Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Sweet & Sour Chicken (slow cooker style ♥ )

Hello Friends!  How are you? 

Brrrr! Baby it's cold outside!  Not a green leaf in sight. Every once in a while I peek out our back window and I see a few random ducks swimming around in the icy river and I think, wow they must be freezing.  Their little flippers numb. But funny enough, they don't seem to mind.  By the time I get my camera they are gone. Happily quacking off to their next spot. They are enjoying this weather just like it were a spring day. I like their attitude! : ) 

As for me, I've been plugging away, duck style. There are many things to keep me busy lately. 

I've done a little Valentines Day decorating around the house AND tomorrow is Rob's birthday!  For the first time I bought sparkler candles for his cake that I can't wait to try.  Nothing says happy birthday like flaming sparklers, don't you think? 
Hopefully it will all go over well and won't melt his lemon cake! We shall see! 
We've already celebrated with his family and my family, so tomorrow night it will just be us. 
A quiet dinner and flaming cake! LOL 

And lets not forget the Superbowl this weekend! Our Patriots have made it once again so we'll be watching.  Whatever the outcome I can guarantee one thing... there will be nachos! 
(because, let's be real...I'm in it for the snacks!) 

So many of you are dealing with icy cold temps this week, so for all my pink cheeked friends out there bearing this cold winter......

this is for you  (click and listen) 

Bing says it best and makes my heart happy.  That's why he's the best... <3

I hope you are all hunkered down with cozy blankets and candles and good books and old movies and hot soup!  

And if you have a slow cooker here is an easy recipe for you to make!  

Sweet & Sour Chicken!  It's sooooooo good! 

The chicken is so tender you don't even need a knife.  

Just three ingredients....ok 4, if you count the chicken. 

I used 4 large, boneless, skinless, chicken breasts.
(you could also use chicken thighs if you want)

Put them in the slow cooker.  Add 1 cup of apricot jam, 1 cup of Russian (or Catalina) dressing, and 1 packet of Lipton onion soup mix.  Stir it all around, put the lid on, and that's it! 

Cook on high for 5 hours : ) 


Serve with rice or egg noodles.  Sprinkle on some fresh parsley if you want to be fancy : ) 

There will be plenty of yummy sauce to drizzle so have at it!  

And one last thing before I go.... if this time of year has you feeling a bit stressed, I came across this little gem on Pinterest that I thought I would share with you....

So simple, but so true! 

Happy Wednesday, friends!   Have a great day! 


Thursday, January 24, 2019

Currently: hello from the artic circle : )

Hello my sweet Friends! I hope this Thursday finds you well!  I've been quiet on the blog this week, for no good reason other than...winter....sigh. We've had such a wide range of weather around here lately - from snow, to rain, to ice - with temperatures ranging from 8 degrees a few days ago to today's balmy, rainy 55 degrees!  I know!  The warmer air today is such a relief after the vicious cold on Monday.  Although I'm not getting my hopes up that it will last. I know another artic blast is on its way eventually.  I'm finding myself with very low energy and only going out to go to work and food shop (priorities).  Getting dressed is an effort.  Can't we just live in our pj's until April? 

Ok, it's not all bad.  There's cozy blankets and hot tea and good tv to watch.  I'm enjoying the coziness of it all, but I must admit, these dog days of winter have me spring daydreaming!  I'm grateful for a freezer full of soup, a working crockpot, and my phone - which at times has been my only communication to the outside world.  I'm grateful for a husband who will fly home from work to rescue me because my car is stuck on ice.  I'm grateful for a little boy who makes me laugh when I need it most. I'm grateful for things to look forward to like seeing sweet friends and that is a light at the end of the tunnel.
And I'm grateful that I live where there are seasons, so I know that winter (although beautiful and lovely and cozy at times) is only temporary and my tulips that are buried under the frozen Earth outside my door will indeed bloom again. 

We will survive.  

But until then....

And speaking of pretty (or lack there of...) 

This is SO accurate : ) 

Every. Day.

Looking on the bright side! 

Pinterest always knows how to express exactly how I'm feeling!

You know where to find me if you need me!  

Keep cozy and I'll be back soon : )  xo 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Beating the winter blues

Hello Friends ~ 

We are in the middle of a cold spell here in the north east.  Plainly stated: it's freezing!  No snow yet but we have some forecasted this for this weekend! It's coming! It's very unusual for New England not to have had a good storm or two by now so all of us are just sitting back waiting for the BIG one to hit. It the mean time we are all walking around like the little brother in a Christmas story (you know, the one that was bundled up so much he could hardly walk?!).  The temps are cold and the wind is piercing.  It makes going to work in the morning almost painful, but coming home at night is absolute bliss. 

This is where you'll find me on most evenings, reading, sipping tea, and watching TV until I fall asleep.  

It's not a bad place to be <3

It's the thick of winter.  Christmas is over and it's too soon to start talking about Spring (even though I want badly...:)  

To pull myself out of a winter bluesy funk I bought myself a new PINK lipstick.  Pink is cheery and I need cheery!  

