Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Happy Birthday Rob! ♥

Hello Friends! 

Happy Last day of January! Wow! 

We had a fun weekend celebrating Rob's birthday (which is actually today).  

On Saturday night my parents treated us to a delicious homemade roast beef dinner.  My Dad seasoned the roast perfectly, made sweet potatoes, and mixed veggies.  My Mom made her special zucchini side dish too, which was perfection!  YUM! 

I supplied the cake : ) 

He made a wish and blew out the candles, but first he had a little shot of something sweet to celebrate 51.

None for me, thanks! lol  


On Sunday morning Rob's parents took us out to breakfast.

If given the choice Rob will always pick going out to breakfast over going out to dinner. 
We went to one of our favorite places.

It's so quaint and the food is divine!

Good coffee too! 

That's grilled cornbread with my eggs aaaand strawberry "buttah" on the side.  

So yummy! 

The restaurant décor is top to bottom with strawberries which is adorable, especially this tree with strawberry ornaments that made me want it to be Christmas again.

Since it's Rob's birthday today here are ten random facts about him: 

#1 He's up before God every morning (around 4:30) with no alarm.
#2 He drinks more coffee than I do.
#3 His favorite movies are Goodfellas, The Godfather, and Rocky.  
#4 He is an excellent hockey player and ice skater.
#5 He exercises every day. 
#6 He loves to read biographies
#7 His favorite TV shows are All in the Family, Seinfeld, and Cheers
#8 He LOVES old cars 
#9 He does a crossword puzzle every morning
#10 His favorite dessert is an espresso coffee and tiramisu 

He's home from work early tonight.  

He requested a simple dinner and a cozy night in.  So that's what we'll be doing.  

Have a wonderful, cozy evening friends! 

It's going to get very COLD here this week.  Time for some comfort food!  


Friday, January 27, 2023

Don't you just LOVE Fridays?! (and other random thoughts) ♥

Hello Lovely Friends! Happy Friday! 

The sun is shining today and it's almost the weekend which means I am in a very good mood : ) 

They say the older you get, the faster time passes.  It's so true.  I can hardly believe January is almost over.  Wednesday is February 1st already! This week I started putting out some Valentine's Day decorations.  I've always loved Valentine's Day because I get to decorate with hearts and all things pink and the boys I live with can't complain.  I have free reign in February!  Plus it means more chocolate and who doesn't love that? 

I was in Walmart the other day picking up a few things and I couldn't leave without checking out my favorite isle - the seasonal isle.  Right now it's decked out with Valentine's Day décor.  I can remember so vividly going every year with John to pick out valentines for his class.  It changed every year depending on what he was into - Sponge Bob, Toy Story - one year he even got sharks.  There is a valentine for every interest! When he was in elementary school, the kids would decorate a shoebox (for a mailbox). All the kids would deliver valentines and sweets to their friends by dropping them in the box.  He'd come home with a full box and spend an hour going through it. Very exciting for a second grader! So cute and such nice memories.  

I miss those days 


We still celebrate Valentines Day but in a different way.  I have little decorations up and I'll use my heart shaped cake pan (that I use once a year!) and we'll have chocolate cake.  Rob always remembers our first year married when I made a heart shaped meatloaf and pink mashed potatoes! I was very creative back then! This year will probably be some kind of pasta dish with garlic bread.  But that's still a few weeks away.  

First we have a birthday to celebrate 

Rob will be turning 51 on Tuesday!  We are having a family dinner on Saturday night with my parents.  On Sunday we are going out to breakfast (at my favorite restaurant but that's purely coincidental : ) with his parents.  So lots of food and family this weekend! 

Rob has never been one to want to make a big deal out of his birthday.  On Tuesday he said he's happy with a home cooked meal and staying in and watching a movie or playing a game.  
That's why we were meant for each other 

On another note, have you noticed it's staying lighter longer in the evenings?  Last night I happened to look out the window around 5:00 and had a realization that it was still light out!  Another indication of time passing.  Spring will be here soon.

As for now, tonight we are having chicken soup with grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner.  I decided it's casual Friday and that's how I roll on Fridays! :) 

I finished working for the day, did my laundry, watered my plants, baked a cake for tomorrow night, and now it's time to rest.  

Don't you just LOVE Fridays?! 

Me too!! 

I hope you all have a wonderful, cozy weekend! 


Wednesday, January 25, 2023

A Little Treasure From the Attic ♥

Hello Friends! 

