Wednesday, February 24, 2021

The Sun Came Out ♥

Yes it did! 

 Sunny days have been hiding from us for the last few weeks so when you get a good one you want to put it in your pocket and hold onto it.  See those pretty rays of sunlight on the carpet? 
Aren't they glorious?! 

We are nearing 50 degrees today and all the snow is melting.  I don't know how long this will last but I'm going to enjoy it while I can.  I'm going for a walk! : ) 

24 days until Spring....and counting 🌷

Happy Wednesday, friends! 

Monday, February 22, 2021

Apple Fritter Cinnamon Swirl Bread ♥

Good morning friends! 

I hope you all had a nice weekend.  Ours was good.  Nothing too exciting but honestly, that's the way I like it.  Yesterday I spent the day cleaning, baking, and puttering around the house.  I took down all my Valentine's Day decorations.  It was a bit sad to say goodbye to the hearts, but I must admit, the clean "non cluttered" look is refreshing for now.  Next week I'll put out a few St. Patrick's Day do-dads.  I do love all the green because it reminds me of Spring.  We've noticed the daylight is sticking around a bit longer these days (just slightly, but it's enough) and yesterday the sun was shining! After such a gloomy week last week, it was so nice to see some rays through the windows.  It really does lift the mood.  So many are suffering from weather conditions right now.  Hard to believe we have to endure more craziness.  There is hope friends.  Spring will come.  I can guarantee it. 

In other news, I tried a new recipe yesterday that I must share with you!  I've been craving apple for the last week.  Maybe because the weather is so depressing and apple-cinnamon is comforting to me or maybe it's due to my extreme love for all things FALL. Regardless, I had the urge to bake something apple so that's what I did.  

I saw this recipe on Pinterest and I thought it looked interesting.  Would it be different from a plain apple cake? Let's find out. 

The recipe comes from Home Is Where The Boat Is 

Go check out Mary's website for gorgeous photos and food inspiration! 

For now, here is her recipe.  I followed it step by step, except she recommended Granny Smith apples, but I used Cortlands because that's what I had.  I also did not make the glaze because I thought is was sweet enough without it.  Honestly, we didn't miss it at all : ) 

Cinnamon Swirl Apple Fritter Bread, recipe adapted Food Network

Makes (1) 9 x 5-inch loaf, approximately 8 servings


1/3 cup light brown sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 medium apples, peeled & chopped 

2/3 cup sugar plus 2 tablespoons

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper, with ends hanging over edge of pan. Spray parchment with nonstick spray.

Mix brown sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon together in a bowl; set aside. Toss apples with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and remaining teaspoon cinnamon in another bowl; set aside.

Beat butter and remaining 2/3 cup granulated sugar together with mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time; add vanilla extract.

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in another bowl, then add to creamed butter mixture and beat until blended. Mix 1/2 cup milk into batter until smooth.

Pour half the batter into the prepared loaf pan; add half the chopped apple mixture.

Sprinkle half of the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture on top of apple layer.

Pour the remaining batter over apple layer and top with remaining chopped apples, then the remaining brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Lightly pat apples into batter; swirl brown sugar mixture through apples using a knife.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cover with foil during last 10 minutes of baking time to prevent overbrowning if needed.

Let loaf rest in pan for 15 minutes , then remove from pan using edge of parchment and place on wire rack to cool completely.

*this recipe looks like a lot of steps but it came together easily and quickly, just so you know ; )



I must say, this cake turned out DELICIOUS!  I'm still not sure why it's called apple fritter cake, but all I know is that it's yummy!  I couldn't wait until it cooled completely to cut into it so my first slice was still warm.  OMG.  It tastes like a combination of apple pie and apple cake.  So so good.  

I'm actually off to have a piece now with my coffee. I wish I could share with all of you! 

Have a wonderful day my friends! 

See you on Wednesday! 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Lent ♥

For me, the season of Lent is a time of reflecting on my strengths and weaknesses within myself and my relationship with God.  I saw this chart online yesterday and it spoke perfectly of my plans for this lenten season.  

Some of these are not as easy as they seem, but everyday I wake up with a clean slate and a chance to try.  

Lent also means that Spring is coming and we are coming out of our Winter hibernation.  Flowers will bloom and trees will come alive again.  It's a beautiful time to experience.  

Have a blessed day my friends  

Monday, February 15, 2021

How was your weekend? ♥

Good Morning Friends! Happy Monday!  I hope you all had a happy Valentines Day! 

