Friday, September 23, 2022

It's Fall and Friday! ♥

Happy Autumn! 

Welcome to the first Friday of Fall. Yay! After a torrential rain storm yesterday, today is seasonably cool and I couldn't be happier.  It was 50 degrees with gray skies driving John to school this morning.  Fall is saying hello and letting us know she has arrived. Welcome! 

I have a pot roast in the crock pot bubbling away for dinner tonight.  I always prepare it like my mother used to.  Veggies on the bottom, meat on top....and for seasoning I use 1 packet of Lipton onion soup mix and 1 can of cream of mushroom soup.  It comes out heavenly every time. I can smell it already! I thought it fitting for a cozy Fall Friday night dinner. 

I'll be working at home all day today while listening to an audio book.  I love listening to books while I tap away on the computer.  It makes the time go by faster because I get so invested in the book.  I just started a new called "Behind Her Eyes".  Very creepy and perfect for this chilly Fall day. 

This weekend is busier than most because our town is celebrating Heritage Day and John is marching in the parade on Sunday.  It's a fun event the whole community comes out for.  It's great for our local businesses and everyone is excited about it.  It's nice to see something HAPPY for once, you know?   I'll get a hot pumpkin coffee and a snack someplace and sit and enjoy.  And then it's home for football watching, snacking, and I'm sure we'll all need a nap : )

Have a wonderful weekend friends!  

Stay cozy and don't forget to appreciate the little things.  This season is so very short so let's make the most of it. 

PS do you like my Hallmark Channel watching mug? It was a birthday present and so very ME...haha! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Easy Weeknight Comfort Meal: Chicken & Stuffing Bake ♥

Hello Friends!  

Well, tomorrow it's officially FALL! So all of us that have been drinking pumpkin spice lattes since July can finally hold our heads up high. The time is NOW : ) 

My sweet friend Lori sent me my first Happy Fall card and I love it (thank you Lori!!). It was a perfect way to enter the season. Even though we are still having our occasional warm day, they are far and few between now.  I need a sweater in the morning when I drive John to school because the morning air is chilly.  Leaves are just starting to change and mums & pumpkins are on every store front. 

It's so nice to see!  

I added some pumpkin lights to my kitchen windows because I have an obsession with fairy lights. They are taking over my house and I'm not one bit mad at it.  It's something about the glow.  Especially in the kitchen in the early morning hours. 

Most of my fall decorations are up now, except for a few Halloween things that I still need to dig out.  I'll share more bits and pieces soon.  

And since it's comfort food season I wanted to share a quick recipe I made last night.  It's a chicken & stuffing bake (casserole??).   I love these one dish meals because you can just pop it in the oven and then go finish your tea and Walton's episode while dinner cooks itself.  There's also enough for leftovers tonight. 

Place boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used 3) in a baking dish and salt & pepper both sides.  In a small bowl whisk 1 can of cream of chicken soup, 1 tsp dried parsley, and 1/3 cup of milk.  Pour that over the chicken.  Top with one box of prepared Stove Top Stuffing.  

Cover with foil and bake at 400 for 25 minutes.  Remove foil and bake an additional 20 minutes (or until the chicken is cooked all the way through). This one dish gives you your chicken, stuffing, and gravy.  John said it taste like Thanksgiving so I'll take that as a win!

I served with corn and broccoli on the side.  

This recipe can also be doubled if you wanted to make a big batch! : ) 

For dessert I picked up a cream cheese pumpkin roll for the grocery store.  So yummy! 


We'll polish off the leftovers and this cake tonight.  Don't you love it when dinner is all done and you haven't even gotten out of your PJ's yet? Me too! 

Have a happy Wednesday Friends! 

It's time to celebrate fall - the most beautiful season of all! Xx


Monday, September 19, 2022

Scenes From a Weekend ♥

Good Morning Friends! Happy Monday! 

It's a gray and drizzly day here in my part of the world.  I am spending a few minutes before working to watch a little of the Queen's funeral.  I have to say it's one of the most beautiful and grand tributes I've ever seen.  How lovely is it to see the people of England showing their respect to a woman who has dedicated her whole life to serving them. One moment I found quite moving was when the procession passed by Windsor Castle all the members of staff were lined up to say their final goodbyes.

