Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Almost there...♥

Good morning friends! Happy Wednesday! 

I'm feeling relief this morning because our heat wave finally broke! After endless days of  95 to 100 degree weather (with humidity!!!) it finally rained that we are back in the low 80's which is much more bearable for summer.  It's still too hot for me, but hey, I can't have everything.  I'll take 85 over 105 any day : ) 

It's mid August now and my mind is wandering to what comes next.  All the pumpkin scented candles are on the shelves at Bath & Body Works and that is usually my gage that Fall is around the corner.  Just the thought of putting on a cozy cardigan & fuzzy socks gives me a happy feeling of hygge that I cannot wait to experience.  

John is clinging to his last few weeks of summer vacation (and I honestly don't blame him) but as someone who doesn't love hot weather either, he's looking forward to wearing his favorite Champion sweatshirts and curling up on a dark rainy afternoon with hot coco by his side.  He actually loves turning the clocks back for daylight savings so it's dark at 4pm.  We have that in common. 

Yup. He's definitely mine 

Don't get me wrong, I still have some summer dreams left in me (and John has a birthday to celebrate), but Fall is now in reach and I can let myself start to prepare for it.  



 

How about you? Are you ready for a change?  I don't think I could ever live in a place where the seasons don't change.  There is always something to look forward to.  Always a promise of snowfall or budding flowers, or changing leaves. Thank goodness for that. 

Have a lovely Wednesday my friends! What's for dinner tonight?  Lately I'm sick of everything I make. I'm off to pour another cup of coffee and figure it out : ) 

I'm looking forward to cooking all the Fall comfort food meals...pot roast, butternut squash soup, pumpkin pie. Yum. 

Soon. It's coming. 

Monday, August 1, 2022

Hello August! ♥

Good Morning Friends! 

Welcome to a new week and a new month! August 1st.  Here we are already.  The final month of summer.  Or as I call it....the hottest.  August is usually brutal and this one will not disappoint.  We are going to be in the 90's all week.  Ugh. What can you do?  It's the final hurdle before Fall so I'm ready for it! 

I started my day with coffee and 2 blueberry muffins that I made over the weekend. Ok, they were a box mix, but technically I still "made them" and might I say they are quite yummy! I like them warm with melty butter on top.  I really really want to go blueberry picking this summer but with this heat I just can't bring myself to do it.  Even early mornings are that steamy humid that makes you feel gross just being outside.  I'll see how the next few weeks go, but as of now I'm good with farmers market blueberries.  This girl is not built for that kind of heat.  



 

I ended July with a big milestone.  I had my yearly mamogram.  Not something anyone particularly enjoys.  This time I got called back for another round of photos but thankfully I got an A+ on my report card and don't have to go back until next year!  It's always a huge relief once that's done! 



I said my Thank You prayers on my way home and picked myself up some flowers as a treat.  

I think it's important to treat ourselves, don't you?! 




Finally, did I mention that I went back to work last week? Since the pandemic I've been working from home.  Last week I went to my office for the first time since March 2020!  It was crazy to be back after 2 1/2 years! My desk was just as I left it, although I did find a shriveled up orange in my drawer!!   I'll be going in once a week now, still working at home 4 days. I think its a good balance and a nice way to ease back into things.  It was a challenge to find something to wear that actually fit. You could say I've been "dressing down" for that last few years! lol 



Tonight my sister is coming over and we are celebrating a late birthday for me and an early birthday for John. (His actual birthday isn't until the 16th so I guess it going to be a month long celebration.) We are both going on vacation in August so we put dates on the calendar when everyone is available!  I'm making dinner and my Dad is making the cake. 

I'm starting today off slow because I know this week is going to be a busy one.  John is doing some community service hours at his old school (helping the janitor) Wed, Thurs, & Friday. I have an eye doctor appointment and John and I are in charge of feeding my friends 2 cats while she is on vacation. We'll pop over daily to feed them and make sure they have enough water.  She said they might hide from us so we'll see if we actually ever SEE them or not! : ) 

Well.....goodbye July, hello August! Let's do this! 

Happy Monday friends! I hope this day and month are starting off well for you! Stay cool because Fall is coming! xoxo


Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Merry Christmas in July! ♥

We escaped the heat wave today (in our minds : ) and had a very Christmassy afternoon.  

