Friday, January 29, 2021

Weekend Plans ♥

Happy Friday! 

Hello from the Artic Circle. I can't even express to you how cold it is here today.  The temperature in my car read 8 degrees when I drove John to school this morning, but with the wind it felt like negative gazillion degrees!  Brrr.... Apparently it's going to be this way all weekend, so that means we'll be hibernating by the fire, under blankets, with hot chocolate flowing like water.  
Not a bad way to spend a weekend : ) 

I'm looking forward to flipping through some craft books and picking a project for February.  Even something small (like making candles or drying oranges) brings me so much joy and contentment.  I miss the days when John was little and we would make Valentines together.  At 13 I don't think he'd be up for that anymore (sadly) but I did promise him a Dunkin Donuts run on Saturday because he loves their raspberry ice teas.  Yes, even when it's 0 degrees! Laundry, fresh sheets, and cleaning floors are also on my to do list.  Exciting I know! 

Sunday is Rob's birthday (49!!).  I'll be making a roast chicken dinner with sweet potatoes, roasted veggies, and homemade bread.  Dessert will be Susan Branch's Boston Cream Pie.  I'm excited to make that, as well as eat it! Rob doesn't like to make too much of a fuss for this birthday so a low key dinner at home will be perfect.  We'll see what happens next year for the big "5-0".... John and I already have some secret plans swirling around in our heads.  

I'm also planning on bringing out some Valentine's Day decorations.  I have a cute heart garland that I like to hang along the hutch as well as some vintage valentines that make me happy just looking at them.  I'll switch out candles with pink and red ones and hang my embroidered heart dishtowels. Valentines Day is one of my favorite holidays to decorate for.  I feel like the hearts bring warmth to the cold winter days ♥

It's the last weekend of January.  We are already one month into 2021.  Time is going by so unbelievably fast.  I hope you all have a nice weekend and are staying warm, cozy, healthy, and positive during these crazy times.  

BTW- have any of you watched the Netflix series Bridgerton?  I just finished it this week and it's excellent.  If you are looking for a good British period drama, I highly recommend!  It's only one season but I heard season two is coming. Yay! 

Byeeee! xx 


Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Snowy Morning ♥

We woke up this morning to a blanket of fluffy snow.  

It was just enough to make the world pretty... :) 

We haven't had that much snow this winter, and trust me...I'm not complaining! I'm not a fan of driving in it, but when it's just a little bit I do have a soft spot for how lovely the trees look coated in white frosting 

Not a creature stirring out here today.  You could here a pin drop. 

After taking John to school and a little bit of shoveling, I'm warming up with a hot cup of coffee and a pumpkin chocolate chip muffin.  I made a batch of these last night as soon as I heard snow was coming.  I knew they would be needed 

I'll appreciate the view from inside today. It's bitterly cold out and I'm comfortable right here beside the radiator.  

Happy Wednesday Friends!  If you are reading this from a warm climate, I am jealous.  I'll send you some snowflakes if you send me some sunshine  


Monday, January 25, 2021

10 Fun Facts about Me ♥

Good Morning!  It's the start of a new week and I thought why not have a little fun. 

So here are 10 fun facts about me: 

I would rather go out to breakfast than dinner.

I love the ocean but can't swim.

I have never watched the Godfather movies...which is pretty shocking considering who I live with.  Over quarantine I did however watch all Marvel, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings series, so I feel somewhat current : ) 

I love a British accent.  *bonus fact - my dream vacation would be to London.  Someday 

I eat a small bowl of dry cereal every night before I go to bed.  

When I was 14 I wrote in my diary that my three hero's were Charles Schultz, Mr. Rogers, and Walt Disney.  I think it's funny after all these years I still feel the same.  Also funny that Tom Hanks has played two of those men in the movies. (I think we need a Charles Schultz bio pic at some point staring Tom Hanks, don't you think?!)

I am a very quiet person and enjoy my small circle of friends.  I always tell John friendships should be about quality not quantity. 

I own more pairs of slipper than actual shoes! 

I am left handed. 

Pineapple on pizza?  I say YES!

Now it's your turn.  I would love to hear some fun facts about you!

Have a happy Monday, friends.  Let's have a good week, ok? OK! 

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Flowers in January ♥

 Flowers in June are a beautiful sight but there is something magical about pastel colored blooms in January, don't you think? 

Happy Saturday Friends! 

I hope you find some sunshine today 

Friday, January 22, 2021

Flashback Friday ♥

We can blame Google Memories for this post, because they hit me with this picture this morning,
taken 4 years ago today.   

