Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Good Tuesday Morning! ♥

 Hello Lovely Friends! Happy Tuesday that feels like a Monday 


A Tuesday after a holiday weekend is never easy.  Especially for this girlie.  The caffeine is working overtime this morning! Although I'm not complaining as we are one day closer to Friday! : )

 I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend! Our weekend was uneventful, quiet, and simply blissful.  It was one of those weekends where a lot happened, but at the same time, nothing happened.  On Friday night John and I went to see a play that a friend of his was in.  He goes to a different high school (a few towns over). It was excellent and very fun. Every time we see a play I'm reminded how much I love live theater.  On Saturday we did a little shopping. I needed some summer clothes and John needed a shirt for an upcoming band show. In case I've never mentioned it, clothes shopping is my worst nightmare, but thankfully I was able to find two pairs of khakis that actually fit (praise the Lord!) and John got a green polo shirt that looks great on him for the show! Yay!

 That night he met some friends for pizza and Rob and I had date night at home. Date night meaning homemade burgers and Seinfeld reruns. The best. Sunday we had a chill day. I made the hot dogs I promised myself and the most DELICIOUS blueberry cobbler! I made it in my cast iron skillet (which I am OBSESSED with and can't stop using!). I experimented and added 1/4 cup of sourdough discard to the batter.  I finally understand how a healthy starter is like liquid gold!  It was perfection! Yesterday was my favorite day of all.  Rob treated John and I to coffee and chocolate croissants at Panera and then we walked my favorite store.  Barnes & Noble.  It's funny how a family outing of coffee and a bookstore can make me happy, but it does. We also walked and talked and planned out our summer.  That afternoon we watched the new movie AIR and surprisingly for someone that knows nothing about basketball, I really liked it.  Apparently there is a lot going on in the world of basketball these days, or so I hear : ) 

And that my friends was my weekend, full of nothing but a lot of something! 

I will leave you today with some blueberry cobbler, which I wish I could share with you! The recipe came from The Food Nanny's Instagram page.  I love her!  

Have a great day friends!  It's almost June!!  Xx 

Friday, May 26, 2023

Currently: A Few Favorite Things ♥

Hello Lovely Friends! 

Happy Friday! It's been a long and busy week.  I'm SO happy to have made it to Friday aaaand....it's a long weekend! Yay!  We don't have anything planned which as you know, are my favorite plans of all!  All I do know is were are having hot dogs at some point this weekend and I want to pick up blueberries at the farmers market to make cobbler. Otherwise all I want is R&R.  And iced coffee.  There will be iced coffee too : ) 

Aren't these lilacs gorgeous!!  The smell is intoxicating! 

We wait all spring for this French lilac bush to bloom in our front yard.  My mother and I get so excited!  Yesterday I went out there and clipped two beautiful bunches.  One for me and one for her.  Mine didn't last 24 hours. And her's quickly followed.  You know why? Allergies!  We were all sneezing!  John was in a literal frenzy.  Sadly I had to remove them for the house.  The smell was almost overpowering! So from now own we have to admire them from outside, which is totally fine because every time we open the door we get a slight whiff, and that's just enough.  

Lilacs are one of my favorite things about Spring that I'm currently loving (from afar : ).  
Here are a few more current favorites... 

Fresh herbs! 

 It's time to start planting and herbs are always the first plant we get. Specifically basil.  

Nothing beats cooking with fresh basil. This will last all summer! I can't wait to tear the leaves and add them to sauce, pasta, pizza, and more.  Love the fresh smell too! 

I said I would, and I did!  And it was good!  

We are in sourdough Heaven!  I'm obsessed : ) 

This was for last weekend.  I'll be making another loaf on Sunday! 

Two new beauty products I'm currently loving are Burt's Bees Facial Oil and Olay Vitamin C and Peptide moisturizer!  

I use morning and night.  My skin feels smooth and hydrated!  These will take me right into summer as well. The oil is light and has all natural ingredients.  It absorbs beautifully.  I normally use the Olay Regenerist moisturizer but for summer I thought I'd switch to the Vitamin C one.  It's brightening and makes my skin look and feel so nice!  

Emma! Oh Emma!  Believe it or not, this is the first time I've ever read Jane Austen. She's been on my bucket list for a long time and I thought the spring would be a good time to enter my "classics era".  I'm loving it so far.  I didn't expect it to be as witty and funny and it is.  I've laughed out loud a few times already! 

