Saturday, April 28, 2018

Weekly wrap up ♥

Hello Friends! I for one am SO happy it's the weekend!  This week seemed to fly by.  I can hardly believe this is the last weekend in April.  

This week brought lots of rain, but as the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers! So far we are off to a good start.  

Here are a few random snaps to wrap up my week.... 

I kept tradition and had breakfast dinner one night this week.  On the menu....French toast! 

The beginning brought spring like weather!  Rob did some yard work. 

I made the refreshments : ) 

The view out my second floor window to the pear tree in the front yard.  It's starting to bloom!  

It will eventually block out my view, but I don't mind : ) 

It's nice to see flowers popping up all over the yard! 

It's hard to believe just a few weeks ago we had snow! 

I couldn't resist brining a few of these in for the table ♥

I started the week with a nice long walk.  Felt so good!

I really need to do this more often.  

Also, don't you just love a white picket fence? I do too! 

A fresh batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies went fast! 

 Leftover strawberries from my brownie torte. John ate these for breakfast. 
 {Happy mom ♥}

I love a medley of green, yellow, and red peppers.  This made a delightful mid-week stir fry! 

Oh. And that day my shirt matched my cup.  That was a good day : )

I really love blue & white.  Can you tell? 



And as I type this (Friday evening) I can hear the pitter patter of rain outside.  Dinner is done, the kitchen is cleaned, and we are settling down for the night.  It's what I've been waiting for all week.  
I wish you all a cozy and relaxing weekend! 
I hope you spend it doing what you love ♥
Enjoy! xo

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Brownie torte ♥

Hello Everyone!  

I hope this week finds you well!  It's finally starting to feel like spring around here! Yesterday I was able to open my windows for a little while and let some of the fresh air in.  It felt so good! I hope it lasts! 
*fingers crossed*

Anyway, today I want to share with you a quick dessert recipe that I just made for the first time.  This recipe was given to me by my hairdresser.  As soon as she described it I knew it would be something I would love.  She was right.  And it's so easy!  Wanna see?  

It's brownie heaven ♥ 

Here's how to make it: 

1 brownie mix
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup cold water
1 package vanilla instant pudding
4 oz. container whipped topping (I used 1/2 of an 8 oz. container of Cool Whip : ) 

Grease 2. 9 inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper.  

Perpare cake-like bownies according to the box directions.  Split batter evenly into both pans and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes (or until done).  

Remove from pans and let cool.  

I was happy both pans fit in my counter top oven! ♥ 

 For the filling....

In a large mixing bowl combine the sweetened condensed milk and the water.  Beat in the pudding mix.  Chill for at least 5 minutes.  

Fold in the whipped topping ♥ 

To assemble, layer the filling in between the two brownie layers.

Use about 1/2 of the filling.  That should be enough.  The rest is supposed to be reserved for the top....more on that later.... 

Add strawberries...

Make a sandwich! 

The original recipe said to frost the remaining filling on the top but I felt that might be a little too sweet so instead I just added a dollop of Cool Whip and a strawberry ♥

Definitely refrigerate this until you are ready to eat it or the filling will get soft.  You want it nice and firm.  Store leftovers (if there are any) in the fridge as well! 

This was a big winner in my family and I'm sure I'll be making this again soon!

 I'll have to try it out on my in laws next! ♥

Enjoy! ♥♥♥ 

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Exploring in your own city: Boston ♥

Yesterday we decided to be tourists in our own city!
John has been on Spring vacation all week.  It's rained almost every day, but on Friday the sun came out!  Rob and I were both off so for something a bit different we took John into Boston for the afternoon. 
I really wanted to show him the swan boats at the Public Garden, so off we went! 
It was cool (high 40's) but warm in the sun.  It was a perfect day for exploring!
It's been a few years since I've been here so you can say I was a bit excited! : )

I remember coming here on a field trip in second grade and riding the swan boats for the first time.  It's pretty much a tradition for people that live here. 
They haven't changed at all! (thankfully!)
"Make way for ducklings!"
We strolled along enjoying the sun and scenery.
There were others walking and picnicking, and one violin player on the bridge playing music for us.
 I would have stayed here all day if  I could have! ♥


Sometimes I forget how charming this part of the city is.  Full of historical statutes and old brick buildings.
I love it!

