Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Natural beauty ♥ 2 ingredient face scrub

I am lover of DIY's.  Especially beauty treatments.  Face scrubs and exfoliators can be so expensive and what gets me is the main ingredients are usually products you already have at home.  Either that, or they are chemicals that you can't even pronounce.  For the past few years I've been making my own and my skin has never felt so good!  

As I get older I'm really trying to focus more on the health of my skin.  Makeup is fun, but you've got to protect what's under the makeup.  Am I right?  

Three very important rules that I follow are: 

#1. Stay out of the sun/wear sunscreen.

#2 Wash and moisture my face every night/don't sleep with makeup on! 

Sometimes it's hard (especially #2!) but I push myself, half asleep, into the bathroom and to wash my face.  It feels so good!   


#3. Drink water!

You already know this : ) 
Water is hands down the the best thing for your skin.  Take a look at the cleanser or moisturizer you are using.  Chances are one of the main ingredients is water.  Sometimes I have to push myself to drink it, but I'm getting better.  I always have a big bottle of water close by.  If it's there, I'll drink it.  
If I add lemon slices I feel fancy. 

If this winter is doing a number on your skin -OR- you need something to bring a little radiance back into your complexion I suggest this quick treatment.  I've been doing in a few times a week for the past month and I love it! 

It's like a 5 minute spa treatment at home! ♥ 

All you need is 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and one tablespoon of baking soda. 

I've spoken about my love for coconut oil (here) when I posted my favorite skin care products for winter, back in December.  I've been applying it to my skin daily for the last several months. And naturally, I'm by no means and expert on this, I only speak from my own experience ♥ 

Coconut oil is healing and nurturing to the skin.  It's naturally antibacterial and antifungal.  
Coconut oil is used as an ingredient in many moisturizers because of its anti aging properties.  It's rich in proteins that will keep your skin healthy and rejuvenated! 

Baking soda is a very gentle exfoliater that works wonders and won't harm your skin. It's also .69 a box and how can you go wrong with that! 

Mix them together in a bowl and apply to your face and neck. 
I also like to rub some on my lips for a little lip treatment 
Leave it on for 5 minutes and then wash it off with warm water. 
I suggest applying the mask over your bathroom sink because you will want to wash the excess off your hands.  

Lately, what I have been doing is applying it right before I get into the shower.  Let the water run and once I'm in there wash it off.  Your face will feel incredibly smooth and hydrated.
Pat dry and apply your moisturizer ♥ 

If your skin is extra, extra dry I suggest you try this scrub (here).  I make this one with olive oil, honey, and sugar.  It's amazing!!!  You use it on your face, neck, elbows, knees...just take the jar into the shower with you! You'll come out feeling like a new woman!  

Taking care of my skin makes me feel good. Especially in a natural way. What ways do you take care of your skin? I would love to hear some suggestions of other things I could be doing.  

Have a wonderful day and happy last day of February!  


Monday, February 26, 2018

Rustic fruit tart ♥

Hello Friends! It's the last week of February.  How did we get here so fast?
I am totally excited that it's almost March because it means we are getting closer to Spring.  This past week we had temperature well into the 60's. I saw people walking around town in shorts.  Even I'm not that crazy.  I know better, because 2 days later it snowed.  Go figure. 
I have the day off from work today and after I do a quick grocery run I am planning on some light housework and (sadly) putting away all my Valentine decorations.  I need to give St. Patrick's Day some equal showing time because before we know it  Easter will be here. I already saw the candy in the stores before Valentines Day! I'll never understand the rush.  Seriously, if I bought Easter candy this early, it would never make it to Easter....if you know what I mean.  I would eat it all and then have to buy more.  Maybe that's what the stores are hoping for! : )

Speaking of candy, may I interest you in something fruity to wash down all that leftover Valentine chocolate?
I discovered that I have a new favorite dessert and I'm dying to tell you about it.
  I noticed that I had a sheet of puff pastry in the freezer and I spent about 20 minutes trying to figure out what I could do with it.  I thought about making an apple tart but when I went to the grocery store to get the apples (and the rest of my dinner) I came across frozen mixed berries, which were on sale! Bingo!
I've never made one of these tarts before.  This was my first time.  But I really love the word "rustic" because we all know that means it's pretty impossible to mess it up. 
Rustic.  Yes, I like that ♥
The recipe is very simple :
1/2 lb frozen puff pastry (one sheet), thawed
3 cups frozen mixed berries
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. white sugar
2 tbsp. flour
3/4 tbsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. butter
powered sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Roll out the pastry to about 14 inches.  It's supposed to be rustic so don't worry too much about the shape.  Just make sure it's big enough to hold the fruit.
I rolled out my dough right on a piece of parchment paper.
I recommend doing this because after this step you need to chill the dough. 
I was able to slide the paper right onto a cookie sheet and pop it in the fridge ♥
While the dough is chilling you can prepare the fruit.
I used Wyman's frozen mixed berries.  So good!  (and 2 for $6.99)

