Wednesday, March 29, 2017

I hate exercising, but....♥

I’m going to be honest with you guys.  I hate exercising.  I really do.   I feel awkward, I don’t like sweating, and let’s be real…I can’t drink coffee while working out.  It’s not my thing.  I do, however, LOVE to walk.  Going for walks (or shall I call them strolls:) is one of my favorite hobbies.  

One of the MANY things I love about Spring is that I find myself motivated to get outside into the fresh air and walk.  After many months of winter hibernation, it’s time to fill these lungs with sweet air and get my legs moving.  Let me show you one of my favorite places to walk.  

This is a tiny beach area in Hingham, MA  - not even ten minutes from my house.  I feel very lucky that I live so close to the ocean.  And although I’ve never been a “beach” person I do love walking near the ocean.  I enjoy the ocean breeze, listening to the seagulls fly overhead and watching the sailboats come in and out of the harbor. It’s very peaceful.

I used to bring John here when he was really little for picnics.  Also, in the summertime there is a farmers market here every Saturday.  Fresh fruits & veggies, flowers, herbs, and lobsters straight from the ocean. It has it all, but still seems quaint to me.  It’s amazing.  (I wrote about it once here)

I normally like to walk alone.  It’s a time for me to clear my head and collect my thoughts.  I like to step out of the chaos for a bit and be in the moment.  I bring my headphones and listen to nice music or a podcast.  It’s my time, which is so limited, and I cherish it.  

Sometimes I treat myself to lunch.  There is a coffee shop right across the street that has amazing sandwiches.  I take mine to go and have a seat on the bench.   I can eat and watch the ocean in complete peace.  I don’t know why, but there is never anyone else here.  I feel like I have the whole beach to myself.  Its bliss….

I found these pictures in my phone from one afternoon last spring.  I remember that sandwich.  It was delicious! I can’t wait to do this again.  

Yep…this is my idea of exercise : ) 

Friday, March 24, 2017

What's on my dresser ♥

We've made it to another Friday!  Yippeeee!
Today I thought I would give you a little tour of my bedroom dresser. 
At any given day you would probably find my purse sitting on it or if its early in the morning a random cup of coffee on the edge of it.  John usually leaves markers or a sticker book tossed somewhere on it when he's in my room looking for me.  And of course there is usually a small pile of folded towels waiting to be put into the linen closet, in the hall right through that door. 
Well, here it is without all those things I just mentioned.  The way it should look (minus a little dust...forgive me : ).

On the right side I have a touch lamp that we use as a night light. 
(I've had that lamp literally over 20 years!)  
The porcelain jar I got as a present from my mom.  The box was a gift from my dad.  It's also a music box.  It plays "Ode to Joy" by Beethoven.

This "wish" jar is filled with 365 little pieces of paper (that look like fortunes from fortune cookies).  Each one is a motivational quote.  One for every day of the year. 
My little love ♥  at age 5.
In this box I have special keepsakes.  Family pictures, my favorite rosary beads, newspaper clippings,
and other mementos.
The dresser scarf was hand embroidered by my grandmother.  She loved to embroider and knit and was very talented.  I have these scarfs all over my house.
The jewelry box in the middle of my dresser is for my everyday "costume" jewelry. 
It's clearly a hot mess! 
To the left of that I have this Tinkerbelle music box that Rob got me in Disney on our honeymoon.  It plays "You can fly, you can fly, you can fly..." from Peter Pan. 
Then there is this bigger box. 
Perfect for letters, trinkets, more keepsakes, and bits & bobs.  Its even more of a hot mess than the little box so I'll spare you a peek inside. 
Behind that is a glass bottle in the shape of the Eiffel Tower. 
I have a strong affection for Paris and hope to visit there someday.
A dish with my special stones.  They give me clarity and comfort.  They are my good luck charms and are supposed to give off good vibes.
My favorite lotion. 
And this Friends sign  (given to me by a dear friend last year : ) hangs above so I can see it every day.
And there you have it. 
What's currently on my dresser.

Thank you for taking the time to tour this little corner of my home. 
I wish you all a happy weekend!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

This week... ♥

My current situation.  

Flying by the seat of my pants this week, ladies!  

Two sleeps till Friday.  

In my mind, I'm already there.....♥ 


Monday, March 20, 2017

Oatmeal cream pies ♥

I saw this recipe on a few weeks ago and mentally saved it because it instantly reminded me of those delicious Little Debbie Oatmeal Pies I used to get as a kid.  I can remember walking home from school and stopping at the little convenient store down the street from my house and getting either a Little Debbie or a pack of Hubba Bubba grape bubble gum.  Those were the days!
I had a little free time yesterday in between helping John study for a social studies test and making dinner so I whipped up a batch for dessert.  They were very good!  I made them on the smaller size so I could get more cookies out of the batch, but I think next time I will make them a bit larger.  On a side note, just these cookies alone are amazing! It occurred to me as I was making them that I already posted an oatmeal cookie receipt not too long ago, but let's face it....there is never enough oatmeal cookies, right? Everyone loves them!
Throw in some chocolate chips or dried cranberries and this maybe the only cookie I'll ever make again ♥

For the cookies:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups quick or old fashioned oatmeal
For the cream filling:
3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbls milk or half & half
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  I highly recommend using parchment papers.  The cookies literally slide off it AND you don't have to wash your cookie sheets. 
In a large bowl cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add in eggs and vanilla.  Mix until just combined. 
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Slowly add flour mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined.  Add in oats and mix until incorporated. 