This little guy is giving me life right now.  It's called Peony Pink but I like to call it Hopeful, because when I wear it gives me hope of brighter, sunnier, warmer days to come!  Spring will arrive someday. 

There will be light! I know it! 

That's the power of a good lipstick, friends! LOL 

Aside from the PINK another thing that perks me up in the winter is citrus!  I love a good CUTIE in the winter.  Such a great snack!  Lemons in water is delightful too! 

Last weekend I tried my hand at homemade soap.  It came out pretty well and I'm excited to make more.  I'll share my experience with you soon, but the funny thing is unconsciously the first scent I went for went browsing essential oils was lemon. Lemon oil and lemon zest for my first batch. Citrus is cleansing & energizing.  It makes you feel good. 

I can't get enough of it!   

*getting crafty in 2019 is getting me through winter too...* 

And speaking of Citrus....

Here is a recipe that I posted last year for Grapefruit Yogurt Cake.  I first made it two winters ago and fell in love with the recipe. The reason this cake is so tasty is because you mix fresh grapefruit zest with the sugar. It's amazing!

I've had a craving for it and want to make it this weekend.  It's very light and refreshing and I think perfect to perk you up on a dark winter's day.....  

This recipe comes courtesy of one of my favorite blogs

Tracy has the best recipes! ♥

1 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon grapefruit zest (zest of one large grapefruit)

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla

3/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon greek yogurt

8 tablespoons grapefruit juice 

1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8½x4½” loaf pan, preferably metal, with parchment paper, leaving overhang on the long sides, and lightly coat with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, baking powder, and ¾ tsp. salt in a medium bowl.
Using your fingers, work grapefruit zest into granulated sugar in a large bowl until sugar starts to clump and mixture is very fragrant, about 1 minute.  This was my favorite part!

Add eggs, oil, and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until light and thick, about 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low and mix in half of dry ingredients, then mix in ¾ cup yogurt. Mix in remaining dry ingredients followed by 5 Tbsp. grapefruit juice. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top.

Bake cake until top is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 50–60 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack. Poke holes in top of cake and brush remaining 3 Tbsp. grapefruit juice over top. Let sit 15 minutes, then run a knife around sides to loosen and use parchment paper to lift cake out of pan and onto rack. Remove parchment and let cool completely.

Whisk powdered sugar, remaining 1 Tbsp. yogurt, 1 tsp. water, and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl until smooth and drizzle over cake. (I needed a little more liquid so I added another few drops of grapefruit juice). Let sit until glaze is set, about 30 minutes.

I hope you are enjoying these winter days and making the most of them.  It's OK to be bluesy, but tell your heart that time will march on and nature will take its course.  So cozy up in front of the fire and know that Spring will be here soon.  

Blowing you big pink kisses from cold New England!  Have a wonderful day!!! xoxo 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

January Days (ordinary life and a few favorite things!)

Hello Friends,

Happy January!  I hope the first two weeks of the year have treated you well.  Are you off to a good start?  I feel like a bit of a slow poke these days because we haven't been doing much of anything. I must admit that I am loving it.  I have big intentions of cleaning my house and doing all sorts of projects around here, but I haven't gotten my mojo yet...I'm almost there  : ) 

I always enjoy the quiet of January after the busy holiday season.  I feel like I'm still recovering from it.  Still catching up on all the sleep I didn't get in December.  January is nap month. 
Whose with me? 

It's been cold here, but thankfully we haven't gotten any snow yet. 

Just a little frost, but mostly rain.  

Christmas is all packed away but some things still remain..... : ) 

I'm not ready to say goodbye just yet....

This one is my favorite... <3

Boots & everyday. 

I was in Whole Foods yesterday and decided to buy myself flowers.  Just because.  

Currently in my bathroom :  

I'm loving the Thayers Rose Petal face mist.  I spray it on my clean face after I get out of the shower
(before moisturizer and makeup).  It helps tighten and tone skin and feels so nice!  Plus it doesn't have any alcohol in it, so it isn't drying. I love it! 

And speaking of showers.....I can't stop with the Bath & Body Works. 

Have you tried this shower gel?

Oh dear, you will never want to get out of the shower!  : )  

 I am not ready to say goodbye to my holiday (sparkly) eyeshadow either. 

In fact, I don't think I will! The colors are so pretty. 

We've been doing easy dinners the past few weeks. 

I've been obsessed with omelets...mainly because I just figured out how to make them without turning them into scrambled eggs! 


Easy after school/work snacks of crackers and cheese. YUM 

Currently on my nightstand.  

What's on yours? 

This plant is still flourishing.  I gave it a friend for the winter :) 

Oatmeal with a splash of maple syrup is my favorite for breakfast these days. 

Daybreak ~

I'll take this over snow.  Not as pretty but easier to drive in.  #truth

And that's how my January is going so far.  Ordinary days are the best days, don't you think? 

I'm slowly coming out of my cocoon and getting myself back into a routine.  I'm starting a fun craft project this weekend that I will share with you soon.  One of my (many) intentions for the new year is to get crafty and I have some fun DIY's planned that I can't wait to show you! 

Happy Thursday, my friends!  I hope you all have a great day! xo