Pour 3 cups of fruit (which is about a bag and a half) right into a bowl.
Add the brown sugar, white sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter.
 Toss it up!
Take the dough out of the fridge.
Now dump the fruit right in the center. 
Pull up and fold all the edges around the fruit.  Leave a 4-5 inch opening in the center.
Brush folds with a little water and sprinkle with sugar ♥
Bake for 40 minutes~ 
Let cool and sprinkle with a dusting of powdered sugar!
Cut pie wedges and serve with vanilla ice cream!
 This is truly my new favorite dessert!
While eating it my mother and I were discussing how delicious this would be with summer peaches!
I can not wait to try that!
 Ok, so I probably should have slide it onto a pretty plate once it was cooled....but hey, we're all family.  No need to be fancy! (actually I was just too eager to cut into it that I forgot! : )
And there you have it.  Enjoy! ♥
Well, I'm off to make the most out of this day.  One my coffee and I'll be perfectly caffeinated for a Monday!  Grocery store, here I come!
Have a good day, my friends! Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Homemade granola bars ♥ (nut free)

Hello everyone!
Before I start talking about granola bars I have to just tell you how weird the weather has been this week.  On Sunday morning I woke up to a winter wonderland.  All the trees were snow covered and it looked like Christmas out my front window. 
And today.....

64 degrees! Boom!
 It literally felt like spring.  I took this picture during my lunch break.  I went for a  walk wearing just a sweater.  It was so nice to breath in the fresh air! I came home tonight thinking about the crocus in my old yard.  I wonder if they've come up yet.  They are always the first sign of spring!
Anyway,  I won't get too excited because I heard the temps are going to drop and we may get snow again on Thursday.  Whaaat?   Like I said.  Weird ♥
Well, it was good while it lasted! 
So since Sunday was a snow day I decided to bake.  I've had this recipe for granola bars for a while now and have been dying to try them.  Since John's nut allergy was diagnosed 2 years ago I've had the hardest time finding him snacks that are peanut & tree nut free.  He always loved granola bars and really misses them.  That's the thing about discovering you have a food allergy when you are 8.  You REMEMBER what all the good stuff tastes like.  It's not like he's never had it before. He's had it and remembers it.  It's really a bummer. 
For example: sometimes out of the blue he'll say....:I really miss Kit Kat Bars".  Can you imagine being told you can never have your favorite candy bar ever? I know there are way worse things in the world, but to a little boy that's pretty major : (
Anyhow...back to the granola bars (which are no substitute for a Kit Kats by the way, but still very good♥!)
I found the recipe on
It's super easy and you can add in whatever "extras" you want.  John wanted straight chocolate chip, but I think dried cranberries, coconut, raisins, or nuts (if you can eat them) would be so good in these bars!
That empty spot is where I taste tested! LOL
Here's the recipe if you want to give them a try:
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
Line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper and spray the paper with non-stick spray.
In a large bowl combine:
4 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup softened butter
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 cups mini chocolate chips
 (add in any extras you like.....)
Mix all the ingredients together with a wooden spoon and press firmly into the pan.  Bake 18-22 minutes.  The edges will be golden brown.  Let cool for 10 minutes and then carefully cut into bars.
 *Don't try to pick them up at this point or they will fall apart.  They will set as they cool.
Let cool completely and store in an airtight container ♥
I have two quick tips for you.  One: cut them very gently with a serrated knife.  Two: don't try to pick them up while they are still warm or they will crumble on you.  After I carefully sliced mine, I slid the parchment paper on a cookie sheet and put the whole tray in the refrigerator.  Once they got cold they were much easier to handle. 

John loved them!
Also this photo was not staged at all...: )
Neither was this one!

Store them in a Tupperware container in your pantry or cabinet.  I've been having one with my coffee every day.  They are really delicious!

