Thursday, June 30, 2022

Let's go to the beach! ♥

School's out for summer!  YAY! 

John finished his freshman year and we celebrated with a day at the beach.  
As you know, my heart will always belong to autumn, but late afternoons at the beach also hold a special place near and dear to me. 

Resting on the sand, with my toes buried, and salt air filling my lungs...I feel happy    


"Smell the sea and feel the sky. Let your soul and spirit fly." 
- Van Morrison 



 

I rarely swim.  In fact I don't really know how to swim (aside from a doggy paddle which I could probably manage in an emergency situation) but I love the ocean.  I love looking at it, walking in it, smelling it, and especially making wishes on the spot where it meets the sky.  

There is magic there.  I truly believe.  





Life is so unpredictable these days. But the beach.  The beach is always there for us.  Waiting every summer. With it's freezing water and hot sand.  With it's ice cream trucks and Italian ices.  With is beautiful sunsets and late night bonfires.  This is our routine.  

*also, doesn't he look so grown up in this picture? I can't take it.....*


"Time wasted at the beach is time well spent."
-Unknown  




I can literally feel my stress level go DOWN when I'm near the ocean.  It think it's the best therapy there is : ) 


"The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination, and brings eternal joy to the soul." 
-Robert Wyland






Pair that with a hot cup of coffee....I've discovered the secret to happiness! 
(for me anyway...lol) 


I hope you find your happy place this summer and enjoy it as much as you can.  
You know where I'll be! 

Love you! xoxox 



Friday, June 24, 2022

Currently: Happy Friday! ♥

Hello Friends! 

Happy Friday and I can officially say "Happy Summer!" 

The season has arrived in full force with heat and humidity. The trees are so full we can hardly see the river from the back porch.  It's nice and shady and very quiet, which I love. I can't wait until all these leaves turn yellow and orange, but for now we can admire all the green. I like to watch the birds flying from tree to tree. 

It's like their playground : ) 





John has half days from now until Tuesday, his last day, for final exams.  The end of the school year always makes me a little emotional. On one hand I'm happy he gets a break and will be home for the summer.  On the other hand, advancing to another grade just means another year has passed.  Has he really already completed his first year of high school? 3 more to go.  Only 3. 

I'm full of happy/sad/happy/sad all the time : ) 

Anyway, aside from my emotional rollercoaster ride it was a busy ordinary week.  

Here are my roses blooming and a few highlights...





A new coffee café opened in my town (called The Merry Café) a few months go and I finally tried it.  

Fantastic! 

It's the cutest shop with the nicest workers.  I can see myself becoming a regular! 

( FYI - I also did my nails with Red Aspen Nails and they look so nice. The color is ballet slipper : )






I got an iced Almond Joy (by recommendation) and an apple cider donut (because if I see one on the menu I have to have it).  

YUM! 





This week I finished The Death of Mrs. Westaway.  OMG it was so good! I could not put this mystery/thriller down!  By far my favorite book I've read this year so far. 
I'm going to work my way through all of Ruth Ware's books this summer.  

I just started One By One.  It takes place in a ski lodge in the French Alp and is giving me winter vibes like you wouldn't believe. I love books that take place in the snow for some reason :)






On Monday we celebrated Father's Day and an early birthday celebration for my mom.  She turns 80 on July 4th and both my sister and I will be on vacation.  We decided to have an early party because the day doesn't matter, just as long as we are together.  And there's a cake... which there was! 

I made Susan Branch's Lemon Coconut Cake.  It's the best! 





It's worth the extra effort to make the lemon filling and marshmallow frosting.  There is love in every step.  Perfect for special occasions! 




 
80 years young!  

A cup of tea and her family around the table is all she asks. 




The 4th of July has always been two holidays for us.  The birth of our country and the birth of my mom, with fireworks just for her! I promised her a home baked blueberry pie when I get back from vacation.  And since I've already made John promise to go blueberry picking with me, I know it will be a good one!

Have a wonderful summer weekend my friends! 

Make sure to take some time just for you! 

xoxo 

PS - Movie update.. Downton Abbey was outstanding! I loved it and saw it twice in theaters. I would see it again if you invited me  :)  Lightyear was good.  Not what I expected but I still enjoyed it. This weekend we are seeing Elvis.  As an Elvis lover I don't have high expectations, but I'm hoping to be pleasantly surprised. Fingers crossed!!! 


Friday, June 17, 2022

Weekly wrap up and dinner for one: Pasta Puntanesca ♥

 Hello Friends! Happy Friday! 

Today is my third favorite day of the week.  First is Sunday, then Saturday, and then Friday.  

Can you see a pattern? I live for weekends : )




The days have been hot and humid.  Spring has pretty much disappeared and we are in full summer mode now.  We have been eating strawberries like crazy, going for walks after dinner when the weather gets a bit cooler, and going out for ice cream on Sundays.  Summers are so different now than they used to be.  I remember once school got out having to fill every moment with things for us to do.  Play dates, trips to the pool, story times at the library.  I loved every minute.  The days are much slower and relaxed now.  We watch movies together or play games.  Sometimes all three of us are in separate rooms reading books.  I like that too.  I make tea in the afternoons (or iced coffees if it's really hot) and we'll sit and talk or watch funny videos on YouTube. 

