectly....(A Word on Lucy

Hope you are all having a wonderful day! 

Have a piece of cake and blow a kiss up to Lucy today. We need more of her in this world 


Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Christmas in July ♥

Hello Friends!

Is it hot where you are? Over here we've officially entered the dog days of summer! 

When the weather gets too hot to bear, it can only mean one thing...

It's time for Christmas in July! 

A yearly tradition John and I have is celebrating Christmas in July.  We take one summer day and play our favorite Christmas music, make cookies, and watch holiday movies.  It's a fun way to escape the sweltering heat and get that holiday feeling....and who doesn't love a holiday feeling?! ♥

I have a little 4' tree that takes no time to put up.  Honestly the worst part was going into the attic to get it.  It's not hard to access, it's just hot and scary up there.
(the things I do for the sake of tradition : )  

We added a few decorations, lit a candle, and viola! It's Christmas!  ♥

We had cinnamon rolls for breakfast and exchanged  smalls gifts.   After that I put on A Christmas Story and on the couch we stayed until.....

It was cookie time!

I used this sugar cookie recipe (and the frosting too).  I made the dough yesterday so it could be refrigerated overnight.  It rolled out and took shapes so easily.  I will definitely be making these again. It was a good test run for real Christmas!  : ) 

We had the most fun decorating the cookies. There is something very relaxing about decorating Christmas cookies when it's NOT Christmas. There's no pressure.  Nothing needs to be perfect because they are just for us.  We laughed the whole time ♥

It doesn't take a lot of money or effort to make a fun day and memories that your kids will always remember.  Christmas in July is one of John's favorite days of summer.  I hope one day he will carry on this tradition with his kids (or at least send them to grandma's for the day : ) 

By tomorrow Christmas will be packed up and it will be summer once again!  We'll be back to the beach this weekend, but it was nice pretending for one day and a little preview of days to come.