My weekend was lovely and very relaxing, just as I hoped it would be.  On Saturday John and I went out for a little car ride.  We've been doing this since the pandemic started just to "get out" and it's become a weekend routine for us now that we really enjoy.  We cruise around town, listen to music, and will most likely hit a drive through for drinks and snacks.  Honestly, I've been down roads in my town that I've never seen before in all of the 46 years I've lived here! It's kind of fun. My favorite part is John and I talk and tell stories.  He doesn't realize it, but I'm bonding with him! LOL 

This past Saturday we also made a quick socially distanced visit to my in laws who live a few towns over, to wish them a happy Valentine's Day.  It was nice to see them!  The pandemic has hit everyone pretty hard and it's not getting any better around here, but I am grateful to be able to make those quick little stops when I can. 

Valentine's Day was delightful.  I woke up to the biggest cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee I've ever seen! According to Rob it's called "the great one".  It's not on the menu but if you ask, they'll make it for you.  He knows the way to my heart 

We had a quiet day and I was even able to squeeze in a 30 minute rest on the couch right after I put this cake in the oven.  Rob offered to treat us to a take out dinner so I didn't have to cook, but I still wanted to make dessert : ) 


Our favorite take out place is closed on Sundays so we went with our second choice, which turned out to be amazing.  I got the fish sandwich.  It was Yummy! 

Strawberry cake for dessert, followed by cards, and movie.  

I couldn't have asked for a more cozy day with my loved ones.  

 And all of sudden it's Monday again and the start of a new week.  Rob has taken John out sledding and I'm warm and cozy here at my desk, steaming coffee at my side, and awaiting more snow....actually slush because it's supposed to be a "wintery mix" which usually equals slushy mess.  Can you tell I'm over winter?  We are half way through February my friends and Spring is one day closer!  Yay. 

Wishing you all the best Monday and I'm sending you good vibes for the week ahead.  Tonight's dinner is chicken pot pie so I'm going to prepare that now so I don't have to worry about it later.  I'll just pop it in the oven.  Don't you love those kinds of dinners?  Me too! 

Byeeee! xo 

Friday, February 12, 2021

Happy Valentine's Day ♥

Wishing you all a warm and snuggly Valentine's Day! 

We'll be celebrating with a yummy take out dinner from our favorite local place and for dessert I'm making strawberry cake...heart shaped of course! : ) 

It doesn't take much to keep us happy over here!  What will you be up to?  

Have a great weekend friends!  

I'll see you on Monday morning with a hot cup of coffee and probably leftover cake for breakfast! xo 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Heart Shaped Soaps ♥

Hello Friends! Happy Wednesday  ♥

This morning we are digging out from yet another winter storm.  I saw on the news that Spring is 32 days away.  They flashed that on the screen right after they announced it was 19 degrees.  But at least we have something to shoot for ✔
Despite it being cold, February has it's charms.  

It's also very beautiful.

One of the best things about February is heart shaped everything ♥

  I love adding little valentine touches around the house.  Especially if they smell good too!

For this month's craft I decided to pull out my supplies (because I did the same thing last year :)  and made heart shaped soaps.  

I used silicone molds and leftover glycerin soap that I had picked up at Michaels last winter.  

I cut the soap block into cubes and melted it in the microwave as per the directions. 

I also had some dried flowers that I used in my candles and some essential oils. 

I added a few drops of oil into the melted soap and gave it a stir.  

Smells so good!!! 

I made lemon scented soaps with dried flower petals and lavender scented soaps with dried lavender.

After pouring in the molds I put them in the freezer for a few minutes until they set.  

After they were good and solid I popped them out of the molds.  The silicone made this super easy to do. 


I think they look very pretty in a flowery dish on the bathroom counter.  

They can certainly be used but I think I love them as a decoration/air freshener  ♥

And so goes February.  Cold and frosty on the outside.  Cozy and sweet smelling on the inside  ♥

Have a great day, friends! 

I hope you are staying warm and enjoying your week! xo 

Monday, February 8, 2021

Pizza Dough ♥

 Hi Everyone! Happy Monday! 

I'm not gonna lie...I'm slow moving this morning.  I was up late watching the Super bowl and eating way to many salty foods, which I knew I would pay for today.  I'm not big on football but I do enjoy the commercials.  Also my husbands commentary keeps me entertained : ) I thought I would share a quick recipe for pizza dough.  For years I was intimated by making my own pizza dough because I thought it was long process.  I used store bought dough for a long time (which I still standby because it's good!) but if you want to make your own pizza dough it can be done in 30 minutes!  It's so easy to work with and comes out delicious every time!  All you need is flour, yeast, oil, sugar, salt, & water.  

Here is the method I use: 

2 cups flour
1 packet of yeast
1 1/2 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
2 tbs olive oil
3/4 cup warm water

Combine 1 cup of the flour, yeast, sugar, & salt in a bowl.

Add oil and water. Stir with a wooden spoon. 

Add the remaining cup of flour.  If the dough seems too try add a splash more water.  
Form dough into a ball. It will be shaggy and sticky.  That's ok! 

Take a clean bowl and drizzle a little olive oil in it  
With your hands coat the inside of the bowl with the oil.  

