Saturday, July 29, 2023

Christmas in July 2023 ♥

Hello Friends! Happy Saturday! 

We are in the middle of a summer storm here today.  It's hot & humid and pouring rain. I was out running errands this morning and just made it back in time. Whew!  

I thought I would jump on here today and share a few pictures from our Christmas in July day yesterday.  It was over 90 degrees out and we were perfectly happy to stay in and pretend it was a cozy winter day.  We've kept this tradition going since John was little.  I've toned it down over the years and realized that I don't need to go "all out" to have a fun day.  Turns out it takes very little to make us happy. 

I started the day by lighting a few Christmas candles.  As luck would have it I got a few new ones for my birthday (thank you BJ!!).  It smelled like a winter wonderland in here! 

Coffee was served in Christmas mugs with whip cream! 

And I found a cozy little scene to put on the TV.  

This one is Christmas coffee shop.  It's it cute?

I even pulled out my favorite winter hand lotion and candy cane lip gloss.  
I was committed to this day! LOL 

Rob headed off to work and John and I had breakfast and watched ELF.

Later I brought the record player out to the kitchen and we listened to Christmas albums.  

This one I've had since childhood. 

It's so old and I love it 

We made cookies.  Easy, just a Pillsbury mix.  But they were delicious! 

And fun to decorate 

Maybe not the most christmassy I've ever seen but we used what we had : ) 

I didn't plan on doing this but I had some oranges that were going past their prime, so I decided dry them.  I baked them in a 200 degree oven for about 4 hours.  I'll store them and use them to decorate packages or make a garland in December. 

This really made it feel like Christmas! : )   


After a 30 minute debate with John over why Die Hard is not a Christmas movie (he disagrees!) we watched A Charlie Brown Christmas!  A classic! 

*He's a good sport to humor me! I just watched the entire Star Wars franchise with him so it's 50/50!*

 For dinner I had a rotisserie chicken in the fridge.  I made a quickie stuffing and cranberry sauce for sides, and viola!  Instant holiday meal! 

(kinda sorta, but it did the job ; ) 

That night the three of us played a game and watched one more movie - no, not Die Hard....  

National Lampoons Christmas Vacation! That's one of Rob's favorites (*he also humors me! : ) 

It's fun escaping summer for a day.  

All it took was a few candles, a movie, some holiday music, and cookies of course, to make it feel like Christmas. 

Today it's back to reality.  John said it still "smelled like Christmas" in the kitchen this morning.  I can't say that's a bad thing.  We still have a lot of summer left to live, but yesterday was fun. 

 I can't wait for the real thing 

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Weekend away, a birthday, and Tony Bennet ♥

Hello Friends! 

I'm just back from the most wonderful weekend away visiting our dear friends in PA.  As always, we had the best time with them! This is the gorgeous view from their deck!  I could get used to living on the lake!  

We were only there for a few days, but in that short time we made every minute count.  We ate delicious food, drank coffee (did we ever!:), played games, watched movies, talked & solved all life's problems, went out for a yummy lunch, and the kids had a blast out on the boat.  It's hard living 8 hrs away from your friends, but sometimes I think it only makes our time together that much better.  
We spend our time apart looking forward to our next visit.


BJ and her family even spoiled me with a birthday surprise.  We had a delicious Red Lobster seafood meal, homemade desserts, and presents.  I don't know how I got so lucky, but boy am I grateful! 

I wish you all had a friend like BJ.  Not only will she spoil you rotten with all your favorite things, she and her family will treat you as one of their own. You'll talk for hours, she'll give you the best advice, and make you laugh too.  I miss her already! 

We didn't take that many pictures this time.  We were too busy living in the moment.  Here's one of my favorites from a few years ago.  Nothing has changed : ) 

You probably already know this, but you can visit BJ on her beautiful blog right HERE.....

We said our goodbyes Sunday morning and off we went on our journey home.  Monday we all had the day off which was awesome. It gave us time to unpack and rest from the car trip.  It also happened to be my birthday! I spend the entire day in my most comfy clothes.  We watched a movie and even though Rob offered to take me out to dinner all I really wanted to do was order in and not have to go out.  I decided on Panera Bread.  

I ordered my favorite meal in the entire world....a grilled cheese sandwich and creamy tomato soup! YES I DID! It was the absolute best and I have zero regrets! 

You know I love my comfort food : )

So do my folks, who joined us for our Panera feast. My mom happens to love their strawberry poppy seed salad and French onion soup, so she was happy too! :) 

For dessert they treated me to a delicious cake! I made a wish and blew out the candles.  