Happy Wednesday! I hope you are all having a wonderful week! 

Today I wanted to share the highlight of my past weekend.  While putting the rest of my Christmas/winter decorations in the attic and searching for my Valentine's Day bin, I stumbled across this old typewriter.  It was tucked away in a corner, nice and neat, in it's case (which was very dusty!). 

My mother said it used to belong to my sister but I can remember "playing" with it when I was very little.  My friend Sharon and I used to play "office" and we would would pretend to be secretaries. I remember my fingertips being black from touching the typewriter tape. 

In high school I remember typing essays and term papers on it.  This was long before computers. If you made a mistake you would have to "backspace" and use whiteout to correct it.  Also, no spellcheck back then. There was always a dictionary close by to look up words.  

When I first opened the case, I flashbacked to the smell of the typewriter ink, which is all dried up but still has that same smell if you put your nose close enough! 

Ahhh, the memories! 


Of course I had to bring it downstairs and put it on display.  It's funny how something that was literally once my toy, and then very functional during my school years, is now and antique.  Does that make me antique??? I'm not quite sure about that : ) 

I think is so pretty and I smile every time I look at it.  John is of course fascinated, the same way he was once fascinated with record players before they became popular again.  I wonder if there's a rotary phone up there someplace? That would really blow his mind.  

The next time I'm up there I'll take a peek between the World Book Encyclopedia collection and my Cabbage Patch Dolls and see what I can find : ) 

I love having this little piece of history close to me. 

Take me back to these old days anytime 
 (no charging devices required)


Friday, January 20, 2023

Ordinary January Days ♥

Hello Lovely Friends! 

Happy Friday! 

Well, ask and you shall receive.  I've been hoping for snow and the other morning I woke up to a powdered sugar dusting.  It was so pretty and white outside, the whole house felt just a little bit brighter.  It quickly turned to rain and as I type this, all that goodness is gone but I hear there is more coming tomorrow so for now I'll have to be happy with little bits here and there. The good news is that I've never seen a January with this much sun before.  It snows or rains and then within a blink the sun is shining again.  Welcome to winter in New England.  These are the days.  

It's been a busy work week for me.  I've been in my home office tapping away on the keyboard, processing invoices for my job.  I do accounting for a travel company and the winter is our peak season.  I guess everyone wants to escape the cold and go somewhere warm.  Especially after Christmas. Me personally, I'm the opposite. The colder is it, the cozier I get.  The more books I read, the more shows I watch, the more cups of hot beverages (coffee, tea, hot chocolate, chai, you get the idea) I consume.  After all, hibernation is what I do best : ) 

I've been binging on podcasts and audio books while I work.  It's literally my favorite things to do.  By the afternoon when my day is winding down and I'm done with chatter, I switch to Spotify.  Have you ever listened to calming acoustic guitar music? Do yourself a favor, do a Spotify search, and try it. I put  my earbuds in and feel my stress levels lowering.  It's a wonderful way to unwind. Especially after a long day at work. Pair with a square of dark chocolate and its heaven. The world moves so quickly these days, I have to purposely try and slow myself down.  This is helping 

(By the way, I always update what I'm reading or listening to on my sidebar. Right now I'm reading Don't You Cry by Mary Kubica. It's just ok.  I don't love it, but I don't dislike it enough to stop reading it.  I want to see how it ends.)


The plants are loving the winter sun 

They look so happy, don't they? I find joy in my plants everyday. 
These ones are my mom's.  They are in her big front window downstairs.  I guess you could say they are the cousins to my little babies upstairs.  The pink color is so pretty and seems appropriate with Valentines day coming up. They look especially vibrant against the white winter day outside the window.  

Makes me smile every time I pass by. 

I'm hoping to add more houseplants this spring.  And a bunch of tulips of course, which I plan to pick up the next time I stop by Trader Joes.  This is what I daydream about.  Tulips and Trader Joes.  

As you do... 

I've been trying to be better at making myself more healthy lunches these days and since I'm out of soup at the moment (not for long though!) yesterday I made John and I egg sandwiches.  He has been taking midterm exams this week so he's been home early everyday.  It's nice to have him home and we've been able to have lunch together.  He loved this sandwich too.  I added spinach, tomatoes, and cheese.  It was delicious, however with the cost of eggs these days it felt fancy to be eating eggs so willy-nilly! He asked for another one today.  All of a sudden lunch is getting expensive : )  

Worth every bite.  Second only to a grilled cheese sandwich and a cup of tomato soup 

 Little touches of Christmas still remain and this week I received two "Happy New Year" cards.  