I got a much needed haircut.  I wanted to go much shorter but chickened out at the last minute.  I think it was a good decision though. I'll shorten it gradually so it's not so drastic.  I'm happy with this length.  I also gave myself a color to cover the grays!  I feel like a new person! 


The three of us have been binging this show together! Arrested Development on Netflix.  It's so clever and funny!  

Highly recommend! 

I picked up this cute little summer sweater on sale at Loft today.  I love the lightweight material and fuchsia color!  I'm going to wear it with Khaki pants to my nieces graduation next weekend. She's Valedictorian of her class.  Very exciting! John will be playing in the band during the graduation as well.  After the ceremony we'll be going to a party at my sister in laws.  It will be a fun day!  Praying for good weather! 

Wishing you a wonderful, safe, and happy Memorial Day!!!  I hope you find some peace, quiet, and coziness this weekend, whatever you may be doing!  

Enjoy yourself!  


Thursday, May 18, 2023

Spring Hygge ♥

Good Morning!  

It's Thursday and I've just sat down at my desk, with a bowl of yogurt and fruit. I sprinkled some granola on top for crunch and drizzled with a bit of honey.  It's good!  I'm looking over today's to do list and sipping my coffee nice and slowly. I have a bunch of computer work to do, an errand to run at CVS, and then get John at school this afternoon.  I sound like a broken record these days but the months are just flying by.  It's hard to believe May is half over.  John is counting the days until summer vacation!  It's practically here : ) 

Well Friends, today I'd like to talk about Hygge. I'm sure you've heard the term before, but in case not, it is simply this: 

And I'm all about it! 

Hygge something I search for every single day of my life.  I find it in my clothes, my food, and my environment.  24-/7, I'm thinking about it.  Searching for it.  Living it.  Hygge = Cozy.  

Let's face it, it's much easier to be cozy in the cooler months.  October through February is when I THRIVE.  That's my time and the cozy factor is at it's highest. I love that time of year.  It's dark, the air is crisp, and I can wrap myself in flannel and drink as many pumpkin spice lattes as I want.  It's my idea of paradise.  When it starts to get warmer and flowers start blooming, yes it's pretty, but that's when finding cozy becomes a bit more challenging.  So how does this cold weather loving, long sleeve sweat shirt & sweat pants wearing girl bring Hygge into her spring?  Well, I'll tell you.  Because hygge (i.e. cozy) is a state of mind, it can be had anywhere at any time.  Even during a haze of itchy eyes and runny noses due to May pollen. (that's real!!)  

Here's how: 

The first thing I do once the air changes from winter to spring is change my bedding.  New sheets, lighter blankets, and new throw pillows are a great way to cheer up the room but still have it be cozy.  I like whites, light blues, and cream colors in Spring.  This year I added a light pink throw blanket (from Home Goods) to put at the foot of the bed because the nights are still chilly and I liked the splash of color.  Also, Spring pajamas are a must.  They have to be light, soft, and not clingy. I'm in my pajamas for more hours of the day than I'd like to admit, so comfort is essential! One of my favorite brands is Cuddleduds and I get them at Khols.  The material is like buttah! 

Being out in nature is a wonderful way to embrace Spring hygge.  I like to get outside as much as possible before the summer heat hits.  A perfect morning for me is getting an iced coffee and taking a walk by the beach near my house.  In a few short weeks it will be crowded with beachgoers and parking will a nightmare.  That's when I stay as far away as possible : )  Also, taking a walk in a garden center, or even the outdoor section of Lowes is highly enjoyable.  I love the smell of all the plants and flowers. Even if I don't buy anything, just being in that environment brings me joy. Someday I would like to have a huge veggie garden with herbs and garlic and tall snapdragons all around it.  I honestly don't know if it will ever happen, but just dreaming about it makes me happy.  Aaaand, I just remembered that next month is strawberry season.  I've been waiting all year to pick berries, bring them home, and make jam.  Could I just buy it at the grocery store for way less money and effort.  Of course.  But will  I go to all the trouble to drive 40 minutes to the farm to pick the berries straight from the patch, haul them home to make the jam myself?  Of course.    