This is a picture of my old house.  I lived here for 20 years.  We built the house in 1997. So much of this blog is filled with photos from inside the walls of this house.  I'm so happy I started my blog in 2011 so I can look back and reminisce.  I can remember so clearly the rooms and how I decorated. I remember the view from the back deck overlooking John's swing set.  I remember what it felt like walking down the hallway and seeing Rob in his chair watching TV.  And I remember John sledding down the little hill in the front yard when he was small.  

The funny thing is when I moved in 2017, I moved 10 minutes away.  I literally drive past my house every day.  It's hard to forget something when it's right in front of your face. Over the past few years I've watched the flowers I planted bloom and the leaves fall from the trees in the back yard, just like I always did.  I often wonder if the new owner is taking care of things the way I used to.  Does she take her coffee outside for a walk in the yard to check the plants like I used to? 

Do you ever feel that way about some place you used to live? 

Its weird to me that so many years of my life were spent here, and now as John would say to me... 

"Mom, it's not your house anymore". 

The top window on the right was John's nursery window.  My mother painted animals on the wall for him.  My father in law made that curved iron railing you can see in the picture above.  At the time we thought it was so beautiful.  I still do.  Last year the new owner replaced the front steps, but she kept the railing. I'm glad.  

I remember one day a bracket supporting one of the shelves in a bottom cabinet in our kitchen island snapped.  We needed to fix it quickly, so Rob supported it with a piece of wood from an old hockey stick. It worked like a charm! But if you look closely under the shelf you can clearly see it's being held up by a hockey stick.  I wonder if the new owners ever noticed that?  I guess that's how we left our mark : ) 

Oh well.  Thank you Google Memories for sending me this picture today.  I'm always being accused of being "too sentimental" about things.  Well, this time it wasn't my fault 

Have a lovely Friday everyone!  We are expected to have another cold weekend.  Are you thinking about Spring yet, because I am definitely am!


Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Wednesday Wishes ♥

 Wishing you all warm Wednesday wishes!  

Another cold day here in my corner of the world.  I'm busy tapping away on my computer, sipping coffee, and watching little snow flakes flutter past the window.  I'm thinking about what to make for dinner and what to watch on TV tonight.  Candles burning, Hallmark channel on in the background, and I've got my eye on the clock because I have to pick John up from school at 2:30. He'll want hot chocolate and a pizza bagel when he gets home. It's all about our every day lives around here.  The little mundane details that make life comfortable and safe.  I'm aware of the bigger picture but I like to keep my thoughts small.  The quiet keeps me content.  So does caramel nut coffee, of which I'm going to get another cup of.  

Have a lovely day!  Sending virtual hugs to all my friends out there.  

I'm grateful for all of you : ) 

(PS I just watched the movie Winter In Vail and it was excellent.  Such a feel good movie... if you're into Hallmark "happy ending" types of movies like I am...♥)

Monday, January 18, 2021

Crafty Sunday: Homemade Candles ♥

Hello Friends! I hope you all had a nice weekend.  

Yesterday morning I took a few hours and did a craft I saw online a few weeks ago.  

Homemade candles 

I did it with votives and tarts that I've had forever but haven't burned.  If you're like me you have a stash of candles that for one reason or another are collecting dust.  

You can also use candle scraps from used candles.  You know all that wax that is left at the bottom?  

Perfect for this craft.  

My stash of random candles : ) 

I don't use a tart burner that much anymore but I love the smell of some of these.  

I chose candles that have similar scents.  These are vanilla & cinnamon based.  

Melt them down in a double boiler.  I used a glass measuring cup so it would be easy to pour.  

Choose your vessel.  Mason jars, jelly jars, candy dishes, tea cups.... whatever you like 

I picked up a package of candle wicks on Amazon.  I think it was 100 wicks for about $6! 

You can also use items to embellish the candles.  I used some dried flower petals, dried orange slices, and cinnamon sticks.  All things I had in my craft box  : ) 

Use a clothes pin or pencil to steady the wicks as you pour the wax.  I did one color at a time, letting each one set before I poured the next layer.  

It was fun to see it all come together. 

**Also note that you can add essential oil to the melted wax for more scent, but since my candles were already scented I didn't do that.  Next time I might add a few drop just to enhance the scent a little, but I was very happy with how they came out ** 

Once they are set trim the wicks and you are done! 

I think I'll save this one for Valentines Day 

I think it will be fun to experiment with colors and scents.  And the best part is once the candle is burned up I can reuse the jar and dish.  I hope to make new candles every season using up the rest of my stash as well as scraps for the all the big jars I have burning.  

We have candles burning here everyday and it's nice to know nothing is going to waste. 