This is something John and I started when he was very little.  Although it's not as big of a deal anymore as he's gotten older we haven't abandoned the tradition completely.  And thankfully, we don't want to.

A lot of fun can be had with some Christmas music and cookie decorating.  We laughed the cookies didn't end up coming out very Christmassy, but hey....we tried! 

All it took was a bag of Pillsbury sugar cookie mix, some frosting & sprinkles, and of course music!  
I dug out a Christmas candle and some holiday mugs to set the mood. 

All of a sudden it felt like the holiday season 


 











And then.....




 John was in a Christmas play when he was in the third grade called Toys, the Night They Came Alive. He played puppet #4. (what a performance btw!! : ) 

 We have a DVD copy and I LOVE to watch it at Christmas time and reminisce.  I remember that Christmas season as a very special and happy one.  We watched that DVD today and had all the feels that go with it.  


It was a festive and fun afternoon and a perfect way to escape the summer heat!    

Happy Wednesday, Friends! xoxo 

Monday, July 25, 2022

I had a birthday ♥

Guess who had a birthday on Sunday?! Yup! Little old me turned 48.  I'm not sure how I feel about that number, but it is what it is.  At least I'll always be two years behind Rob and that makes me smile : )
 
Truth be told I normally don't pay too much attention to my birthday or age.  Sometimes I forget how old I am. A few days ago I got to thinking about the year I graduated high school. I did some quick math and realized it's been 30 years (I graduated in 1992).  Whaaaat???? My jaw dropped! 30 years! That was more shocking to me than my actual 48th birthday!  Wow, how time flies.  It's not just a saying.  It's actually true.   

It couldn't have been a hotter weekend.  Literally 95 degrees but felt like 105!  John and I went out Saturday morning to run some errands before it got too hot and we had to make a Wendy's pitstop for strawberry lemonade.  It's so good and hit the spot! I am definitely not made for this heat.  I should have been born in the fall 

The three of us went out for a casual dinner on Saturday night to celebrate.  Normally I make it a tradition to get lobster on my birthday but believe it or not, I was feeling like a salad! I ended up with a delicious honey mustard crispy chicken salad.  Healthy, maybe.  But I made up for it with the cookie skillet I ordered for dessert!  In my defense we asked for three spoons and shared it....although I could have eaten the whole entire thing no problem whatsoeva! 

Sunday morning we hit the beach early.  We got coffees and had a nice walk.  We left before it got too hot and crowded.  I was there just long enough to dip my toes in the ocean and make a birthday wish.  
The rest of the day was spent in my nice air conditioned house, relaxing, and watching Christmas movies....because it's also Christmas in July!  John and I are planning a small celebration with cookie decorating later in the week.  We don't go all out like we used to anymore and that's ok. But some cookies and Christmas music (in the middle of a heat wave) will be a fun afternoon.  My mother just gifted John with some of her old record albums.  One is an Elvis Christmas and we can't wait to play it on the record machine : )



 


Don't worry, I have SFP 50+ on! 


















Later in the week my sister is coming down and we are going to have a family birthday dinner with my parents. I'm looking forward to that. Today I went to lunch with my mother in law to one of my favorite restaurants. It was a fun afternoon! I just love going out to lunch 

 By the way, I'm wearing a new bag....  It was birthday present from a dear friend who knows me SO WELL.  I'm in love with this bag! I feel like it has my name written all over it!! eeek! 

We were meant to be together! 



Isn't she adorable?!?!  ahhhhh..... 




It's been a lovely birthday weekend! I feel blessed and grateful to my family and friends who called, left me messages, and texted me. Thank you!  You all are wonderful! xo 

And best of all... I even treated myself to some new eye cream.  The good stuff.  Happy birthday to me! 



Have a wonderful week my friends! Are you in the middle of a heat wave too?  Just remember we are one day closer to October! 

Byeeeee!!! xoxoxo

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Peach Cobbler Oatmeal ♥ (see, you can be cozy in summertime : )

Good morning friends!  