Smells are very triggering for me, in the best way possible.  One of the easiest ways to create a cozy space is with candles. If you stopped by my house unexpectedly at any point during the day, there is a very high chance there is a candle burning.  After the holidays, I replace all my winter scents with newer, fresher ones.  My favorites this time of year are lilac, jasmine, sage, orange, anything fresh like linen, lemons, and that old classic...cucumber melon! It's time for me to make my annual Yankee Candle run at that mall and while I'm there I'll make a stop at Bath & Body Works for a new body spray and lotion. I have my favorites but it's fun to see what new scents have been released.  I ADORE Bath & Body Works.  I'm the girlie that gets sucked into every gimmick there is.  I've heard people say "I don't want to walk around smelling like a cupcake....".  Well, personally I don't mind it all all! :)  

One of the main principals of a hygge lifestyle is doing things you love that bring you JOY. Plain and simple.  Sometimes, as sad as it seems, I feel I have to schedule time for that. For me that's reading, baking, organizing things around my house, and practicing self care. I always seem to associate baking and comfort food with fall and winter, but that's not the case.   I currently have a healthy, bubbly starter on my counter that I've been nurturing for two weeks.  It's just waiting to turned in a crusty loaf of sourdough and it's happening tomorrow! Baking bread is a form of therapy for me, mostly because it's not an instant process. It takes time and work to get it just right.  It's bringing me joy and that's the whole point.  Very hygge. Reading a classic novel (like Emma), putting on a face mask, and wrapping up in a throw blanket on the couch is literal heaven for me right now.  We also like to re-watch TV shows we love.  Whenever I'm feeling sad or "off" TV will snap me out of it.  We watch lots of Seinfeld, Cheers, The Office, and Golden Girls.  John is also doing a Boy Meets World re-watch with me.  It was my ultimate comfort show as a teenager and he's never seen it!  (It's on Disney Plus)  We are up to season 4 and he's loving it. That's a show that just makes me happy.  It's a cozy watch.  

Also here are three sure fire things that will make you feel cozy in Spring.  If you do nothing else, these three things will bring magic into your spring days.  Ready?  Here they are...

Twinkle lights

My work here is done! 

I must mention that last week I reorganized our pantry and it was the highlight of my month so far! (yes, I'm dorky!)  It was something that was long overdue. You may not think of something as mundane as cleaning out a pantry as charming or special, but I gave it my best try. Nice music and iced coffee accompanied me during this task! 

 I rearranged all the shelves and threw away expired spices.  Upon putting everything back I had so much extra space. Next step is to lay down shelf paper. It's a work in progress. 

  An organized pantry brings me peace every time I go in there.  Rob still can't find the coffee filters, but he'll eventually find them! LOL 

And of course the most important thing of all is spending time with family and friends.  As much as I treasure my alone time, nothing beats being with the ones you love.  So make those summer plans now to see your favorite people and spend time with them.  There are memories waiting to me made : ) 

So that's how I find hygge in Springtime.  How about you??? 

Have a wonderful hygge filled day friends! We are getting closer to Friday. 

 It's going to be pouring rain here on Saturday and I cannot wait!  

Monday, May 15, 2023

Happy Mother's Day (and happy Monday! ♥)

Hello Friends! Good Monday morning! 

I hope you all had a nice weekend celebrating Mother's Day.  We went to a delicious brunch at my sister in laws.  I am obsessed with her table settings.  They are always over the moon pretty.  Yesterday's theme was blue & white - my favorite color combo!  Isn't it dreamy?!
We had a wonderful morning sitting around this table, drinking coffee, eating, talking, and playing with her cute dog. It was really fun! 

 Last weekend my sister and I took my mother out for a lovely tea/lunch that was so enjoyable.  On the way home we did a little shopping and it was one of the best days I've had in a long time  

And the best part of my mother's day celebration was being with John on Saturday.  He treated me to my favorite French vanilla iced coffee and we spent the day together, shopping, and driving around listening to our favorite songs on Spotify.  I couldn't help but think that this time next year, he may be the one driving!  He's just signed up for driver's ed this summer and is actively seeking a summer job.  He's almost got one nailed down, he's just waiting for confirmation and to work out the schedule.  I'm excited for him as he enters this new phase of life! 

We have many more iced coffee runs to come - with him at the wheel! 

So back to yesterday....