To make large cookies, use a large cookie scoop (about 3 tablespoons) to drop dough onto cookie sheets.  Bake 13 - 15 minutes, or until golden brown.  To make smaller cookies (like me : ) use a medium cookie scoop (about 1.5 tablespoons) of dough per cookie and bake 10 - 12 minutes.
Let sit on cookie sheet a few minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.

For the filling:
In a bowl of a stand mixer beat butter on med-high speed for about 5 minutes.   Turn the speed down to low and gradually add in the powdered sugar.  Continue mixing on low speed until the powdered sugar is completely incorporated.  Add in vanilla and milk.  Turn the mixer back up to high and beat for an additional 3-5 minutes.  This makes the cream extra smooth and fluffy. 

To assemble the pies, spread cream filling between the flat sides of two cookies. 
Store in an airtight container in the fridge ♥

Best eaten with a glass of milk with a cute straw!
Happy Monday and happy first day of Spring!!!! 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick's Day...let's have...pasta?

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
I happened again this morning.  I went rummaging through my closet and much to my shock, found nothing green to wear! It happens every March 17th. Nothing green.  As a person who is proudly 1/2 Irish I feel like I should at least own a green shirt.  But nope.  All my clothes are either black, white, or black & white.  I'm not kidding.  I really need to get some color into my wardrobe. 
Anyway, wardrobe issues aside, I love St. Patrick's Day!
It means we are having our annual boiled dinner Saturday night! My parents are in charge of cooking it and I'll bring the Irish Bread.  It's the one time a year I actually eat cabbage and enjoy it : )  
Tonight is Friday and it's lent so it's pancakes for dinner. Friday's during lent we either have pizza, eggs, or pancakes.  I would love to say FISH but I'm the only one in my house who eats seafood! I know! (what's wrong with these people?!)  I never cook fish for just me, so pancakes it is. 
I have blueberries in my fridge so I'll make them extra fancy ♥   
 As you can see it's still freezing cold here.  The snow that's left from Tuesday's storm has turned to solid ice.  It's so cold!  But on the bright side, daylight savings means that it's light out until 6:30!!  I feel like we have so much more time in the evenings now.  Tonight I came home from work, we had dinner, John was doing his homework and it was STILL LIGHT out. ♥
What a difference an hour makes!
Well, even though it's St. Patrick's Day (technically I'm not celebrating until tomorrow : ) I wanted to show you this delicious pasta dish. 
If you are looking for something that literally comes together in 10 minutes this is the meal for you...
The other day I made this for myself simply because I love it.  I had it for dinner one night (everyone else was having leftovers) and I've been taking it to work and having it for lunch all week. 
There is no meat in this dish so it would be a perfect Friday night meal, but now that I think about it, those blueberry pancakes are calling me!

8 oz. pasta (I use thin spaghetti)
1 can diced tomatoes, drained (or you could use fresh cherry tomatoes, halved)
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
fresh basil (optional)
Prepare pasta according to package directions. Place hot, drained pasta, tomatoes, and peas in a large bowl.  Combine oil, cheese, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Add to pasta and toss to coat.  Top with fresh basil and extra Parmesan cheese if desired.

I remember when I was in elementary school we would give out green carnations to our friends on St. Patrick's Day.  I don't know if kids still do that anymore, but it's a nice memory for me ♥

Thanks for catching up with me today...
I wish you all a very happy St. Patrick's Day!  Have a great weekend, my friends!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

It snowed again! ♥ no big deal : )

Hello! ♥

It seems winter has decided to stick around a little bit longer.  

Yesterday we were all home on a snow day.  I don’t mind winter storms (even in March, when we are practically kissing Spring) if it means I can stay home all day in my favorite moon & stars pajamas, have grilled cheese sandwiches on the couch, watch movies, and play UNO with John all day.  I’m totally Ok with that.  Good thing, because that’s what we did. 

Had to do it...♥

It snowed all day and by late afternoon it had turned to rain.  Today we are left with a cold, icy mess.  I can’t help but think about those pretty crocus I saw peeking through the ground last week.  I hope they can survive.

Only a week ago...crazy! 

Getting up and out today was not fun.  Going back to work after a snow day is tough.  Kind of like a Monday morning but worse.  

(If you are in the fourth grade it’s even more devastating, let me tell you : )

Only three things give me strength on days like this. 

Number one….is coffee. And lots of it.  

Number 2… My black knit infinity scarf which I bury myself in.  Soft and cozy.

