Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Hello Summer! ♥

Hello Everyone! Summer is officially in full swing over here, well at least for John.  Friday was last day of sixth grade! EEK!  How this happened I do not know! Time has gone by in a blink of an eye and all of a sudden I’m the mom of a 7th grader! Whaaaaat? 

A very kind mom of one of John’s friends invited all the boys in the class over on the last day for a “goodbye middle school/hello Jr high” pool party.  To celebrate getting a new uniform next year (they’ve been in this one since first grade!) they all jumped into the pool with their uniforms on, which as you can see – they really enjoyed! : )   

All the girls in the class were invited to another pool to do the same thing! 

After the jump, they changed into their bathing suits and had a great time swimming, playing football, eating hot dogs, and kicking off the summer!  I feel very blessed that John goes to school with such nice boys!
They really are a great group of kids!  

 Summer 2019 has begun! 

Day 1: It was a beautiful day so John and I took a ride down to the beach to get a little breath of sea air.  It’s still too cold to swim in (for most of us : )  but just being near the water and smelling the salt air makes it feel like summer.  Later that night when Rob got home we went back to get some dinner.   

Toes in the sand + fish for dinner = summertime!

That plus a dentist appointment (which he was less thrilled about....lol) and I think we got off to a nice start.  I've been lucky enough to switch to my summer work schedule which has me home one day a week and working fewer hours during the day, is a relief. I'm wishing for a very slow paced, old fashioned summer like the ones I used to have.  Not too much going on, but just enough to make it fun.  

I had that thought in mind when I finalized my summer bucket list.  I find that if I take the time to write things down, they actually get done!  I love seasonal bucket lists because they remind me to capture little moments or details that I sometimes would forget about.  My list in not necessarily big things, but simple memories I want to make or little things I want to do.  So many times I’ve looked back on a time and thought “I wish I had done this or that”.  Now if the opportunity strikes to have a root beer float or go see fireworks, I’m gonna do it!  Don't we all love the satisfaction of checking something off a list!

We only get one summer 2019, let’s make it a good one 

Here’s a sample of some of things on my summer bucket list:

Paint rocks for the yard
Have a picnic
Make smores around a fire
Make root beer floats
Have friends over for a game night
Try a new ice cream place
Binge Downton Abbey in preparation for the movie in September
See fireworks
Work on my watercolors (make something I can be proud of : )
Press flowers
Go to a museum or historical site
Sit outside at night and watch the stars
Go to the beach
Try a new hairstylist (nothing to do with summer but long overdue:)
Have a lobster dinner
Go to a farmers market
Go swimming
Try a new pie recipe  ♥

So tell me, what's on your summer bucket list? I would love to know!  

Enjoy your day, friends!  Happy Summer! 

Meet you at the beach! XO

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Garlic "monkey bread" Rolls ♥

Hello Friends!  

I have something special for you today.  I found this super easy recipe for garlic monkey bread rolls on Pinterest (where all the good ideas live : ).  I tried them last night for the first time and they were a big hit! 

The recipe starts with Pillsbury biscuit dough, which I love because all the hard work is done for me.  All I did was add a little of this and a LOT of that.  These rolls are delicious!   

So if you are a carb lover please read on.  Even better if you are a garlic lover.... 


Recipe slightly adapted from Eat Cake for Dinner

2 cans of refrigerator biscuits
6 tbls butter, melted
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbls dried parsley flakes
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, plus 2 tbls for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 400 degrees 

Combine melted butter, garlic, parsley, and 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese in a bowl.

Lay out the biscuits and cut into 4 pieces each.

Toss in the bowl with rest of ingredients and combine.  

I went in with my hands to be sure all the biscuit pieces were coated. 

It's a labor a love 

Use a greased 12 cup muffin tin and place 5-6 pieces in each cup.

Sprinkle remaining cheese on top 

Now bake for 13-15 minutes.....

Oh. My. Gosh..... 