We are in the middle of a heat wave here in New England.  It's been in the 90's all week with no end in sight.  Although I love the slower pace of summer days, I have no love for this unbearable heat.  These are the days I long for the crisp cool air of fall.  But alas, everything comes in time so I must be patient and try to enjoy it (insert eye roll here : ) 

Last night I made grave mistake by having a cup of coffee at 7pm! Actually it was a caramel latte and I could not resist it.  I looked at it as a delicious dessert.  And it was.  However, the caffeine got to me and I ended up being up later than usual.  I was lying in bed scrolling Pinterest (as you do!) and I came across a recipe for Peach Cobbler Oatmeal.  Thinking about the two ripe peaches sitting in my fridge I decided that first thing in the morning I would make it for breakfast.  And that's what I did!  




 

Oatmeal is the ultimate comfort food.  

Even in the summer there are ways to feel cozy 



We LOVE peaches around here! 



All it took was chopped peaches, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, and oats.  

 

Here's how to make it:

3 1/2 cups water

pinch of salt

2 1/2 cups rolled oats (I used quick oats)

2 1/4 tsp cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

2 large peaches, chopped

3-4 tbls brown sugar

chopped nuts for garnish (I omitted these) 


Bring water and salt to a boil.  Add oats, cinnamon, & nutmeg.  Stir to combine. 

Cook for 2-3 minutes or until oatmeal thickens.  Add peaches and brown sugar.  Cook for one  additional minute.   

This oatmeal is thick.  Add a splash of milk if desired to thin it out a bit if that's the way you like it : ) 




My favorite spice : ) 



I added a drizzle of honey on top for added sweetness!  

Yum Yum Yum!!!



This is a large recipe, so you may want to cut it in half if you don't want to eat oatmeal for days.  I put the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge and I'll have it for breakfast for the rest of the week. 

I'm thinking a few blueberries on top would be a nice too!  

Enjoy!! xoxo 

Have a wonderful day Friends! I hope you are staying cool today and doing something you love.  

Happy Wednesday! 


Monday, July 18, 2022

Aloha Cream Pie! ♥


Hello Friends! Happy Monday!  

Last year for my birthday my sweet friend gifted me this adorable cookbook! It's one I hold near and dear to me because it's full of fabulous RETRO recipes themed around my favorite TV show I Love Lucy! We're talking recipes like ambrosia salad, stuffed celery (to serve at your next bridge game), and cranberry Jello Christmas delight. A must for every holiday party!  I'm slowly working my way through each and every recipe and have loved every one so far.  

It's an experience!  



 
I was flipping through the book this week searching for a strawberry pie recipe when I came across this page.  Aloha Cream Pie!! If that name doesn't say summer I don't know what does.  It's basically a creamy, decadent coconut cream pie with pineapple on top that will give you the feeling of being on a tropical island.  It's delicious!  I decided the strawberry pie can wait and this is what we must have right now! 




I'm not gonna lie.  This pie doesn't just happen.  There are some steps involved.  For me, first being running to the store to get coconut milk because that's not something I normally have in the house.

Patience is also a factor because you need time for the filling to set.  However I will say, the payoff is worth it.  

Whenever I see an old recipe with a lot of steps I actually get excited.  Cooking and baking back in our grandmother's day was not something they rushed.  They took their time and enjoyed the process.  

So come with me and let's have a "Lucy moment."  
Tie your hair back and put on your prettiest apron. It's time to bake  



















For the pie: 

1 round prepared pie dough

1/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1/4 cup crushed pineapple, well drained 

1/4 cup macadamia nuts, minced - these are optional, I left them out : ) 


Filling: 

1 can (14 oz) coconut milk

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

3 egg yolks

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1 tsp coconut extract

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt


Topping: 

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup confectioners sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp coconut extract 

1/4 tsp salt 

(*if you don't have coconut extract substitute with extra vanilla extract : ) 


Instructions: 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Roll out pie dough into a 9 inch greased pie dish.  Prick bottom and sides with a fork.  Bake 7-8 minutes.  Let cool.

Lower the oven heat to 350 degrees.  

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Spread coconut (1/3 cup) onto the baking sheet and bake/toast until lightly browned.  About 6-8 minutes.  Give it a quick stir about half way through and watch carefully so it doesn't burn.  Let cool.