...after over indulging myself in French toast, cinnamon rolls, blueberry muffins, quiche, bacon, and much more, I couldn't wait to come home, get back into my sweat pants (where I belong) and resume my place on the couch.  We had an easy dinner of chicken on the grill, Rob did the dishes, and we spent the evening watching Seinfeld reruns. It was perfect.  

Happy Mother's Day to me! :) 

 And now here we are.  Another start to a new week.  I'm on my third coffee, because....well, Monday, and I just took a Zyrtec because allergy season is in full swing in this house!  One of the downfalls of May.  Currently, my car has a thick coat of green pollen on it. Is it bad where you are? We are all sneezing maniacs over here! 

I'm off to work, friends.  I hope you are having a great Monday so far! I feel like pasta for dinner tonight (I decided that a 7am this morning) so that's what's on the menu.

 I'm looking forward to summer nights when I can toss some tomatoes, zucchini, and fresh herbs in pasta, top with lots of parm cheese and call it day! YUM! 


 Aint it the truth! And both are quite strong! (and needed! LOL)


 Happy Monday! Wishing you all a cozy day! Xx 

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Yesterday was a good day...♥

Yesterday was a good day to get fruity drinks, pack sandwiches, and go on an impromptu picnic.


It was a good day to eat lunch with a view 

It was a good day to enjoy some sunshine and ocean air  

It was a good day to put avocado in my turkey & cheese sandwich.  

(and why does it always taste better eaten outside?) 

It was a good day to go for a nice walk on a brick path 

Yep, yesterday was a good day.  

I hope you had a good day too! 

Monday, May 8, 2023

May Mood Board ♥

 Hello Friends! Happy Monday 

This morning I was on Pinterest and decided to make a little mood board for May.  I selected pictures that expressed goals I want to accomplish this month. Things like deep cleaning, organizing my office, experimenting with healthy recipes, going on a family picnic, being better about blogging & journaling, and (what I'm most excited about) perfecting my sour dough bread. Something about looking at these photos rather than just a written list is motivating me.  It was so fun to make and I will probably do one for every month going forward! I'm keeping this mood board on my phone so I can take a look at it every day : ) 

Anywhoo, that was nice way to start my day! 
I had a lovely weekend starting with watching the coronation on Saturday morning.  I loved it so much!!!  I find it all so fascinating! I'm in awe of the tradition and pageantry.  Sometimes it's hard for me to believe that things like this still exist. And I'm so glad they do. I even got John and Rob to watch a little of it with me. It's history in the making and was definitely worth getting up early for.  

On Sunday my sister and I took my mother out for an early mother's day tea.  It was wonderful! They both had a traditional English Breakfast but since it was such a warm day I was feeling like something different so I took a chance and tried a blackberry tea.  I think it's my new favorite!!! It was divine!  We had finger sandwiches, scones with jam & cream, and delicious desserts.  We were all so full! The tea shop had some extra decorations up for the coronation as well which was fun to see.  It made me feel part of the celebration in a small way.

In other news....

I just came in the house from cutting some lilacs from our bush outside.  They just bloomed! I wish you could smell these! 

I put a vase on my kitchen table and one on my nightstand.  I can't wait to fall asleep tonight to the sweet smell of these flowers. 

I hope you are off to a great start to the week.  My weather app says high 70's all week. We are definitely in full spring mode now! 

 I have to say, for a Monday, today wasn't so bad :)

Stay cozy, friends! Byeeee! Xx

Friday, May 5, 2023

Happy Friday! ♥ What's up for the weekend?

Hello Lovely Friends! Happy Friday! 

Let me ask you something? Do you ever buy baby's breath just to have it, or is it always a filler? I buy bunches of it and scatter it around my house is if it were as fancy as red roses!  I just love those little white pom-poms!  They deserve to be front and center, don't you think?  

So that's what I'm looking at right now.  It's been a rainy and gloomy week here and the baby's breath is cheering things up a bit. Highly recommend! 

I also made a BIG batch of oatmeal cookies.  I added chocolate chips because that's what I needed this week 
They are delicious!  (and going fast :) 

One of the real stormy days I decided it was soup night so I made Joanna Gaines' classic minestrone.  It's one of my favorite soup recipes. So many good thing in here.
I added some shredded chicken this time! 