Serve them warm and ENJOY! 

Flakey, cheesy, very garlicy....so good! 

You know the rules.  As with anything made with garlic, make sure everyone has one (or two!). 
It's for everyone's safety. 

Also, that shouldn't be a problem!  

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Current Favorite Beauty Products ♥

Hello Friends! 

I haven't done a beauty post in a while so today I thought we could take a peek into my vanity and I'll share with you a few products that I'm currently loving.  

As I grow older I am more and more conscious of taking care of my skin.  Cleansing and moisturizing are as important to me as putting on lipstick and mascara - two things I have never gone a day without doing since 8th grade.  I enjoy pampering my skin because I know it's good for me.  The same way I make time to take a 10 minute walk during the day or practice a daily mediation. 

Self care is important. 

You are worth it! 

I picked out just a few things to show you.  Nothing is unique or expensive.

That's the beauty of it! 

There was a time in my life when I loathed washing my face at night.  I really hated it.  I would be half asleep and think to myself "I should really go wash my face". 99% of the time I would roll over and go to sleep, never making my way to the bathroom.  Nowadays I would never even consider skipping, no matter how tired I am.  I wear a full face of makeup every day and I love the feeling of taking it all off.  It's like kicking off your boots after a long day.  It feels so good.  Cleansing nightly allows your skin to breath and rejuvenate itself.  

My favorite makeup removing wipes are Aveeno Ultra Calming Wipes.  They take everything off.  Even the toughest mascara and eyeliner.  They are so soothing! After wiping off my makeup my skin feels like it's already moisturized.  I've used makeup wipes in the past that have dried out my skin.  These are the complete opposite.  When they say "ultra calming" they really mean it.  My skin feels clean, soft, and smooth.   

I just started using toner again last year after a long hiatus!  I think I stopped because I didn't want another step in my beauty routine. Until I came across this facial mist from Thayers.   I simply "mist" it on my bare face before I apply my moisturizer.  It only takes a few seconds for it to soak into my skin (no need for any cotton balls!).  It's so refreshing! Especially after I get out of the shower.  The formula has aloe vera in it which is very soothing and healing to the skin.  Toners give an extra boost to cleansing, balance PH levels, and control acne.  I also love this rose petal scent! 

Eye creams can be very expensive.  I always dread when I have to purchase a new one because I know it's gonna cost some dollars.  With that being said, eye cream is not something I would ever cut out of my routine.  My eye area is the bain of my existence!  I have been blessed (and I use that term loosely) with permanent dark circles.  I could sleep for 48 hours and feel like a million bucks....take a peek in the mirror and I would STILL have dark circles! Really?! Why?!  In addition to that "blessing" now that I'm getting older, the fine lines and wrinkles that I've heard about my whole life have come to the party!  Welcome! I've been expecting you! Have you met my crows feet? They're here too!  

Eye creams are essential in my world.  I've found that using eye creams religiously day and night really help keeping the party under control.  I have yet to find a miracle worker, but any little bit helps.  Lately I've been using Garnier Skin Active Ultra-Lift.  It's super moisturizing and soaks into the area very nicely.  I notice my concealer (also essential!) glides on easily and does not crease when I apply it over the eye cream.  This is my first experience with Garnier skin care  and so far I am very pleased.  I normally use Ponds or Oil of Olay - both of which I love too! 


And speaking of Garnier, another new product I've recently gotten into is this Garnier Fructis High Shine Finish for my hair. 

In case you don't already know I am a child of the 80's. Since then I've never been able to get away from having poofy hair and using too much hair spray!  As much as I've tried (so hard have I tried!! ) I just can't shake it.  I'll always have a poof and I'll always use hair spray.  When you use as much product as I do, your hair tends to get dull.  That and the fact that I color my hair, blow dry it, and use a curling iron daily.  No wonder it's dull and dry.  I'm literally frying it on a daily basis.  Something I really should do something about, but that's a topic for another day. 