49. I can hardly believe it.  The countdown to 50 has begun.  Yikes! 

 I take my wishes very seriously as you can see! LOL 

On a different note, while we were away I got the news report that Tony Bennet had passed away.  I was very saddened by this.  I have loved Tony and his music for as long as I can remember.  I grew up listening to "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" and "Rags to Riches" so often they are ingrained in my memories.  I held Tony Bennet on the same pedestal as Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.  All the great singers of that time.  I had the pleasure and honor of seeing Tony sing live, one lovely night several years ago.  He was coming to Boston and Rob surprised me with tickets for my birthday.  It was a night to remember.  He preformed at an outdoor pavilion on Boston Harbor. All the men were dressed  in suits and the ladies in theirs prettiest cocktail dresses.  I knew every song and when he sang "Fly Me to the Moon" tears streamed down my face.  I remember feeling so honored to be in his presence.  Not just because of how great he was (and he was great!) but because I knew for me this was my connection to a time period that I never got to experience.  And there I was experiencing it.  There's a word, and it's escaping me right now, but it means having nostalgia for a time you never experienced.  That's what I felt.  It was an amazing night and I'll never forget it.  

Rest in peace Tony Bennet.  I love you! 

Today I am back to work and if I'm being truthful, I'm not too happy about it.  Those of you who've worked in an office know the joy of coming back to a stack of paperwork after you've been off for a few days.  FUN! But I'll survive. I just need coffee and something in my earbuds and I'll get through it.  Hopefully if the rain holds off John and I will be keeping our Wednesday evening date at the beach.  Last night it stormed so fingers crossed we'll have clear skies tonight. 

Happy Wednesday, friends! Thank you for catching up with me and stopping by today.  

I'll be back soon! xoxox 

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Something To Think About....


For me anxiety happens when I start worrying about the future.  Things that may or may not even happen. And it's always the worst case scenario.  I've learned that I'm a happier, calmer person when I just focus on the present day, and not think about what could happen tomorrow.  

I hear the term "live in the moment" all the time, but it wasn't until I actually started doing it that I understood the peace it can bring.  Last year because of my constant worrying I developed a severe case of hives.  When feeing anxious, they would sneak up on me and attack my entire body.  Red, itching, burning, miserable, hives. After seeing my dermatologist to get some type of relief I was told to simply "manage my stress" and they would go away.  Not what I wanted to hear and naturally it caused me more stress.  If I knew how to manage it I would be getting the hives. 

Through seeing another doctor and talking things through I've learned techniques that help me now and even though I do still have breakouts, it's not as bad as it used to be.  One of the main things that has helped me manage it is this quote.  Master the day.  No one has it all figured out and no one knows for certain what tomorrow will bring.  We have to live in the now and try to enjoy every day we have.  One day at a time.  So I'll just keep doing that.  Today, tomorrow, and everyday : ) 

Happy Wednesday Friends!  I hope you all have a wonderful day.  Stress free! Xx 

Monday, July 17, 2023

How's July going so far? ♥

Hello Friends! 

 Good morning and Happy Monday! 

Can you believe we are half way through July already?!  As usual, the summer is just flying by.  For us, it's been rainy, hot, and humid.  Not my favorite weather, but then again, summer is not my favorite season.  I make do.  Here's how...

Yup, I'm that girl.  It's me, hi.  

(I can feel some of you rolling your eyes at me....haha : ) 

By this time of the month, I'm so over summer I can't even stand it anymore.  My daydreams are of autumn days and dare I say it....Christmastime.  Ok, I won't go there right now, but trust me when I say it's on my mind.  The sweet smell of cinnamon and pumpkin is giving me life right now during this hot & sticky month.  Yesterday I was feeling so drained from the heat, I lit this candle, watched a Hallmark Christmas movie, and instantly felt better. Candles and Hallmark are my coping mechanisms. 

Also Pinterest! I've been browsing, looking for decorating ideas and making mental notes of things I might want to try this holiday season.  Most people get the blues in the winter.  I get them in summer.  Next week we'll do our annual Christmas in July celebration and that should hold me over for a while. Hopefully.  We still have a lot of summer ahead of us! 

However, I'm not here to complain (me? never :).  Despite my non-complaining, we are having a nice summer. It's not all bad!  I'm loving the slow pace of our days, the casual dinners, and endless amounts of ice cream and iced coffees.  They taste better in summertime, don't they?!  My work has been busy which is taking up a lot of my time lately, but thankfully I can do most of it in my home office which means I can stay nice and comfortable in my icy cold air conditioned house.  I only have to venture out once or twice a week. In other news, last week John completed his week long drivers ed course and really enjoyed it. YAY.  Next month when he turns 16 he can get his permit and start practice driving. Yikes!  He'll be doing that with Rob.  No way will my nerves be able to handle it! 
At least not at first : )  

On the weekends we've been shopping, going on coffee runs, and hitting up farmers markets and specialty food stores.  Last week I brought home some peaches and grilled them with dinner.  They were Yummy! I've been doing most of my grilling inside because it's just too hot to be outdoors.  No one seems to mind.