So that's how I spent my Sunday.  What were you up to?

Have a great day, friends!  I'm off to warm up with a coffee and check in with some of you online.

Talk to you soon! xoxo

Friday, January 15, 2021

Weekend Plans ♥

Hello Friends! Happy Friday! 

It's been a week, hasn't it?!  I for one am glad it's Friday! 

My weekend plans don't include anything too exciting, however I'm excited....does that make sense?  Tonight we are having a breakfast dinner, which is always comforting.  I'm planning homemade chicken soup for Saturday night and maybe takeout out on Sunday, followed by cards.  We've gotten into a habit of playing cards after dinner and it's been fun.  
A new ritual that we are all enjoying. 

Tomorrow I'm going to work on a little craft project and fingers crossed it comes out well, I'll share with you on Monday : )  

Sunday is my chores day and although it sounds daunting I actually really enjoy it.  Cleaning, puttering, baking, etc.  John asked me to make more bread so I guess that's going to be a weekly thing.  I don't mind though. Like I said, kneading the dough is like therapy.
(and who doesn't need a little of that...)

It's a three day weekend here so we also get Monday off! Yaaay!  I wasn't super productive this week but I'm not beating myself up over it.  It happens.  Sometimes (actually all the time) self care is more important than checking things off a to-do list. I finished season 3 of Cobra Kai and that took precedence this week. I'm not gonna was epic! Now I have to endure the torture of waiting for season 4. How did we ever do this on a regular basis with TV shows before Netflix?
Now I need a new show to binge. Suggestions? 

What are your plans this weekend?  If they include curling up on the couch with a blanket, book, and hot beverage, I'm right there with you.  If they include getting outside for a 10 minute walk in the sunshine to breathe some fresh air into your lungs I'm also right there with you : ) 

Have a wonderful day friends!  Enjoy your weekend, whatever it may bring.

TGIF!!! xoxo 

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Lazy Daisy Cake ♥

This recipe is for all you coconut lovers out there and I apologize if you are reading this and you hate coconut because coconut is the star of this cake.

I love recipes that feel very old fashioned and this cake is one of those types of recipes.  It's from a little recipe book called The Recipes We Grew Up With.  It was put out by Taste of Home Magazine which I subscribed to for many years after a friend gave me a subscription for a wedding gift.  I still think that was a genius idea!  

As a young 24 year old bride who knew very little about cooking it was very helpful : ) 

Anyway.....  Every since Christmas we are finding it very hard to curb our dessert habit.  Last week I made an orange bundt cake as a way to gently ease out the habit...come to find out I was indeed FEEDING the habit.  We require something sweet after dinner.  

It's just the way we are 

Rummaging through my pantry my heart sank when I discovered I was out of chocolate chips!  But I did find a bag of coconut and that reminded me of this little vintage style cake.  At least that's what I call it.  I used to make it for brunches and haven't done that in a while.  

Mental note: bring back brunch 

The cake part is a nice smooth vanilla cake and the topping, which you add after the cake is baked, is coconut, melted butter, and brown sugar....put under the broiler for a few minutes until it turns into caramelly goodness.  

My mind says "aren't we supposed to be being good?".... but my heart says "please pass the cake".

And I always follow my heart~ 

Here is the recipe straight from the little book if you want to give it a try : ) 

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ cup milk
2 tbls butter or margarine

In a large bowl beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla on high until thick - about 4 minutes.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add to egg mixture. Beat on low just until combined.

Heat milk and butter in a small saucepan until butter melts. Add to batter and beat thoroughly. (The batter will be thin.) Pour into a greased 9-inch baking pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Cool slightly.

For Frosting:
¾ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup butter or margarine
2 tbls half-and-half cream
1 cup flaked coconut

Blend all ingredients well and spread over warm cake.

Broil about 4 inches from the heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until the top is slightly browned. Let cake cool before cutting.

Sooooo gooood!!! 

A delicious treat to cozy up with any time of day.  

Eventually I'm going to have to start posting some healthy recipes on here.  I know that!  I think it's safe to say it won't be in January! LOL

Have a great day friends! Xx 

Monday, January 11, 2021

Monday Morning Thoughts ♥

 Good Morning Friends.  I hope you all had a cozy weekend.  We are now in that weird place in January when the holidays are over and its just winter...cold, frosty, winter.  Nothing to look forward to except Spring, and we've got a long way to go before that happens.  So I'll embrace the darkness with candles, blankets, TV shows, and hot drinks.  It's not so bad  

Tonight I'm making a roast chicken dinner and tomorrow I'll make stock with the bones.  This week is going to be bitterly cold so soup is definitely on the menu.  I saw online a friend of mine used egg noodles instead of pasta in her chicken soup.  I've never seen that before and I want to try it.  Honestly, there are million fancy soup recipes out there, but nothing beats good old fashioned chicken soup.  They don't call it medicine for nothing.  Am I right? 

