Tuesday, August 25, 2020

It's Coming... ♥


I always use John's birthday as my summer endpoint.  I can't officially switch to "fall mode" until we have properly celebrated John's summer birthday.  Last week we ended his birthday week with brownies on the beach.  And it was lovely.  

But now...it's over.  

I'm starting to feel the shift.  Are you? 


Don't get me wrong.  It's still summer.  It's still 85 degrees, hot & humid.  But there is a hint of something in the air that's telling me change is on it's way.  It's a little cooler in the morning and it's getting darker a little earlier at night.  Which I love. 

My oatmeal is tasting just a bit sweeter these days.  Maybe because I usually don't eat oatmeal in the summer.  I normally wait for the cooler months but the other day I woke up craving it.  I added cinnamon and dried cranberries and savored every bite.  YUM. 

On Sunday I spent the day cleaning and doing my routine chores around the house....vacuuming, dusting, cleaning bathrooms, etc.  Instead of it being the usual drudgery, it felt more like nesting.  I lit a fall candle my heart was happy.  And then I remembered something....  I had a can of pumpkin in my pantry that I've been staring at for weeks.  I've been saving it for my official kickoff to fall.

It was time  

 I whipped up a quick batch of pumpkin muffins.  I used this recipe, (here) but decided to leave out the chocolate chips.  What??? Yup.  I was really craving that pure pumpkin taste.  Classic pumpkin with cinnamon, nutmeg, & clove.  And that's what I got.  

So here we are. Floating in limbo within those few weeks where summer ends and fall begins.  

Nights are always cozy, but with tea and a warm pumpkin muffin they hit a little bit different, don't you think? 

  (And this particular night it was raining so that made it all the more perfect :)


And now the question is... what to do with the half a can of pumpkin I have in the fridge???

Stay tuned!  

Enjoy these last days of summer, my friends! Next week is September 1st! 


Wednesday, August 19, 2020

John is 13! ♥

 On Sunday John celebrated his 13th birthday! I can hardly believe my little boy is 13!!!  

 I remember so clearly planning his first birthday party and now here we are entering the "teen years".....eek!! 

13 years have gone by and I can still feel that little baby in my arms. 

No big celebrations this year, he was just happy to be with family.  On Saturday night we had dinner with my parents - burgers on the grill - his choice - followed by his favorite cake...vanilla with chocolate frosting!  Sunday morning I served him cinnamon rolls in bed (which I also enjoyed : ) and that evening we met some family at a local pizza place for a socially distanced dinner.  

Definitely different from years past, but certainly memorable :) 


 Now that he's 13, here are few things I can tell you about John:

He LOVES his birthday

His favorite foods are cheeseburgers, chicken Parmesan, and pasta salad.  

He will do anything for a trip to Dairy Queen.

His favorite TV shows are The Office, Friends, and Seinfeld.

He loves watching movies and is always up for movie trivia games!

He enjoys texting his friends, some nearby, some faraway!  

He hates getting haircuts.

He's a night owl.

He likes playing Minecraft 

He still loves Toy Story (yaaay!)

He loves swimming, riding bikes with his cousin, and playing the drums.

I was looking through some old blog posts and I pulled out some  of my favorite photos of John through the years.  I cannot believe how much he's grown. It all went by so fast. 

*another reason to love blogging...it's a living scrapbook* 

Happiest of birthdays to my favorite human!  

Now please stop growing!  

Have a wonderful day everyone! If anyone knows how to slow down time please let me know!


Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Frozen Hot Chocolate ♥

Hello Friends!  

How are you all doing?!  Mid August already and I can smell Fall in the distance.  It's coming....but not yet.  These last weeks of summer are always my favorite because we are getting closer to my favorite time of year (crunch leaves and cozy sweaters). 

 It's still TBD as to if John will return to school.  We've been told to prepare for it, so that's what I'm doing.  I have mixed feelings that I am trying to sort through regarding the issue, but that's for another post. Today I'd like to talk about something I don't have mixed feeling about.....chocolate. 

One of John's favorite summer treats at Dunkin Donuts is frozen hot chocolate.  A few years ago I found a recipe to make them at home.  I could not believe how simple it was! Ever since, this frozen treat has become a summer staple for us.  We are still in the middle of a heat wave in my corner of the world, so anything cold and frosty sounds good to me! 

Wanna try it?  You'll be glad you did.... 

It's so easy: 

2 cups milk
3 hot cocoa packets
3 cups ice

Mix all in a blender until smooth.

Top with whip cream!

This makes 3-4 servings or cut the recipe in half and make 2 large mugs! 


(good to the last drop : ) 

Speaking of John.....he turns 13 this Sunday!

I can't believe my little boy is going to be a teenager.  How did this happen?!

Unfortunately we can't celebrate the way we normally would, but we will still have a lovely family day....all about him.  There will be cake, ice cream, and lots of love.  Until then I will be cherishing these last few days of NOT being the mom of a teenager : ) 

Happy Wednesday my friends! I hope you all are happy, healthy, and COOL! 

Monday, August 3, 2020

It's August! ♥

Hello from the equator!  Or so it seems....  

We're in the middle of a heat wave here in my corner of the world.  

It's not unusual for this time of year but I will admit, it's not my favorite.  

95 degrees...UGH. 

August is usually the hottest month of the year.  But the good news is it means we are getting closer to the "ber" months...which are my favorite! 

Lately I've been waking up around 7 am.  Ever since I started working from home I don't set an alarm anymore.  My body knows when to wake up.  The sun shines through my windows and I must admit, I'm longing for the days of waking up in the dark. I know some people hate that, but I love it.  I love waking up when it's still dark out.  Sipping hot coffee in bed, cozy under the covers, while I watch I Love Lucy as the sun rises.  In time.  It's already August and the days are flying by.  

Summer rolls on... 
We are still waiting to hear what John will be doing for school in September.  Will he be going back? Will he be learning from home? Or both?  We still do not know.  

To keep our minds busy we are trying to have some fun.  It IS summer vacation after all.  And even though its much different this year some things remain the same. 

Like the ocean 

We go at dinner time when there is no crowd.  Sunset picnics at the beach have become a weekly event.  And it's been lovely.  

I found this treasure last time.  

I've always wanted to find a heart shaped rock.  It finally happened! 

Makes me feel better about shopping trips to Target, which are not very enjoyable.

But this is the way it has to be & needs to be for now.  

This helps.  A new book.  And a new bedspread.  

I am loving both : )

In other news, last week I quietly celebrated a birthday.  

With cards, texts, and beautiful flowers from friends!

We ordered in lobsters and they were delicious! 

The next night my parents treated me to a turkey dinner (just like Thanksgiving!).  
My favorite meal in the world! 

46 wishes! 

Christmas in July came and went and I don't know about you, but I am obsessed with watching Christmas shows on QVC.  I rarely buy anything but I love watching. It gets me excited to decorate for the holidays : ) 

Right now my kitchen smells like cinnamon coffee cake and that makes me happy.  
It's comfortable and normal and very yummy! 

The days are long and hot but I'm doing my best to stay cool and pretend it's fall.  

Too early for pumpkin spice? Yes/No?  You know what I would say! 

Happy August friends!  I hope you are staying cool and enjoying your summer!