 It's a moment in history and I'm grateful to be able to witness it from my little house across the pond 


So how as your weekend? Ours was good. It started with a pumpkin spice coffee and a pumpkin donut from Dunkin Donuts. How could I go wrong? We ran some random errands and before going home I took a few minutes to browse my favorite book store.  Don't you just love the smell of bookstores? I do.  It was a beautiful day too - clear skies all around - and the signs of fall are starting to show.  Yay.

Sunday morning I puttered around the house, cleaning, watering plants, and doing chores.  For breakfast I enjoyed a pumpkin spice English muffin.  So good! Have you tried them? I organized some of my fall clothes and brought them to the front of my drawers for easy access and I listened to some of my current book on audio while I dusted and vacuumed.  I love audio books because I can get so much done without even realizing it because I'm so wrapped up in the story!  

Sunday afternoon John and I went to a local farm to meet a friend for ice cream and pick up some veggies. The ice cream was amazing - I got coffee toffee.  Enough said : ) 

And that's about as exciting as it gets, folks.  It's Monday again and we're on to a new week.   I have lots of work to do today so I better get at it.  I'll sign off later this afternoon and make myself a cup of tea (in honor of the Queen) and have a little rest before dinner.  Because rest is important.  

Have a wonderful day friends! I'll be around visiting your blogs soon! 

Stay cozy! xoxoxo 

Friday, September 16, 2022

Happy Friday! ♥

Hello Friends! Happy Friday!  

 I just finished up working for the day and made myself a cup to tea to sip while I visit blogland.  I've seen this tag on a couple of blogs this week and I thought I would join in.  I love reading your answers, so here's mine.... 

 1. Are you happy with the way your life is going?

This is a very strange question and one that is not as easy to answer as you would think.  Of course my instinct is to say yes! I have a family that loves me, wonderful friends, a job, a safe, warm place to live, food in my belly, my faith, and what I feel is a kind heart.  Things are good. I take nothing for granted.  However, I don't know one single person who would say their life is perfect or exactly how they planned it.  I have anxieties that I wish I could get a better handle on.  I wish I could stop worrying about the future and being pulled in so many directions.  I have regrets about things I wish I had done or not done.  I wish certain things and people didn't bother me so much. I worry about the state of our world and what life will be like for John in 20 years.  This is what keeps me up at night. I guess that's all normal.  So to answer the question I would say yes I'm happy with the way my life is going, but I would also add that nothing is perfect and there is always room for improvement. 

2. Are you planning any trips in the future?

Yes! We are heading up to New Hampshire in a few weeks for a weekend getaway.  We love to visit the mountains in the FALL to see the beautiful foliage.  We have some regular places like we to visit like Zeb's General Store in North Conway Center and I'm hoping to do a little outlet shopping too! Its such a nice feel up there in autumn.  The coffee house we like to go to serves a caramel nut latte that is to die for.  Perfect for strolling and leaf peeping : ) 

3. Are you reading anything at the moment or do you plan on reading something interesting? 

The last two books I've read became two of my all time favorites. My Lovely Wife and For Your Own Good.  Both by Samantha Downing.  I'm currently reading Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney.  I really like it so far.  I love to read thrillers!  I just got into the genre this past year and read all of Ruth Ware's books, which some scared the wits out of me and I couldn't get enough of it! (surprising for someone that loves Hallmark movies so much..: )  I'm looking forward to more spooky reads this season, so if you have any recommendations please let me know! 

4. What's for supper tonight at your house? 

Tonight we are having steak & rice with a salad on the side.  An easy meal for a Friday night. I've been marinating the steak in Ken's Italian dressing for the last couple of hours, which as always a big hit around here.  For dessert we'll finish off the biscotti cookies (there are 3 left!). 

I'm looking forward to a cozy, relaxing weekend with not too much to do. I really hate to be busy! On Saturday I have to run a few errands with John (he needs a new coat!).  I'm planning chicken parm and pasta for dinner.  Sunday is cleaning/chore day and I'd like to make a crock pot dinner (still deciding what). I'm excited to change over my bedding and maybe make some pumpkin bread too.   

That's life in the fast lane for ya....the excitement never ends around here! Haha!

Have a great weekend, friends!  

Stay cozy! xoox 

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Chocolate chip biscotti on a rainy day ♥

Hello Friends! 