Anyway, my hair has lost it's shine!  The only time it's shiny is right after I color it, and that shine only lasts about 2 weeks and then it starts to get dull and grayish looking.  Bheh.  My hairstylist suggested a few products for me to try out to "get my shine back".  The first one I'm trying is this one from Garnier Fructis.  I am LOVING it!! It has argon oil in it but does not leave my hair oily.  I mist it on dry hair and lightly smooth it over with my hands. I feel like it's bringing my dry, dull hair back to life!  It puts just the right amount of moisture back into my hair (the moisture that my hairdryer and curling iron have sucked out) and leaves me with a nice shine. Plus it smells like a salon and that's always nice!  

I can't go without mentioning my favorite make up product at the moment and that is the Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eyeliner. 

I. Love. This. 

I wear eyeliner on my top lid everyday and trust me I've tried all of them.  What I'm looking for is an eyeliner that glides on easily, is not runny, and has staying power.  This one has it all!  The tip is like a felt marker.  It glides on like butter and stays all day.  Literally, the best! 

Whenever Bath and Body Works has a sale on these mini 1 oz hand lotions I always take advantage of it and stock up on new scents.  It gives me the opportunity to try out different ones without having to invest in a whole bottle.  I figure if I don't like it I could always give it away to someone. 
Side note: that has never happened : ) 

My most recent purchase was Sparkling Limoncello!  Let's just say I'm in it for the whole bottle! I wish this were a drink so I could sip my life away! It's the sweetest lemon, sugary scent you have ever smelled!  So nice for spring and summer!  I strongly believe in aroma therapy and lemon is an invigorating scent.  I love putting this lotion on in the morning.  It gets me going and makes my day just a little bit sweeter.  Also it helps that B&BW lotions are super moisturizing!  I just bought a lemon hand soap for my bathroom as well.  I'm pretty much obsessed with everything they make : ) 

And those are my current favorite beauty products!  I hope you enjoyed!  If you have any favorites that you would like to share I would love to hear about them!  

Have a great day, friends! xoox

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Scenes from a weekend (i.e random photos from my phone : )

Hello Friends! 

Happy Memorial Day!  

I hope you all had a wonderful 3 day weekend!  The weather here was perfect.  Not only is Spring in the air, but I guess now that we've passed Memorial Day the official kick off to summer is here.  I can hardly believe it.  This year is going by so fast!

I didn't do anything too exciting this weekend, but it was so nice to be off from work an extra day and catch up on things at home.  On Saturday morning I took advantage of a gift card and did a little summer shopping.  I took an hour (or 2?) to myself and stocked up on a few summer essentials....2 pairs of capris and a few tops.  It feels good to "restock" things for the season doesn't it?  I also treated myself to a stroll in one of my favorite town squares and got a coffee shake along the way.  Well, it's a holiday weekend, so why not?! That afternoon I made grilled us cheese sandwiches for lunch.  It was a little bit of heaven. (seriously, I love grilled cheese! ) 

On Sunday Rob, John, and I met Rob's aunt and uncle for a delicious breakfast at our favorite little restaurant down the street.  They have the most delicious blueberry pancakes that I cannot resist.  We love spending time and catching up with them! It was such a nice morning!  That afternoon I promised to take John out  to run some errands.  We hit the mall which was pretty much dead.  Probably because the weather was BEAUTIFUL and everyone was home having cook outs : )  It was nice for us because we had the stores all to ourselves. 
We came home and I made steak and garlic bread for dinner.  I've been buying the frozen Texas Toast at the grocery store lately. All you do is heat it up and boom!  The best garlic bread ever!  

Yesterday John and I met my friend Julie and her boys Sean & Michael at the movies and saw the new Aladdin.  I really enjoyed it!!!  There were mixed reviews from the peanut gallery but I thought it was very entertaining!  I loved the music and the costumes and I thought Will Smith did a great job as Genie!  Such a fun film.  I highly recommend it!  Let's face it, Disney will never let me down.  John is getting a little annoyed with me singing "You Aint Never Had a Friend Like Me" but I can't help it.  It's stuck in my head!  

