Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January 2017 ♥

It’s the last day of January.  Wow, that went by fast!  I really love the month of January for many reason, but mostly because after the rush and chaos of December it’s so nice to slow things down a bit.  We had many lazy weekends in January and loved every one of them.  Not running around from place to place or going to crowed shopping malls is bliss for me. (Did I ever mention how much I hate shopping?! It’s true : ) Curling up on the couch and catching up on TV shows or books that I didn’t have time to read over the Christmas holiday makes me happy.  Sometimes it snowed and other times it was just too cold to go outside.  Either way, January was a wonderful month of rest and reflection. 


Inspired by: Lately I’m inspired by Art.  John loves to paint and draw.  We’ve spent the last few weekends having art nights.  Basically that consists of him creating something lovely and me scribbling in a coloring book.  For Christmas my coworker Donna gave me one of those adult coloring books.  It’s beautiful and full of inspirational quotes! I love it!  I had no idea how therapeutic it could be. John and I talk about the colors and the patterns and give each other’s opinion on things. It’s so much fun! There is nothing I love more than doing things with John anyway but doing something we both love makes it even better. 


Watching:  Are you watching Victoria on PBS?  I’m only 2 episodes in and I’m completely hooked!  If you watched The Crown, then you will no doubt love Victoria.  After all this time I am still mourning the loss Downton Abbey and desperately seeing something to fill that void.  Speaking of…..I watched the SAG Awards Sunday night.  The Downton cast was nominated for best ensemble in a drama series.  They did not win but it made my heart sing to see the whole cast reunited once again! YAY! Its award season and I am an award show junkie! I drool over the gowns and cry at acceptance speeches.  Oh how I love a good acceptance speech!  I’m also watching Vikings on The History Channel.  It’s pretty good. I have to balance out my Real Housewives somehow! (that’s just real talk : )

Listening to: I’m a tried and true podcast listener.  I keep meaning to write a blog post about my favorite podcasts because I listen to them all day long at work.  My all time favorite is The History Chicks.  Every episode is a biography of a great woman (i.e. chick) in history.  It’s hosted by two friends – Beckett and Susan.  Their casual talk makes you feel like you are sitting with two of your best girlfriends, having a chat over coffee.  Each episode is so interesting and informative.  I’ve enjoy learning from these ladies!  Some of my favorite episodes have been the wives of Henry the VIII, Zelda Fitzgerald (who I found out shares my birthday), Julia Child, 1950’s Housewives, Marie Antoinette, Catherine the Great, and many, many more.  Their most recent biography was on Lucille Ball!!! Anyone that knows me knows how much I adore Lucy so I couldn’t have been more excited to hear this two part episode.  It was fabulous!!!!  By end I was in tears (again..). So good!  I believe Lucy is episode 82 so if you are history nerd like I am check out their podcast.  You will not be disappointed!

Reading:  I always have a stack of books on my nightstand.  Sometimes the books are due back at the library before I’ve had a chance to even open them.  I’m trying to be better about that and make more time for reading.  Over Thanksgiving my mother in law (who is an avid reader) recommended The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.  I finally got around to reading it a few weeks ago.  It was excellent!  Its a historical fiction novel that takes place during WWII.  I could not put it down!  The next book in my pile, which I have not started yet but hope to this week, is All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.   I’m also very interested in the book that everyone seems to be talking about lately… The Little Book of Hygee –Danish Secrets to a Happy Life.  I’ve heard such amazing things about this book.  Have you read it? I’ve got it on hold at my library. 


Eating: Ok, this is an easy one…Everything!  Lazy January weekends mean eating comfort food.  We are making and eating pizza like it’s our job!  Saturday night has become homemade pizza night in our house.  Mainly because it’s quick and easy and everyone loves it.  I bought a basil plant at the beginning of January (to make it feel like spring in the kitchen…lol) so I’ve been adding fresh basil leaves to everything.  So good with chopped garlic on pizza.  Roasted chicken, turkey dinner, burgers, apple pie, blueberry muffins….you name it, we’ve eaten it!  This week I’ve really been craving banana bread so I definitely see that in our near future!   And tonight is Rob’s birthday, which means cake!!! 

I made this yesterday....

...and we’ve all been staring at it for 24 hours.  Tonight we get to dig in!  Birthday weeks always mean special treats.  Tonight we will celebrate at home just the three of us with a small dinner and cake.  Saturday night we are going to my parents for chicken parmesan and on Sunday we are going to my in laws for dinner.  It’s also the Super Bowl and people are going just a little bit crazy (a good crazy) that the Patriots are playing! If you're from where I'm from, that means a lot!
 I’ve never really been into football but I do enjoy a good nacho dip….so I’ll be watching! :)

Drinking:  I’m still drinking my lemon water in the morning.  I love it so much that I feel my body craving it.  It’s been a nice way to start cold January mornings.  I take my steaming cup of it back to bed and drink it while I sit under my covers looking out the window.  I say my prayers for the day and enjoy the peacefulness while it lasts. I follow it with coffee of course, but I feel better each day.   I’ve also discovered a new tea that I love.  It’s Bigelow Lemon & Ginger tea.  I have a cup every afternoon with lemon and a drop of honey.  It’s delicious.  I think it may have helped me fight a cold at the beginning of the month and I’ve been drinking it ever since.  I keep a box in my desk at work so when 3:00 rolls around….it’s tea time.  Yaaay!