I hope it stays this way for a while : ) 



John has 7 days of school left before his summer break.  And what a year it's been.  Unlike any other.  He's preparing for his finals now and I'm so proud of what he's accomplished his freshman year.  As soon as he's done we are taking a little trip to celebrate. It's been a long time coming and we are over the moon with excitement.  More on that later! : ) 


♥ two of my favorite things: Lucy and flowers 


Something very rare happened to me this week.   My boys were out at a concert and I found myself alone for dinner.  The first time in a long time I didn't have to feed anybody but myself. My first thought was to make myself a bowl of cereal and call it a night. But after seeing a jar of olives in the fridge I remembered this pasta dish that I absolutely love.  I had to decide if waiting for the pasta water  to boil was worth the effort.....It was! 




Pasta Puntanesca is a quick and easy dish that you can make for one or for many.  The measurements aren't a science.  Just gage it to your taste.  

Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil with 2-3 minced garlic cloves (depending on how much you LOVE garlic).  Pour over a serving of cooked linguini.  Add chopped Kalamata olives, cracked black pepper, and lots of parmesan cheese. Toss and enjoy!  

I had enough left over for lunch the next day! 

DELICIOUS and let's face it...you can never go wrong with pasta 



So what's up for the weekend?

As you know we are huge Disney fans in this house. Tomorrow we are seeing the new Pixar movie Lightyear, about one of my favorite characters - Buzz Lightyear! 

I'm hoping it will not disappoint me : )

Sunday we are celebrating Father's Day with Rob's family at my sister in laws and Monday night we will be celebrating at home with my family.  

It's going to be a busy weekend indeed! 

I've got a lot of cooking to do 

 



The beautiful flowers of summer! These roses came from a bush in the front yard.  I have them spread out everywhere. Pretty to look at but don't touch.  They have thorns that will mame you!! I speak from experience! 

Have a lovely weekend my friends!  I hope the summer sun is shining on you today and good things come your way  

Bye!! xoxoxoxo 


Monday, June 13, 2022

Strawberry Picking ♥

Good morning friends! How is it Monday already?  

The weekends go by way too fast, don't you agree?  

We had beautiful weather on Saturday so John and I went strawberry picking! It's something I've always wanted to do and he was a good sport to go along with me.  

The farm is about 30 minutes away.  It's the same place where we pick apples in the fall. 

We took a tractor ride out to the strawberry field and along the way we went through the apple orchard and saw the trees.  My autumn loving heart skipped a few beats because I know we'll be back there in September.  

But first....



 
...strawberries! 





What a lovely sight! Fresh local produce! There's something very special about knowing where your food comes from and I am happy to support our local farmers.  



I've never seen such beautiful strawberries! 






We picked until our box was overflowing and came home with the mother load! LOL 




After all that work we deserved a reward.  John got the strawberry donut sundae which he said was awesome.   I had a cold brew coffee and an apple cider donut because I can't resist anything that gives me Fall vibes : ) 

Soooo Good! 




When I say "smile" he makes a this face!  I assure you we were having fun! 
Hot and full from treats, but it was a fun day spent together! 





Rob got strawberry shortcake for dessert that night (and the following night, and probably tonight....).

Sweet & juicy, the taste of summer! 



 
We'll be back to the farm next month for blueberries 

Have a happy Monday friends!  I'm off to pour myself another cup of coffee and start my day.  Can you guess what I'm having for breakfast?  : ) 

Byeeeee! xoxo 


Friday, June 10, 2022

What I do ♥


Good Morning Lovely Friends!  

After two days of torrential rain the sun finally came out this morning and it's a beautiful day.  I've been trying to appreciate my surroundings more these days and notice the little things.  With so much horror going on in the world, for my own mental health and survival I need to remember there is beauty out there, we just need to find it.  It's easy to become overwhelmed which is why I've been limiting my news intake (yes, doing that again!) and concentrating more on movies with my family, reading books, talking to friends, and self care. Yes I do all these things anyway but when you change your perspective they take on a whole new meaning. The world is a scary place right now and sometimes I worry about John and what his future will be like.  I have to stop myself from going down that road because the future is unknown. I will carry on with my little life baking bread and brownies and roasting chicken with veggies because feeding my family is important.  And it makes me happy.  I'll put on my pink lipstick, run a comb through my hair, say my prayers, and go for a walk by the ocean.  I will send out all my hopes and dreams into the sea air, hoping it will take them to far away places and in that moment I will be content.  This is what I do. 

So much of life is uncertain right now.  The news tells us to be afraid of everything. When venturing in unchartered waters I cling to the things I know.  I learned this about myself during the early days of Covid. We all learned a lot about ourselves during that time, didn't we?  The way I see it, anything that makes you happy, brings you joy, peace, love, serenity, whatever it is -  is important.  Do you love watching Seinfeld every night for laugh? Me too. Then let's do that.  K?  