Much better than store bought! ♥

Enjoy! ♥
Have a great week my friends! I don't know if I'll be in shorts or a sweater tomorrow, but that's New England for you! 
Thanks for stopping by! Xx

Friday, February 16, 2018

I ♥ aprons!

Hello! Welcome to another Friday! Yippeeee! 

Things have been quite busy this week, but I'm happy to say all is well.  Rob went back to work today after being home a week, sick with the flu.  I'm so happy he's better and things are getting back to normal.  My mom also came home from the hospital on Monday and is doing remarkably well.  

(thank you all so much for your loving and supportive comments! ♥) 

We had a lovely Valentines Day and a blessed Ash Wednesday and overall I'm feeling good. 
It must be all the pretty store Valentines Day decorations! 

How can you not smile when you see displays like this : ) 

I thought for today I would do something different and tell you about a little collection I have ....

A few weeks ago I posted a picture of myself on Instagram wearing one of my favorite aprons.  After reading your comments I discovered that many of you also share a love for aprons!  I've been collecting them for years.  I have them in all shapes, sizes, and colors ♥ 

 I thought it would be fun to show you a few more of my favorite ones!  

I layed them out of my bed for you to see.  Please excuse the wrinkles.  

I wash them every now and again, but no way am I ironing an apron : ) 

Here's the one I posted on IG, with a caption that said "channeling my inner 50's housewife" because that's how I feel when I wear it.  

My mother made this one for me a few years ago.  I picked out all the fabric and she put it together.  

I love the ruffles! 

This is one of my newest ones.  It was sent to me by my lovely and talented Instagram friend Marge (thisprimnannyof3) as a housewarming gift when I moved last fall.  She made it for me!  

Isn't it darling? I love it! ♥ 

This one is extra special to me because it not only says Paris, it came from Paris! 

My friends Dave and Lisa brought it back for me as a souvenir from their trip to France a few years ago. 

I feel very chic when I wear it! It's my Julia Child apron! : ) 

And then there is this one...I call it my Lucy apron because of the heart! 

 I picked this up for myself in December while I was Christmas shopping! I feel like I need to wear a bun in my hair and bake a cake when I wear it.  

This is the exact deal Rob and I have.  I cook and he cleans.  It works! 

And there you have it folks.  Clearly I'm not hard to please ♥ 

I keep all my aprons hanging on a hook inside my pantry, so they are very easy to get to. 

I wear one every night while I'm making dinner.  

Another clue that I am slowly morphing into a 1950's sitcom mom! 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 

I'll be drinking tea and binging on all the TV shows I missed this week. 

We are expecting snow Saturday night.
(that dang groundhog was right! :)  

Spring where are you? ♥ 


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Be my Valentine ♥♥♥

Good Morning Friends! 

It's February 14th....Valentines Day!

  The sweetest day of the year ♥ 

I started my morning off with a piece of dark chocolate dropped into my coffee...swirled around to sweet perfection. 

Yummy deliciousness!  

The day can only get better ♥ 

From me to you....♥

The old fashioned way....♥

Tonight we'll celebrate with pizza and cupcakes for dessert.  I spied a Yankee Candle bag on the table this morning with a card that had my name on it.  My Valentine knows me well ♥ 
(he's feeling much better btw : ) 

Happy Valentines Day!! ♥ 

I'm wishing you all lovely day filled with candy hearts and chocolate kisses ♥  

(and thank you Pinterest for the vintage Valentines! Isn't Pinterest the best?!) 

Friday, February 9, 2018

My week

Hello Everyone! Happy Friday! How are you?  It’s been quite a week for me.  I apologize in advance if this post is going to sound like I’m complaining. I don’t mean for that.  It’s just been such a week and I would like to tell you about it.  Some weeks are better than others.  This one wasn’t that great for me and I’m sure you can all relate.  I usually don’t post things like this, but in an effort to “keeping it real”, I would like to vent a little.  I consider us all friends, so imagine we are sitting together with a cup of coffee catching up.  Lend me your ear….    

Are you ready?

We started the week of with lunch at my mother in laws on Sunday afternoon.   She made us minestrone soup and homemade pizza.  It was delicious! Here’s a picture of her table.  She always does a beautiful job!  John played checkers with my father in law and we had a lovely time visiting with them. 

So far so good. 

We went home later that night to watch the Super Bowl with my parents.  It was a great game and even though the Patriots lost (disappointing)  that was nothing compared to what was to come on Monday.  At least the appitizers were good!