I was so happy to see that even though it doesn't quite feel like spring yet, the trees are starting to bloom! Yay!
So lovely!
We also took some time and walked Paul Revere's Freedom Trail.
It celebrates the American Revolution and leads you to different historical sites around the city by following the line in the bricks....
And stopped off at Faneuil Hall for some shopping!
We couldn't leave Boston with stopping in the North End on Hanover Street for some sweets and cappuccino!
*If you even come to Boston this section hands down had the best restaurants!!! ♥
(my hands are flailing right now! : )
Modern Pastry is my favorite.  Unfortunately they don't offer anything nut free for John so we got him a gelato next door which he was quite happy with! 
Then we came back so Mommy & Daddy could pick something out....:)
My choice!

Anxiously waiting for my café!
 We had a beautiful day walking around and exploring.  The best part is showing John things that are totally new to him.  There is so much more to see in the city and I'm looking forward to more field trips in the future!  ♥
(my only complaint is do you think I could get my family to pose for one picture for me?
Nope! I'll get them next time! grrrr....)
 It was a great ending to his spring vacation!
Have you ever been to Boston? What's your favorite part?  Next Sunday I'm heading into the Museum of Fine Arts for the Art in Bloom exhibit.  I'll be taking you along, so stay tuned!
Have a great weekend, loves! xo

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

My top 10 favorite classic movies ♥

You know the parts of award shows where they show the classic movie montages? Those are always my favorite parts because I love old movies! I always have. 
The Golden Age of Hollywood! ♥
When I was little I can remember watching classic movie marathons on Saturday afternoons.  After all the cartoons were over, the movies would start.  Sometimes there would be Jerry Lewis, sometimes Bing Crosby, sometimes Elvis.  For me, it didn't matter.  I soaked it all in no matter who it was.  I'm sure by watching these movies as child it shaped my love of the fashions and music of the times. Also values. Wholesome, some say "corny" is just my style.  As Kate Winslet beautifully puts it in The Holiday "I like corny. I need corny in my life". Well said, Kate. Don't we all ♥

It was really had for me to come up with just 10 movies. There are so many to choose from and sadly I could not list them all.  These are the ones that I thought of first because they had such a positive effect on me.  Off the top of my head, these stood out the most. 

For the purpose of this list I'm going to define "classic" as a movie that came out before 1974, because that's the year I was born.  If it's older than me, I'll define it as a classic....which is a very good thing!
Off we go...

#10. Pillow Talk (1959)  This is my favorite Rock Hudson and Doris Day movie.   I remember thinking how gorgeous Rock Husdon was and well, Doris Day is simply perfection. The plot revolves around a "party line" (as most 1950's movies should) and a series of misunderstandings. I love everything about it.  Especially the clothes (that style!) and the way the apartment is decorated.  Oh, and Doris Day sings 3 songs!  Love! ♥

#9. The Wizard of Oz (1939)  As a child this movie scared the life of out me, but there was NO way I was going to miss the one night a year that it was on. That's right.  Once a year. 
The witch terrified me, but I loved it so much.  I still do.  When you think about it, it's such a crazy story - flying monkeys, magic shoes, talking scarecrows - yet we can never get enough.  This movie is pure magic. 

#8. The Million Dollar Mermaid (1952)  How on Earth could Esther Williams look so beautiful after all that swimming?  Emerging from the pool with perfect hair and makeup.  I guess as a 12 year old I hadn't even considered "special effects".  Either way, she was perfect.  I love the synchronized swimming scenes AND those bathing suits.  Swoon! Why did the styles have to change? 
Also, this was a true story which I don't think I realized until many years later.  It's the story of real life swimming star Annette Kellerman.  She was the first woman to wear a one piece bathing suit (among many other things!).  I adore this movie.