In a double boiler over med-low heat simmer the coconut milk and heavy whipping cream (1 1/2 cups) until bubbles form along the edges.  Reduce heat and add the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch, whisking constantly until thickened, approximately 7-8 minutes.

Remove from heat. Stir in the coconut (1/2 cup), extracts, and salt. 

Pour into pie shell and refrigerate, at least 6 hours (overnight is best). 

For the topping, with an electric mixer whip the heavy whipping cream (1 1/2 cups), confectioners sugar, extracts, and salt until stiff peaks form. 

To assemble, top the pie with the whip cream, pineapple, and toasted coconut.  

(**I followed photo in the cookbook and put the pineapple in the center on top of the whip cream.  I think next time I would spread a thin layer UNDER the whip cream for more pineapple in every bite!) 



Enjoy!!! 

Now I must find that strawberry pie recipe I was looking for.  I'm off to search for it.  

Have a wonderful Monday!

xoxo 

Monday, July 11, 2022

Fourth of July Week! ♥

Hello Friends! 

I hope you all had a happy and fun holiday week!  I am so glad to be back here on this space. I've missed you! I took the week off for vacation and I can't wait to tell you all about it.  

We were invited to spend the week with our most dearest and wonderful friends in Pennsylvania. Every moment was amazing and I'm missing them already!  We were greeted Saturday night with a spectacular fireworks display over the lake.



My friend BJ lives in a charming and picturesque home right on the lake. Many nights we sat right here on this deck with our families talking and laughing. 

I'm smiling right now just thinking about it : ) 



We took boat rides and the kids went tubing! John LOVED it! I loved the beautiful lake views. 

 Lake life is something I could get used to : ) 


 


And here she is! My BFF!  We met right here on this blogspace, although I feel as if I've known BJ all my life.  We are two peas in a pod! We love home, cozy, coffee, family, gameshows, books, scary movies, and a million other things.  I'm so grateful to her and her amazing family.  They welcomed us as if we were part of the family.  And it sure felt that way 





One of my favorite days was lunch at the Strawberry Tea shop.  It's the most darling place, and the food....OH MY WORD. 




If I see grilled cheese on a menu of course I have to order it...with tomato soup!  
This was an "adult grilled cheese" made with three chesses and an onion & bacon marmalade in the middle.  

YUM!  




For dessert we shared three different kinds of pie.  My favorite was the strawberry cream.  

To.die.for. 




But the best moments were just sitting on her beautiful deck, overlooking the lake.  

With a cup of coffee and a puppy close by.  It's the best! 





More fun on the boat! 






A fourth of July feast! 



One night we had a pizza party! So much fun! 



(clearly John is taking it too seriously! LOL)



They were all delicious! 




I wanted to take this little guy home with me 



John and Mocha have a complicate relationship! 

But I think they secretly love each other  




One night is was my pleasure to make dinner for everyone.  I decided on chicken picatta and thankfully everyone enjoyed it!  I had so much fun cooking in BJ's kitchen! She even played Frank Sinatra for me! 




Here's Steve & Rob cooking breakfast on the grill! 

It was soooo gooood! 



A gorgeous view from the couch looking out onto the lake.  

BJ's home is so cozy.  I feel so at home in her space 




At night we played games, had milkshakes, watched movies, told stories, and made smores.  
All my favorite things! 





The week flew by so fast and they graciously invited us back next month to do it all over again! We were chatting about it and before we knew it we were marking the dates in our calendars.  
We are beyond excited!! 





Friends like this come along once is lifetime.  I feel so blessed to have BJ and her family in our lives. We are blog friends, that turned into real life friends, that have turned into family. 





We would never have met if it not for the internet.  Life if so funny, isn't it?! 





You can visit BJ's beautiful blog here.  And you can also visit her daughter Madison's blog here or shop her bridal & dress boutique online here.  FYI I've been to the real life store and it's GORGEOUS!!! 

Thank you for visiting me today    

I hope your July is off to a great start.  Now it's back to reality for me.  Work, laundry, dinner, chores, repeat.  It's ok though.  I now have something to look forward to! 

Happy Summertime!!! Have a great day! xoxo