This weekend I baked some bread.  Not out of necessity, but for enjoyment.  This little loaf took over 24 hours from start to finish.  I enjoyed the slow process of it.  Checking on it, kneading it, watching it rise, and then finally baking it. 

It's like therapy : ) 

Maybe that's what January is all about.  Slowing down and enjoying the process of things. 

It doesn't always have to be a race.  

It was delicious by the way.  Here is the recipe I used in case you want to try it.  It's very basic and the bread comes out perfect every time.  Crusty on the outside, light and doughy on the inside.  Everything you want in a homemade bread.  You just have to be patient.

I wish you the best week you can possibly have.  It's not going to be perfect, but nothing is.  Look for the small things that bring you joy.  Like bread....with real butter of course!

Happy Monday Friends! xoxo

Friday, January 8, 2021

Weekly Wrap Up ♥

Hello Friends! Happy Friday!

Joni Mitchell once sang "I wish I had a river to skate away on...."  I think we've all felt that way this week, haven't we?  Looking out my back porch, it's certainly temping.  As if things couldn't have gotten any more stressful, this week happened.  Come on just started.  

We need you to do better for us 

 As part of my new years goals I am actively trying to bring more cozy into my home.  Never a better time to feel the comforts of home, am I right?  I got this blanket as a Christmas gift from a dear friend and I love it.  It's like she read my mind : ) 

Plaid makes me smile 😊

If you happen to follow me on Instagram forgive my repetitiveness because I've been gushing over this diffuser all week.  It was a Christmas present to me from ME.  I've always wanted one.  I liked the pretty design on this one and the light changes colors which is nice.  

I'm a newbie at the whole essential oils thing but I'm learning fast.  The scent fills my bedroom and is so nice.  I've been putting it on at night while I'm getting ready for bed and by the time I hit the pillow the aromatherapy has kicked in : ) 

I'm starting with this oil.  It's a lavender blend.  It is supposed to promote calmness, ease anxiety, and help sleeping.  It's light - not overpowering at all.  I really love it.  The diffuser has a timer on it so I set it before I go to bed and it will automatically shut itself off after I fall asleep. 

If you own a diffuser, what oil scents do you diffuse?  

I'm looking forward to trying different ones. 

First read of the year!  I've always wanted to read this!!  Come to find out I've been living a Hygee lifestyle my whole life.  This little book just validated it.  I've found my

Honestly, I'm loving it and it has some great ideas 

This week also garnered some major comfort food.

~Yum ~ 

My friend Kimmi gifted me with a delicious organic tea that taste just like a creamy cup of caramel nut coffee!  I kid you not!  It has all the health benefits of tea, but taste like coffee.  (No it doesn't taste like dandelions....don't worry.)  I've been having a cup every afternoon and it's something I truly enjoy. 

Update: the plants are doing well.   
We are 8 days into the new year and I've haven't killed any yet so that's progress.  I currently have 3 plants that need to be repotted.  This week I am going to get some potting soil and give it a try.  Say a prayer (not for me, for the plants!).  I don't have a green thumb, but I'm trying to be better : ) 

I don't venture out of the house too much these days, but thankfully my hair salon has very strict safety measures in place so I do feel safe getting my hair done.  I'm trying to keep up with it just in case they shut down completely.  

Whew! Feeling much better 💖

My plan for this evening.... it's been a long week!  Tonight's take out will be from our favorite Italian place down the street because I'm craving their meatball sub.  It's nothing fancy, just something about it that hits the spot. 

Also I have to ask.... have any of you been watching Cobra Kai on Netflix?  It's so bad it's good!  If you don't know what I'm talking about, then check it out.  If not purely for 80's nostalgia.  It's the binge I needed this week. 

Yes, its what you think it is.... 30 years later! 

I have plans to do some baking this weekend and I want to make a big pot of soup for the week as well.  I downloaded a notes app on my phone and I've been keeping track of what I buy at the market when I food shop.  It helps me plan out my meals for the week and once I make something I can check it off the list.  I'm loving it because this way I can remember everything I bought and nothing goes to waste.  Just another little step at getting myself organized.  

Now it's time for me to get some "work" work done so I can get on with my Friday plans (see above!).  

Have a peaceful weekend my friends.  Stay safe and I'll be back here on Monday! xo