#7. Gone with the Wind (1939)  There's probably not much I say about this movie that hasn't been said before. I will say that I do remember the first time I ever saw it.  It was New Year's Eve of 9th grade.  I was spending the night at my friend's house (who was babysitting).  We had decided that even though we were staying in for the evening we would get "dressed up" and have a fancy dinner.  We both wore dresses and had shrimp cocktail and it was all very nice.  After dinner we watched Gone With the Wind which was one of her favorite movies (I'm sure you can tell by this story that clearly I ran in the fast lane in high school : )  Anyway, the movie was amazing and I loved it just as she knew I would.  This was my first introduction to Clark Gable and I finally realized what all the hype was about.  Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara...It doesn't get much better than this ♥

#6. Gentleman Prefer Blondes (1953) Speaking of high school, back then I went through a heavy Marilyn Monroe phase.  I saw Gentleman Prefer Blondes and after that I had to know everything about her. I read every biography I could get my hands on.  She was darling in this, as was Jane Russell (the brunette!). They play best friends and showgirls traveling on a cruise to Paris.  I love all the songs in the movie and have them on CD (yes I do!).  The most famous song is of course "Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend", but my favorite is "Bye Bye Baby".  Marilyn was very good singer! Again, I love the clothes in this movie (are you seeing a trend?).  The girls wear the most beautiful dresses! And the makeup - look at that lipstick ♥
There's singing, and dancing, and comedy.  I love every second of it!
They just don't make them like this anymore ♥

#5 An Affair to Remember (1957) I was first introduced to this movie by my other favorite movie of all time Sleepless in Seattle, which references this one several times.  Naturally after all that teasing I had to rent the movie.  Oh dear.  It was all I expected and more ♥  Can anything be more romantic that meeting the love of your life on a cruise to Europe and then promising to meet each other at the top of the empire state building six months later? Aaaaand that true love being non other than Cary Grant?  I honestly can't take it. 

#4 The Long Long Trailer (1953) Ok, this one should come as no surprise to anyone who knows how much I love LUCY. This time, Lucy & Desi play a newlywed couple who buy a 39 ft house trailer and travel across county -which isn't as easy as they anticipated and hijinx ensue.  Of course it does....and it's hilarious!  They are so funny AND we get to see Lucy & Desi in color! My favorite scene is the one song they sing in the movie " Just Breezin' Along with the Breeze" 
 Here's the link on Youtube if you want to see it and get a full dose of corny.

#3 How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) Another Marilyn film, this time she's paired with Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall! YES!  Three single ladies in the city looking for husbands! They move into a New York penthouse they can't afford, shop at Bergdorfs, and mingle with high society in hopes of finding millionaire mates.  They will eventually have to decided what is more important Love or Money....and I think we all know the answer to that question.  This is basically the 1950's version of Sex and the City and it's pretty spectacular. The ladies are so charming.  I adore Betty Grable in this! And I won't even mention the fashion again.....but it's also pretty spectacular!!!! 

#2 East of Eden (1955) Of the three films that James Dean made before his untimely death in 1955, this is by far my favorite.  Based on the John Steinbeck novel, James Dean is absolutely chilling as Cal Trask.  I don't know if it's because there is so much mystery surrounding James Dean but when I see him I can't take my eyes of him.  He's smooth, and talented, and the definition of "cool" in my opinion. I was obsessed with this movie as a teenager and had a huge James Dean poster on my wall for many years.  He's so sad in this film and does a really good job at making me cry.  I wish he got an Oscar for this.  He certainly deserved it. 

#1 Some Like it Hot (1959) My favorite classic movie and possibly of all time is Some Like it Hot.   After witnessing the St. Valentines Day massacre Jack Lemon and Tony Curtis disguise themselves as women and join and all girls band to escape the mob who is after them.  Marilyn Monroe plays Sugar Cane, the lead singer of the band and the object of the boys desires.  The problem is that Sugar knows them only as Daphne and Josephine!  It's a hilarious movie with so many funny scenes.  My favorites are the ones with Jack Lemon (Daphne) and her elderly rich suitor must see it ♥  This is the predecessor to movies like Tootsie and Mrs. Doubtfire.  Some Like it Hot did it first and in my opinion, did it better.  This is a feel good, Saturday afternoon, feet up on the couch, movie. 

Let's do that!
So there is my list of my top 10 favorite classic movies! Do you agree with me? What are your favorite classics?  I would love to hear your list!