They made me so happy! Someday I'm going to do that instead of Christmas cards. 


Do you ever walk around your house and spy your favorite things? You remember where they came from or just admire how pretty they are and your heart fills with joy?  

Me too 

Once work is done I have my tea and think about dinner. I do this while on the couch with a blanket.  I feel no guilt either. I've made it part of my day. 

 Tonight we are having a beef stir fry and salad.  We usually eat between 5:30 and 6:00 depending on what time Rob gets home from work.  After dinner he does the dishes (yes he does...every night!) and then he and John go for a 10 minute walk around the neighborhood.  I usually tidy up the family room while they are gone and then we settle in for the night.  

John has recently gotten me into the show Breaking Bad.  Have you seen it? It's on Netflix. Oh my word...it's so good! I have two episodes left which we are finishing tonight.  I'm sad to end it.  I know I will be a blubbering mess by the finale.  I've been on verge this whole season. I never thought I would like this show, but after one episode I was hooked. Don't you hate it when you love a show and it ends.  Luckily there is a sequel movie and prequel show that I can jump right into so I'm good for a few more weeks with these characters.  We have a long list of shows that we want to get through this winter which I'm excited about.  

And there you have it.  My ordinary January days.  Not much changes on the weekends, except for laundry, housecleaning, and grocery shopping.  This weekend I'm adding in a trip to the library and a haircut. That's it! 

I'm living the life, my friends 

Happy January everyone! How are your ordinary days going? 

Stay cozy and have a wonderful weekend!! 


Thursday, January 12, 2023

Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake ♥


Hello Friends! 

I hope this week is treating you well.  I've had a hard time getting motivated all week. The weather has been rainy and gloomy, which normally I don't mind, but this week is making me feel very tired.  I think I've been in sweat pants for at least 4 days straight because the thought of squeezing into actual pants right now honestly terrifies me!  Let's just say I may have overindulged this Christmas...
The struggle is real : )

Instead of beating myself up over it I have decided to just embrace it and go with the flow, remembering that I promised to romanticize all aspects of my life going forward.  The rainy, gloomy days are turned into cozy, candlelit ones and my old sweats are suddenly luxurious lounge wear
Hey, whatever works!  

I realize that my being tired is just my body trying to recover from all the chaos of December.  It's telling me to relax and recharge.  So that's what I'll do.  Sleep a little longer, move a little bit slower, read a few more pages of my book...it's all needed and that's just fine. I'll celebrate small victories and work my way up to my normal speed soon enough.  

Today I finally organized my new planner and entered in all important dates and appointments.  I also food shopped and meal planned for the week.  I made a to-do list for the weekend and answered some work emails that have been hanging around way too long. It's baby steps and I'm feeling good about it.  

To celebrate getting all that done,  I made tea and had a piece of cake on the couch with my feet up.  

Self care is not selfish.  It's necessary 

(did someone say cake?) 

Speaking of cake...I made one yesterday!  

I had some leftover whole cranberries in the freezer that were calling my name every time I opened the door. I've been wanting to use them up for a while.  Baking is one of my favorite things to do. I thoroughly enjoy it and consider it part of my self care. I'm serious! Especially when it's raining out because the house gets all warm with oven on and smells heavenly.  Which by the way is perfect for when you have the January blues (I guess that's what I'm calling it...: ) 
The smell of cake baking in a warm kitchen on a rainy January day is like waking into a hug.  Don't believe me? Then just try it for yourself.... 

What pairs well with cranberries you ask? My other current obsession: Oranges! 

Here is the recipe I used for CRANBERRY ORANGE BUNT CAKE.

Remember to use orange zest in the batter and icing for that fresh citrus flavor.  It matters 

Also toss the cranberries in flour before added them to the batter so they don't sink to the bottom.  

This cake is moist and yummy! The perfect little afternoon treat.

It's pretty too and is making me want to decorate for Valentine's Day.  


Have a wonderful weekend, friends! 

I'm still waiting for snow! 

Stay cozy! xoxoxox 

Friday, January 6, 2023

Happy Friday! ♥

Hello Friends! Happy Friday!  