Put your dough in this bowl and roll it around so it's coated in the oil. 

Cover with plastic wrap (and a towel over the bowl) and let sit in a warm place for 30 minutes to rise. 

Once ready, spread the dough onto a greased pizza pan or cookie sheet. 

Add sauce, mozzarella cheese, and toppings! 

(I also like to add garlic and basil ♥)

Bake in a 450 degree oven for 13-15 minutes. 


It's as easy as that!  I was going to make this pizza for Valentine's day but I had it in my head to cut the pepperonis into heart shapes and couldn't wait to try it.  I bought the pre sliced pepperonis, folded them in half, and trimmed them with a kitchen scissors! I love how they came out.  I guess I'll have to come up with something else for Valentines Day! 

Happy Monday, friends! I hope you all are having a good start to the week.  We are in for another snowy one around here.  I am so over winter at this point.  

Come on Spring! 

Friday, February 5, 2021

Bananas Foster ♥

Hello Friends! Friday already 

Did you have a nice week?  Mine was ok.  Nothing special.  Our big snowstorm turned into more of a rainstorm.  It's been cold and gloomy here all week, which means I've had no energy at all.  Coffee helps.  So does a comfy couch with reruns of Three's Company & Everybody Loves Raymond. 
Yup, there's where I'm at this week.  Don't judge : ) 

I'm hearing there's more snow on the way next week.  Mr. Groundhog said we are in for six more weeks of winter and I have a feeling he means it.  The good news is on the other end of that six weeks is beautiful spring days with green trees and blooming flowers.  
We'll get there. We always do. 

Last night we got take out for dinner.  I got my usual meatball sub (which was delicious : ). 
To jazz up dinner I thought I would make a special dessert that basically required no effort at all.  Bananas foster is one of those desserts that sounds very fancy, but in reality it's very easy.  It requires only a few ingredients and takes 5 minutes to make.  

Perfect for when your week has been blaaaah, and you need a little something to liven it up.

 These bananas have seen better days.  

So it was bananas foster or banana bread. I chose the quickest option. 

Melt butter...

add brown sugar...

stir in rum, vanilla, & cinnamon... 

add bananas...

let it bubble....

serve over vanilla ice cream... 

It's the combo of the hot sugary bananas over the cold ice cream that makes this dessert so tasty.  It was a big hit last night.  It definitely jazzed up our take out dinner.

Here are the exact measurements if you want to give it a try  

1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
3 1/2 tbs rum
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 ripe bananas, sliced
vanilla ice cream

Melt butter in a large skillet over med-high heat.  Stir in sugar, rum, vanilla, and cinnamon.  When the mixture starts to bubble add bananas. Cook for 2 minutes.  Serve immediately over ice cream. 

*side note - after you add the rum you could ignite it and to the flambé thing, but I did not.  Number one, I did not want to burn the house down and number two, presentation would have been lost on my family who only wanted to eat it...not look at it : ) 

I hope you all have a nice weekend!  Are you planning on watching the Superbowl? We are.  
I'm making pizzas and we'll try not to discuss the mixed feelings we have over Tom Brady : )

See you on Monday! xo 


Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Monday, February 1, 2021

February 1st ♥

Hello Friends! Happy February 1st 

As I type this post I'm listening to rain and wind outside my window.  Mr. Weatherman says it is supposed to switch to snow and we will be waking up to quite a few inches in the morning.  We'll see.  Rob has the day off tomorrow, John's school will be remote, and I'm planning on making soup with the leftover chicken from Sunday's dinner.  Not a bad plan for a snow day. They'll need warming up after shoveling.  

Speaking of Sunday's dinner, it was delicious!  Unfortunately I forgot to photograph it! 
We had a roasted chicken, sweet potatoes, mixed veggies, and homemade bread.  All for Rob's birthday.  He turned 49 yesterday.  (When we met he was 23!!) He always preferred homemade dinners rather than restaurants on his birthday, so lucky for him there was no choice in the matter this year : )
For dessert I made Susan Branch's Boston Cream Pie.  I did remember to take a picture of that!  
Its a time consuming recipe, but well worth it.  For special occasions only ♥

The recipe comes from her second book, Vineyard Seasons. 

Link to the full recipe here if you want to try it.  I added sprinkles ♥

And now all of a sudden it's February.  The one month of the year I can decorate with hearts and the boys in the house can't complain! hehe 

So tonight we'll be buckling down, waiting for the storm....happy and grateful to be warm & cozy.  Candles lit, leftovers warming in the oven, and I just made a cup of tea for myself, because...why not?  

OOOH, and I almost forgot...the most exciting news of the weekend.  My mother is getting vaccinated on Thursday!!  

Happy new month friends! The month of Valentine's Day, chocolate, and all things pink. We'll have snow days but dreams of Spring have already begun ♥