Side note*

Let me ask you...

Do you go to the library?  Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one.  I love my library.  I don't know why more people don't go.  I check out books, audio books, and movies all the time.  They have everything! 

Not much is still free these days, but the library is!  I hope they never go away.  

It's also freezing in there which is very refreshing on a hot day! 

Here are my most recent reads.  Loved them both!!  

We've been keeping our Wednesday beach dates which have been absolute bliss.  That easy-breezy ocean air is a Godsent on hot days.  It's the one thing I really love about the summer.  Last week after the sun went down we made a fire and stayed till about 10:00.  Way past my bedtime, but it was so nice and relaxing we didn't want to leave. 

 I've also been adding to my sea glass collection this summer which has made my whole heart happy. 

(So do the Wendy's runs we make on the way to the beach! YUM!) 

On July 4th we celebrated my mother's birthday with dinner and blueberry pie.  It was fun and she really enjoyed it!  The next day we had dinner at my mother in laws and watched fireworks on TV.  It rained here that whole weekend.  We stayed low key, but it was really nice.   

We watched all the Indiana Jones movies (in preparation for the new one!) which I've never seen.  They were great!  Where have I been all these years?  Now John has me rewatching Star Wars.  This consists of movies, prequels, squeals, and Disney Plus shows. It goes on and on....and on.  I admit I'm liking them much more than I thought I would.  Who knew?!   Star Wars and Hallmark in the same week. That's quite a jump! LOL 

Happy Birthday to my mom! She was born on the 4th of July! 

It's been a slow summer, but as you know I love the ordinary so it's OK with me. 

 Later this week we are going on a road trip to visit our dear friends for the weekend in Pennsylvania!  I'm so excited and looking forward to some quality time, porch sitting, coffee drinking, catching up with my bestie : ) 

Have a wonderful week, my friends! I hope your July is all you want it to be and you are staying cool and cozy! I'm off to fill my mug with coffee (for the third time today!) and figure out what the heck is for dinner.  Someone please send me a magic wand! : )

Byeeee!!! xo  

Monday, July 3, 2023

Welcome July! ♥


Hello Friends! And all of a sudden it's July.....

I just changed my screensaver to a July calendar and I can hardly believe we are here already! 

Yesterday John and his friend went to see the new Indiana Jones movie.  While they were at the theater, my friend Julie and I met for a coffee.  We celebrated a new month with European Almond pastries (which were to-di-for) and large, heavily caffeinated flavored coffees.  I love this little café and have been coming to it for years.  They have twinkle lights, play old music, and you can sit by the window and people watch.  This weekend everyone is buzzing because of the holiday weekend.  There is a big parade that goes through the square and by this coffee shop every year.  It's fun to see the town square all decorated and preparing for the holiday. There are flags, banners, and patriotic décor everywhere. People seem nicer than usual this weekend, and that's always a good thing.  Anyway the pastry and coffee were divine, and from what John said - better than the movie : ) 

We don't have anything special planned for the fourth this year.  If you've been around here for a while, you'll know that the fourth of July is also my mother's birthday.  We are having a little birthday dinner tonight for her with a traditional birthday pie - blueberry of course!  And I remembered the ice cream. Yay! Because I always forget.  My mother and I share the same birthday month, and it's funny because neither of us don't really care for July.  We hate the heat and like to complain about that together!  Fear not, it might be 87 degrees on Wednesday, but October is coming.  And that's how we get through July. Haha! 

We aren't really fireworks people around here either.  I mean, I enjoy them if I see them, but I don't feel the need to go out of my way to see them on the fourth.  Our town does a great display, but it's SO crowded.  We are passing this year which we are all OK with.  One tradition we will definitely keep tomorrow night is watching the Boston Pops performance and fireworks on TV.  That's more my speed.  Couch side, with a cup of tea and blueberry pie in my lap.  

Happy 4th of July to me! ♥

I've been thinking about all the fourth's of July throughout my life and how they have changed.  When I was little my whole family would do a big cookout at the beach.  My cousins and I would play horseshoes and go canoeing.  I would be barefoot all day!  At night there would be a big bonfire and fireworks (which I always thought were just for my mom because it was her birthday!:).  Up until a few years ago, Rob's uncle would have a big party on July 4th.  We would eat steamers with butter, play bocce, and see friends and family we hadn't see all year.  It was like a reunion. I look back on all these memories fondly and I realize that seasons of life change and it's OK.  My season now is to slow down, stay out of the heat, and enjoy pie with my family.  

That makes me very happy 

Have a wonderful day, friends!  I'm off to check on my pie.  I think she's done!