We've come to the end of the first week of the year.  Its unseasonably warm here which is a bit unsettling.  This week it's been raining, but with it being so warm it's making the air feel humid and icky. It's January and I need it be cold.  I need frosty windows and a reason to wear my new hat & scarf.  I will probably eat these words in February, but for now I'm wishing for it at least to be chilly...:)

This week I've been basking in the quietness that comes in the aftermath of a holiday.  We are all still trying to find our routine and catch up on all the sleep we lost over the past month.  It takes a while for the holiday hangover to wear off.  The house is still which I love and mostly bare. I miss my tree but I did put this little one up in the family room.  I had it in my bedroom on my night table and instead of packing it away with all the other decorations I decided to keep it out for a little longer. It's tiny but I'm still loving it's glow in the early morning 

I did a grocery shop this morning and I made sure to load up on lots of fruits and veggies.  I'm trying to be super conscious of health right now to fight off colds and flu's, which seem to be everywhere.  The beauty of eating healthy is that I LOVE fruits and veggies.  We've been enjoying salads this week with beets and cucumbers.  Also oranges make for a perfect snack! 

And taste so refreshing in wintertime 

Today I'm finishing up some work items and then I'm jumping into the weekend with the biggest smile on my face. Why? Because I love weekends.  That is all!  We have plans to see the new Whitney Houston movie on Saturday (which I'm excited about) and on Sunday John's godfather is stopping by to exchange gifts with him and probably watch a football game or two with Rob. I'm hoping for a nap and to maybe start a new puzzle I got for Christmas. I also want to organize my new planner. 

And that's about as exciting as it gets around here, friends!  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 

Stay cozy and I'll see you back here on Monday!  

Byeeee! xoxo 

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Happy New Year! 2023 ♥

Hello Friends and Happy 2023! 

It's hard to believe the holidays are over and it's the start of a brand new year.  As much as I try to slow it down, time keeps ticking.  I hope you all had a happy and blessed holiday.  Mine was wonderful, filled with family, friends, and many quiet moments at home that I keep going back to in mind. The little ordinary times like sitting by the tree in the morning and lighting Christmas candles every night. Those rituals I'll miss.  When I had my last cup of tea from my advent calendar I almost cried! I'm definitely getting another one of those next year : ) 

We spent a lovely Christmas eve at my in laws.  My mother in law went all out (as usual) with a delicious meal! She has a magic touch when it comes to entertaining and this year was no different.  The next day we spent at home celebrating with my family.  It was one of the best holidays I've had in a long time! We were relaxed, comfy, and cozy all day.   We played records and ate turkey and pie and were happy until we fell asleep. A few days later we packed up the car and went on a road trip to visit our dear friends in Pennsylvania.  We had an amazing weekend with them!!  We ate delicious food, played games, watched movies, talked and told stories until the wee hours of the morning.  I cuddled puppies and drank more coffee than I should have and it was perfection  

And now here we are. Back to school and work and trying desperately to get back into some sort of routine.  All our Christmas decorations are packed safely away and the house is a clean slate.  I love decorating in winter time. It's all about natural and neutral. By January, the clutter of Christmas (as much I love it!) gets to me and I'm ready to clean and organize. Even though it was earlier than usual, I decided to take down my tree and decorations the day after Christmas because I was not going to be home on New Years.  It turned out to be a good decision because I came home to a clean, clutter free house on Monday.  Yay! That alone kicked the year off to a good start! That and my mother in laws chicken pot pie which she dropped off for us so I didn't have to cook dinner that night. Brilliant 

As far as resolutions go, I'm not making any.  Let's face it, I never stick to them.  I could say I'd like to eat healthier and drink more water.  Ok sure. But I should be doing that anyway.  I personally like to look at New Years as a starting point for something I would like to do.  For example, this year I would like to shop more locally and make a point to visit thrift stores.  I want to prioritize sleep and self care.  I want to make sure I say no to things I don't want to do and remember that my happiness matters too.  I have some fun craft projects I'd like to attempt this year (like making a loop blanket!) and I'm going to start journaling again. This is all no pressure (because I don't do well under pressure).  I just want to live a more simple, slow paced, intentional life.  That's my mind set going into this new year.  Let's romanticize everything and make every day special.  

Here's something to consider... 

Have a wonderful day friends!  Thank you for sharing another year me here in this little space.  I look forward to many happy days with you going forward! Another year of recipes, crafts, daily life, ending my sentences with hearts, and using too many exclamation points.  I can hardly wait! 

Stay cozy! Love you all!