And number  3 … a good lipstick.  

I am the type of person that doesn’t feel fully put together if I have bare lips.  I call it my armor.  

Lately I’ve been wearing this one from ELF.  I really like ELF products because they are inexpensive and last all day. Oh, and I just recently realized that ELF stands for Eyes Lips Face.  


We all survived our first day back and as luck would have it, it's hump day which means only two jumps till Friday!  Yaaay! 

It's St. Patrick's Day weekend and as per usual we are having our annual boiled dinner at my parents house on Saturday night.  I'm making another Irish Bread for the occasion.  

What are you plans?  

Well, that's about it in my part of the world...snow, snow, and more snow!  

I'll be back on Friday to share with you a yummy pasta recipe! 

Have a wonderful day! xoxo 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Escaping the Winter for 5 minutes ♥ memories of Disney World

It's Monday and we are prepping for another big storm tomorrow.  It's time to batten down the hatches. I'm expecting to get anywhere between 12-16 inches of snow in my area!  After finishing this post I'm headed to the store to stock up on a few items because we'll probably be home on a snow day tomorrow.  And even though I'm so over winter at this point, the thought of being home cozy on the couch watching movies, while a storm rages outside, makes my very happy ♥ 
This will be winter's goodbye and soon Spring will roll in (fingers crossed! : ).
Did I also mention that it's absolutely freezing here?! It's in the teens but feels well below zero.  I'm craving that warm summer sunshine on my face.  The kind you get in Florida.  I came across this picture of me the other day taken in Disney World on October 12, 1998.  I know the date because I was on my honeymoon.
In an effort to escape winter for 5 minutes I pulled out a few random pictures of Disney World for your viewing pleasure.  If you are as cold and sick of winter as I am, the glow of the sunshine in these pics will surely make you happy : )
 This is a rare photo of me in shorts! I don't wear them much anymore, unless I'm in Disney and is HOT! Also, may I have a moment of silence for those me, they don't look like that anymore. RIP : /
Here we are...honeymooners with our matching fanny packs! We were so in style! lol

 Coincidently, my mom recently found my autograph book from when my family took our first vacation to Disney World in 1984.  I was in the fourth grade. I remember we stayed at the Polynesian and it was the first time I had seen a luau. I thought it was the most magical place I had ever seen!  I think I decided right then and there that someday I would honeymoon in Disney.  And I did! : )
Back in those days the characters were allowed to roam the parks freely.  They would come up to you or your could go up to them get their autograph.  I love how Mary Poppins personalized this! She has nice handwriting too, don't you think? ♥


Two years ago we took John for the first time.  He was 7, the perfect age!  He had no idea what to expect, and of course absolutely loved it! 

 I know Disney is hot, can be crowded, and is very expensive (it takes us a long time to save up for a Disney trip) but it's worth it.  Disney World makes me feel like a kid again.  It brings back all those childhood, Mary Poppins memories.  I think that's what it's supposed to do ♥
We love Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, shopping at Disney Springs,  and especially (for me) the Magic Kingdom.  It's where all the classics live! 
Rob loves Epcot the best!

My favorite Epcot spot is the fountain in France. 
I love the French music they play in the streets...ooh, la, la!

Friends that fist bump!

Glorious Florida sunsets!

And this moment, which was a thrill of a lifetime! A forever friend (in me!)

 Rob loves the Tower of Terror at Hollywood Studios.  Me, I would rather pretend to be Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz on the Great Movie Ride.  There is something for everybody ♥

Cinderella's castle! The heart of the Magic Kingdom! ♥♥♥

And then there's this.  Snow White, my childhood idol.  I want to be her when I grow up : )

Hi ~

I could do a whole post on all of the yummy food and fabulous restaurants, but I think this says it all.  Mickey Bars for daaaays!

The Gang's all here!

Resting our weary feet at the pool after a long day in the sun. ♥

 And there you have it.  Are you warm yet?  Currently we have no set date to go back, but every two years I get that itching inside of me.  We are thinking of maybe November this time.  We'll see.  I'm going to start my "I wanna go to Disney" campaigning when we get back from Memphis.  I hope we can make it happen!  Just writing this I can smell the sweet sugary aroma from the Confection Shop on Main Street.  It's calling my name! ♥
By the way, if you love Disney as much as I do you should be listening to this podcast...
The Passporter Moms.  It's a weekly podcast - all things Disney.  Sara and Jennifer fill you in on all the weekly goings on at Disney, plus news, travel tips, listener questions, and more.  Every week they have a topic, like "5 must sees at Animal Kingdom" or "Best counter service restaurants at Epcot".  Things like that.  I get my weekly fix of all things Disney, when I can't be there but wish I was.  Plus they are so cute and funny and sometimes talk about the Bachelor, which is always a good thing. 
Well, I guess I better get back to real life and make sure I have enough milk and bread in the house.  Blizzard Stella is headed my way.  (insert Marlon Brando reference here ***)
Have a magical Monday! xoxo
(real life, non-Disney picture)