The other highlight of my 3 day weekend was the Hallmark Channel was having a summer movie marathon!  Here and there I was a able to catch 3 or 4 movies that I hadn't already seen and I LOVED them!  I just adore Hallmark movies. The Christmas ones are still my favorite but I do really enjoy the other ones too.  If you aren't familiar with Hallmark, they theme their movies to whatever season we are in. Next up in June is wedding themed movies, because after all June is wedding season.  Come on, how can you not love that! The movies are so cute and quaint, all neatly wrapped up in 2 hrs. Everyone owns a bakery or book shop with twinkling lights in the window and there is always, always a happy ending!   I want to jump into my TV and live there! : ) 

And that's pretty much it, friends.  Nothing too exciting.  Just the way I like it!

The only thing that was missing from my unofficial kick off of summer was sitting around a fire and making smores.  I was craving them so badly this weekend!  Someday my wish is to have my own fire pit so I can roast marshmallows whenever I want.  It's things like that I wish for 

Have a great week everyone! It's the last one in May!

Summer is almost here! xoox

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp ♥

Hello Friends!  How are you? 

It's been an exciting week in our house!  For one - the Downton Abbey movie trailer was released today.  I have watched it at least 5 times already and I am so excited! It's going to be an eternity until the movie comes out in September. I literally cannot wait!! 

Hearing the theme song gave me chills! 

John is over the moon because the final Toy Story 4 movie trailer also came out today.  Although, he's lucky - his movies comes out next month.  We are super excited for that too!

And then there's Rob who's happy because the Bruins have made it to the Stanley Cup finals, so next week will be exciting and stressful at the same time. 

I think I need to bake some yellow and black cupcakes to celebrate!  

I always say it's the little things, and as you can see it doesn't take much to make us happy around here! : ) 

I can hardly believe that Memorial Day is this weekend!  How did we get to the end of May so quickly?  On the way to school this morning John and I were saying how all of a sudden it feels like it's almost summer.  The school year is winding down, which I always have mixed feelings about. 
(Yup, I'm that mom who always cries on the last day of school.  Another year gone by, another year older, another inch taller....but that's another post entirely! lol ) 

 Not only that, it got HOT!  Here I am complaining all spring about the rain and yesterday it was 85 degrees! Time to get a pedicure, asap!  

I continually have to remind myself to enjoy and be present each and everyday - rain or shine - because they pass so quickly.  

And so with that, and with Memorial Day coming up I wanted to share with you one of my favorite spring/summer dessert recipes.  I've posted this recipe before but because it's so tasty and maybe some of you might want to make it this weekend I thought I would repost it.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp! 

After all, what else to you do with all the delicious rhubarb that's in grocery stores right now?  Bake away, my friends!  It's so sweet and yummy! 

*Recipe from Martha Stewart ♥

2 cups strawberries - hulled and cut in half (quarters if large)

2 cups rhubarb - cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1/2 cup sugar

1 tbsp. cornstarch

1/4 tsp. salt

For the topping:

1 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted

1/4 cup brown sugar

dash of salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In an 8 inch baking dish combine fruit, sugar, cornstarch, and salt.  Toss until all the fruit is coated.

In a medium bowl combine oats, flour, butter, brown sugar, and salt.  Stir until combined and sprinkle over fruit. 

Bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes. 

The juices will be bubbly and delicious!

I like to serve mine with ice cream AND whip cream! Rebel that I am! : ) 

This dessert is definitely on my menu this weekend! : )  

And in case you're wondering - if  you are weird like me and like to eat desserts for breakfast, this is amazing cold at 8am with coffee.  Just so you know  

I hope you are having a wonderful, sunny, blue skies kind of week!

Thank you for visiting today! I'll talk to you soon! xo