Dreaming: a getaway weekend! Rob and I would like to take John on a mini vacation in late February/early March.  Just a long weekend somewhere to break up the monotony.  We were thinking about maybe going to Florida or someplace warm.  When we asked John about it he said he didn’t want to fly, but go on a road trip to a hotel with a pool.  We realized that he doesn’t care about where we go, just as long as we are together…in a hotel with a pool! Kids are very easy to please. We are thinking maybe New Hampshire or Vermont.  We’ve always loved road trips and it’s been awhile since we’ve been on one.  Time to pack the car with sandwiches and hit the road.  We are only in the planning stages but I’m excited.  It’s always nice to have something to look forward to.  Especially in the middle of winter!


That's me!

So there you have it: My January in a nutshell.  Tomorrow we turn the page to February.  The month of love.  The month where I get to decorate with pink hearts and none of the boys in my house can complain about it. 

Happy February first! ♥

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Our weekend ♥

Hello from the sick house!  John has been home for the past two days with a fever and bad cough.  I know he's "really sick" when he doesn't want to leave the couch and says no to ice cream. He never sits still for more than five minutes so I knew this was serious.  Two days home from school, a Home Alone marathon, and all the hot chocolate he wants tells me he doesn't exactly hate it.  I tried to get him to drink hot lemon water for his throat but he wanted no part of it.  Ok....more hot chocolate it is ♥ 

The good news is today I can see pink back in his cheeks and he says he's feeling better. I think the worst is behind us : ) 

So while he recovers I thought I would show you some pictures from our past weekend. 

We had a huge snowstorm on Saturday.  It started snowing around 11 am and didn't stop until well past midnight.  This is the first big storm we've had this winter.

I had oatmeal with bananas and honey for breakfast.  There may have been some turkey bacon on the side. So good on a frosty winter morning!

I took a quick video of the snow with my phone.  If you follow me on Instagram I posted it there.  I'm trying to be better about posting more videos.  I'm new at it so bear with me ♥ 

The snow makes everything so pretty! It was freezing though!!!! brrrr.....

I'm so grateful to this guy for digging us out.  John went out to play in it while Rob shoveled and snowplowed the driveway.  I stayed inside where it was warm ♥

On Sunday we had my parent's for dinner and I made a roast chicken.  Here he is...all plumped up  with yummy crispy skin.  I stuffed him with lemons, onions, and garlic and basted him with melted butter.  OMG

On the side we had baked potatoes, roasted broccoli, and these cornmeal muffins. 

It was the perfect comfort meal (my favorite kind! : )

And for dessert, the cheesecake I was telling you about.  While the boys were out freezing in the snow (which is probably why John is sick right now), I was keeping the house warm by baking.

I used this Susan Branch recipe.  It's actually baked in a pie shell (no spring form pan needed) and has a  sour cream topping.  It was crazy/dangerous/delicious!

Everything is now frozen in place.  It looks like frosting ♥ 

Hard to believe that in a few short months this frozen ground will have tulips and daffodils sprouting up from it.  That's the beauty of the seasons ~

Sunset through the kitchen window tells me it's tea time ♥

I baked up a quick batch of blueberry muffins for the week. 

They do make the best medicine, you know ♥

And while the days are cold and frosty the nights are clear and starry.  We count our blessings that our bellies are full and we are warm and cozy.  How lucky we are ♥

And that's about it for now.  Fingers crossed tomorrow everyone is healthy and we get back to normal around here.  And I'm not even gonna mention the fact that I might have a little sniffle.....oh no...am I next? I hope not!

Smile, cause we are one day closer to Friday!!  xx

Friday, January 6, 2017

Hello 2017 ♥

Well, hello 2017! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and a happy new year! Ours was lovely.  We saw lots of family Christmas eve & Christmas day and John couldn't have been happier with what Santa brought him.  He was up at 6 am on Christmas morning, which made for a long day for all of us. I think we watched A Christmas Story on repeat at least ten times!  We opened presents over cinnamon rolls and eggnog and I remember looking out the window (because it was still dark out) and being so tired but thinking to myself that he's only going to be 9 once so enjoy every minute.  And that's what I did ♥ 

in the wee hours of the morning

breakfast table ♥

My parents came for dinner and my mom brought this delicious rum cake she ordered from our favorite bakery! It was amazing!!!

video games, train tracks, boxes, games....yup, the place was a mess :)

It's hard to believe it's all over.  As always, it went by too fast.  The best thing I did all season is take the week between Christmas and New Year's off.  It's my most favorite week of the year because of how peaceful it is.  After all the rushing around, we had one glorious week of sleeping late and afternoon tea. I think we all needed it, I know I did.  By the end of the week I felt refreshed and ready to face the new year....but did I make to midnight on new years eve? I wish I could say yes.  I tried, really I did ♥ 

I'm a party animal

First meal of 2017,  baked blueberry French toast with bacon. 

So now it's all about getting back into the swing of things and settling into January.  It's been freezing cold here this week and we are expecting a big snowstorm tomorrow! The last news report I saw said we may get up to 14 inches on Saturday!  I'm glad it's hitting us over the weekend so I don't have to worry about driving in it.  We are perfectly fine hibernating all weekend!  I've invited my parents over for dinner on Sunday and I'm making a roast chicken (I've been craving one....that crispy skin...yum!) and a cheesecake for dessert.  The old fashioned kind with a sour cream topping.  I can't wait! 

As you can see I haven't made any radical new years resolutions about healthy eating. I'm not kidding myself : ) I've decided to just try to make better choices and do what makes me feel good. I already know I should eat better and get more exercise. I'll keep trying. Also getting more sleep is something I need to be mindful of.  One thing I have been doing for the past few weeks is substituting one of my morning coffees with hot water and lemon. Have you read about the benefits of this? It's very soothing and I'm enjoying it very much.

So as we ease into January, I have high hopes for this new year - a clean slate.  And lots of cake to share with you!

Have a cozy January weekend, my dear friends.  I'll be back soon! xoxo