So Monday morning after I dropped John off at school I had a bunch of errands to run.  Off I went to the dry cleaners, Trader Joes, and Walmart. 

Before I give you the bad news and the tipping point of where things started to go wrong I have to add that Trader Joe’s is awesome (one of my favorite places to shop!) I picked up this seasoning and its soooo good!

FYI - Sprinkle it on a plain bagel and cream cheese and it tastes exactly like an everything bagel!  YUM!

Ok, now the bad news.  Are you ready?  Take a look at this….

As I was loading Walmart bags into my car I looked down at my hand and noticed that the diamond out of my ring was gone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Oh no!!!!! Haven’t we all had that fear before, to look at your ring and your stone is missing?! Well it happened.  To say I upset would be an understatement.  I tried looking for it but it was no use.  I sat in my car and cried.  Then I called Rob to tell him and he was so sweet and calm and told me not to worry about it.  Accidents happen and it can be replaced.  I know that, but still.  So sad.   I went home, had a bagel, put out some flowers that I bought, and carried on. 

Tuesday I was back at work and I thought the worst was behind me.  We had taco Tuesday that night and it was good. 

After dinner we spent some time with my mom as she prepared for a scheduled surgery Wednesday morning.   My mom has some artery blockages in her legs that need to me taken care of.  They expect her to be in the hospital at least 5 days and the recovery is a long one.  She had a similar procedure done last fall so we had an idea what to expect.  And although that makes it slightly less scary, it’s still no picnic going into the hospital.  I know she was dreading it. 


So Wednesday comes and she has the surgery.  It took over 5 hours!  The procedure was successful (thank God) but she’s currently in ICU in a lot of pain.  The surgery was more invasive than they thought it would be.  They are giving her meds to keep her comfortable and hopefully she’ll be home sometime next week.   It’s sad for me to see her like that.  It breaks my heart.  But I know she’s strong and will be ok.  The worst is now behind her. 

It also snowed this week.  Did I mention that? ugh...

To make matters worse, Rob comes home Tuesday night not feeling well.  He went to the doctors on Wednesday and he has the FLU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lord have mercy!  He’s got a 101 fever, chills, sweats, body aches, you name it, he’s got it! He’s on antibiotics so hopefully he’ll be better soon – but he’s out of work for at least 5 days and literally half dead on the couch.  I feel so bad for him.  In 20 years I’ve never seen him this sick.  I’m Lysoling the heck out of everything because I don’t want John or I to catch it. My paranoia is at an all-time high because I keep thinking I’m “feeling something” like a symptom… but then it passes.  Whew! 


At the office I’ve been training to cover someone who is going on vacation next week (to Disney no less! my happy place!).  It’s been busy but the work days go by fast.  My brain feels like it’s going to explode!  I don’t have the mental power  or desire to learn new things right now, but unfortunately I don’t have a choice.  Thank God for coffee, coffee, and more coffee! 

When stressful weeks like this happen (as I know they do for you too!) I try to consciously make an extra effort to not forget about myself – like I have in the past.  Drink water, wash my face at night, eat good foods, all things I know will help me get through the day.  Last weekend I picked up a new moisturizer at CVS that I’ve been using all week.  I love the way it feels on my skin.  It’s been a soothing treat at night.

I’ve reached that point in my life where I tend to go for beauty products that say things like “age defying” or “age rewind”.  That’s my life now and I’m ok with it.  It’s what works. 

Also this concealer is working magic on my under eye circles!! 
  (Thank you Madison for recommending this : )  

I’m grateful for small miracles!  I’ll talk about this in a later post but I’ve been searching for a concealer for a long time.  I've finally found a good one!

So what happened this week? Was it the full moon?  How could it be, it was so beautiful!  

Did you see it?

So there you have it.  I’m happy to put this week behind me and move forward. I’m praying for better days ahead.  I’m praying my mom will feel better and be home soon.  I’m praying Rob will get over his plague and be back to normal soon because I miss his old self.  And I’m praying that none of us catch what he’s got (I’ve got Lysol and I know how to use it!).  Things can only better.  Am I right?!

Thank you all for listening to my rant (If you’re still with me).  Real life happens sometimes and we all need to lean on each other! I’m happy you are here!  I’ll be back soon with something more upbeat.  

I promise!

Thank you! Xoxoxoxo