It's raining cats and dogs today. It's been one of those days.  Half way to work, fighting traffic in the pouring rain, I realized I forgot my laptop and had to turn around and go all the way home to get it. Ugh.  By the time I got to work I felt like it was time to go back out in the rain and do the commute all over again.  Such is life.  Some days are good and some are, well....not great.  I'm happy to be home now.  Happy to only have to do that once a week. Now I'm dry, cozy, and enjoying a hot cup of tea and 2 chocolate chip biscotti that I made on Sunday.  Meal prepping and baking on the weekends has it's benefits.  

There's always something sweet when you need it 

(Praise the Lord!)

I haven't made biscotti in a long time and I don't know why.  They are one of my favorite cookies and very easy to make.  In case you didn't know, I'm a dunker. That meaning I'm happiest when I can dunk cookies in my tea or coffee. It's one of those crazy things that brings me joy.  

The recipe I use is for plain vanilla biscotti.  I don't use almonds which is the traditional Italian method because John is allergic to nuts.  Instead I use the American recipe, which in my opinion is just as tasty.  You can make them plain or mix in dried fruit, nuts, or dip them in chocolate.  You could even add extracts like lemon, orange, or almond to boost the flavor. This time I mixed 1/2 cup chocolate chips to the batter.  They came out so yummy! Like a big crunchy chocolate chip cookie!  The chocolate melts a bit when you dunk them which make them extra delightful.

The batter is shaped into two rectangular shaped flat loaves. After they are baked you remove them from the oven, slice them into 1/2 inch thick slices, and bake again on a lower heat.  This process gives them that biscotti crunch.  These cookies are a comfort food. Maybe because they are best served with a hot beverage (although milk would do just as well : ) for obvious reasons that I already mentioned.  

I'm linking the recipe HERE in case you want to make them.  I guarantee you already have all ingredients in your pantry! 

Holiday time is coming and I'd like to start trying new cookie recipes.  Do you have any that you absolutely love and would like to share? Let me know and I will send you my email address so we can correspond. I will make your cookie recipe and post it here! As much as I love websites and cookbooks I find the best recipes usually come from family and friends.  And that's us!  

Have a wonderful day my friends! I'm off to have one more cookie and watch an episode of The Waltons before dinner. I'm in a heavy Walton phase right now and I love it so much! : )  

Stay cozy!! xo 

Thursday, September 8, 2022

It's September! Cozy time! ♥

Hello Friends! It's September! 

It's finally the beginning of the "ber" months and I'm so happy.  It's still warm out but I can feel the shift in the air.  The mornings are dark and cool and the air feels clean.  I love that.  I am living for the late afternoon light.  I start lighting candles around 4pm.  Its very cozy :)

It's been a busy week.  John started school on Tuesday.  10th grade.  I can hardly believe it. The summer went by too fast. There is always a level of anxiousness leading up to the first day of school.  I'm happy to say it went well.  So far so good!

And so it begins.  Our routine. Up at six and out the door at seven.  In between I make lunch, coffee and a bagel to go, pack his backpack, all while he showers and gets ready for the day.  Sometimes when I feel myself complaining about how early it is or how tired I am I remember how quickly time passes and there will come a time when I don't do these things anymore. Instead I sip my coffee and proceed.....

 ...because I'm thankful for these days.  

These crazy, ordinary, days 

I like it when our lamps glow in the darkness of the mornings.  Especially on rainy days. 
The darkness will last longer in winter.  This is just the beginning. 

 It feels like a cozy start to the day, doesn't it ?  

I started bringing out some of my fall decorations.  

The colors of red, orange, and yellow are glowing through my house.  

I try to create vibes everywhere.  Even if it's only me who notices.  I switch this little hall light on every morning and off every night.  It's the last thing I do before going to bed.  For some reason, it makes me really happy.  

It's the little things 

And then there's this.  This book that's kept me cozy for the last week.  


If you like thrillers you MUST read it this season. 

 I could not put it down! 

Today I had to run a few errands before picking John up at school, so I treated myself to an overpriced iced pumpkin spice latte with pumpkin whip cream. 

 It was worth it! 

And now here I am.  Back home, done working for the day, and curled up on the couch with my new fall blanket watching tributes of Queen Elizabeth II because she passed away today.  

God bless her. It's the end of an era 

Well, I hope your September is off to a cozy start.  I have to go food shopping tomorrow and plan on loading up on seasonal pumpkin items and comforts foods.  Tis the season! 

Have a great day friends! Tomorrow is Friday! 

YAY!!!! xoxox