It was so good! It makes a huge amount so I froze half to have another time. 

It's from the Magnolia Cookbook Volume 2, which I'm slowly cooking my way through!

Here's a link to the recipe: Classic Minestrone 

After a busy work week I'm looking forward to settling in tonight and catching up on some needed sleep.  I'm planning on getting up early tomorrow to watch the coronation.  I have tea and biscuits all ready to go!  On Sunday my sister and I are taking my mother out for an early mother's day celebration.  Coincidently, we are going out for tea! The same place I wrote about a few weeks ago.  It's a charming tea room run by a British couple (Shelly's Tea Room, Plymouth MA). They serve the most amazing freshly baked scones with jam and clotted cream.  My mouth is already watering.  It's going to be an extra special occasion because it's coronation weekend! I hadn't realized that when I made the reservation.  How lucky are we! 

I'm so very excited! 

I can't wait to taste these again!

Have a wonderful weekend friends! Stay cozy and I'll see you back here on Monday! 

Byeeeee! Xx 

Monday, May 1, 2023

Random Monday chatter: Are you my people? ♥

 Hello Friends! Happy May! 

Can you believe it's May 1st?!  This year is flying by so quickly it's scary.  John (happily) mentioned to me this morning that he gets out of school next month.  Summer is just around the corner! No, I'm not decorating for the 4th of July yet if that's what you're thinking,  but at this rate it will be here before we know it : ) 

For now I'll try to enjoy spring while it lasts.  I snapped the picture below of our hydrangea bush this morning.  It's all buds and I can hardly wait for it to open.  Spring is about being patient, isn't it? Waiting for signs of life after winter, and now waiting for all those little flowers to pop.  It's kind of exciting when you think about it.  

I had this thought the other day that I would like to press flowers this spring. One from every blooming bush and tree we have in the yard.  I can save them and put them in cards and letters throughout the year.  I don't think I've ever received a card with a pressed flower in it.  It's something I've only read about in books or seen in movies, but it's a very charming concept, don't you think? I saw on Pintrest (i.e my happy place) that some people mat and frame them.  How adorable.  I think I've stumbled upon a new hobby.  And guess what? It doesn't cost a cent.

All I have to do is wait.... 


Pressing flowers feels like an old fashioned vintagey thing to do.  Maybe that's why I like the idea of it so much. Like wearing a flower crown or a corsage.  It's a lost art, like so many things from the past are.  I think what it boils down to is just trying to be thoughtful, intentional, and romanticize everything possible. I always say it's the little things in life.  I've been trying to incorporate more thoughtful activities into my lifestyle.  For example, sending hand written thank you cards instead of texts.  I had gotten away from this for a long time, but now I'm bringing it back!  I also love the idea of sending flowers as a gift.  Its such an underrated thing to do these days.  And who doesn't love to receive flowers? I know I do.  Another example is cooking from scratch.  Yes it takes longer but I get so much joy creating things in the kitchen. Not everything works, but that's how I've learnt. Just yesterday I had an unfortunate incident with overnight French toast. It happens.  On the flip side, I just started yet another sourdough starter this week.  My last one didn't make it (r.i.p.) so I'm trying again.  I'll have my perfect loaf one of these days. sigh.  It takes a long time, but I do enjoy the process. And I love wearing aprons : )

It's all quite cozy.  And I've always felt the coziest people are the happiest people.  We are the ones who wrap ourselves up in blankets at night with tea and a word game or good movie on TV.  We light candles, listen to old music, talk about our days, press flowers, write in journals, read blogs, and make sourdough bread (or know someone that does...or at least tries). We pick pumpkins in the fall and go out for pancakes.  We miss the holidays after Christmas and we can't wait for September when the pumpkin spice arrives at Dunkin Donuts.  We watch scary movies and have to have a little something sweet before bed. 90% of the time we wear clothes that could be mistaken for pajamas and we are perfectly fine with that. If you are relating to any of this...you are my people and I love you : ) 

I hope you are all having a great Monday! My tea is getting cold and it's almost time to start thinking about dinner.  

Thanks for stopping by today! It means so much that you do! Xx 

PS - here is a link to one of my favorite posts I've ever written (back in 2014!) about flowers....what each one means, ect.  Very helpful in you are thinking of sending someone a bouquet this spring :)