So now I must try to fill a void in my life that was once the Johnny Depp trial  and resume normalcy once again.  Today will be work, laundry, cooking dinner, driving John to the movies, tea in the afternoon, feeding my sourdough starter, reading my book, watering my plants, texting my friends, and sharing some peaceful moments with husband when the day is done. 

 Because that is what I do. And that is what I love.

That and coffee.  Lots of coffee : ) 

 Have a lovely Friday my friends! I appreciate you all so much!   xoxo






Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Happy June 1st! Catching up ♥

Hello Friends. Happy June 1st! 

It's been hot and humid the last few days.  Today we are expecting rain.  It's gray and gloomy out there but I don't mind.  I love a good rain storm and it's been awhile since the last one. 

This was my POV just a few minutes ago.  Sipping coffee and waiting for the rain.  I have a busy work day ahead but am trying to start my mornings a little slower these days.  I drink my coffee, say my prayers, watch an episode of I Love Lucy or read a chapter from my book, and then get down to the business of the day. Lately I've felt like "groundhog day" with everyday being the same.  I'm starting to feel a bit of shift now and it's nice.  

 




We are officially entering the slower pace of summer and I am here for it.  School is winding down and getting a little less hectic.  I'm tired of rushing around all the time and welcome the break. 

Plus in my mind summer is one step closer to fall and that makes me happy.....but I won't go there just yet.  For now I've adorned my rooms with summer and beach scented candles.  I'll be patient and save my pumpkin pie spice for September....maybe August...we'll see!  : ) 

Candles = cozy 





My flowers and plants are doing quite well this week.  They are loving the extra sunlight and I am loving how they make me smile every day.






I've become quite addicted to plants and have put them in every place possible in my home.  

Oh hello bathroom plant! : ) 





Outside the summer flowers are blooming.  They love the dewing morning.  





 It's peony season!  

You must enjoy these quickly because they don't last long.  

Aren't they beautiful?! 





This past Memorial Day weekend we celebrated quietly, just us.  We went for a walk on the beach to look at the boats and got ice cream. I made hot dogs (a summer must!!!) and a easy cherry cobbler that we picked on all weekend.  It's amazing what you can do with a can of cherry pie filling! 




I'm a ketchup girl! 




Delicious cherry cobbler! I got the recipe from Pinterest (here




Nothing but blue skies and summer dreams 






On our summer bucket list we have a plan to try an new ice cream place every weekend if possible.
We kicked it off at one of our favorite local places that makes homemade ice cream. I picked a chocolate that had strawberries and white chocolate chips swirled in. 
Not my usual and it was Heavenly! 

I can't wait for next week 
  
Summer in a cup! 





And here I am, fiddling with my Instagram....probably much too old for selfies but I can't help myself.  I love a good filter, don't you?! 








My favorite quote of the week.  I am capable.  We all are 

  




Have a lovely Wednesday, friends!!! Happy June! It's summer! 


Friday, May 20, 2022

Friday Randomness! ♥

Hello Friends! Happy Friday!  

I hope this day finds you well.  It's a cool and damp day here in my corner of the world.  Our temps are supposed to shoot up to the 90's this weekend, so there's that.  Rob put my A/C in last week and I'm ready to flip the switch as soon as the humidity hits the air.  

Spring is weird.  And I feel like it's just about over.  All the flowers are blooming and outside is endless green. I'm hoping to go strawberry & blueberry picking next Sunday if it's not too hot. I have dreams of strawberry pie and blueberry buckle in my future : ) 

And here I am this morning.  Using the only mug appropriate for Downton Abbey weekend!  The new movie comes out today and I'm so excited to see it!  It's getting great reviews.  Some say it's better than the first movie.  Whatever the case I'll be there. If not only for the clothes, tea, accents, and castles.  I love it all so much! 



This week felt very random.  I accomplished a lot, yet very little.  Do you ever feel that way?  

Here are some highlights...  

I went plant shopping and came home with these beauties.  



My goal is to keep them all alive!  




I got a pedicure and it felt amazing!  As I was sitting in a massage chair soaking my aching feet I wondered why I don't do this more often.  It was the best hour of self care I'd had in a long time. 
 I picked this pretty pink for my toes.  I snapped a picture of it so I would remember the color for next time! 




And cake! There's always cake.  Cinnamon coffee cake for afternoon coffee of course.  
Care to join me? 




We watched some classic movies this week also.  This one has my heart!!! 
Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert fill me with joy.  Corny - yes. But something about it is so utterly charming.  They call them classics for a reason  




The family agreed our meal of the week was slow cooker BBQ pulled pork sandwiches.  It was also the easiest meal of the week!  I LOVE my crock pot.  

I'm currently pinning more crockpot recipes for summer : ) 



Totally relatable!!! 



And this.  The struggle is REAL.  

I'm feeling it more and more each day! LOL 



And there I be...

Today is another Friday of work, checking things off the to-do list, paying bills, and pulling out some summer clothes for the weekend.  The best part is that it's PIZZA night! 

Just another day in paradise!  




Thanks for stopping by today friends! Have a wonderful day.  

I wish you all pretty flowers and rays of sunshine! 

Happy Weekend! xoxoxo