Wednesday, March 31, 2010

it's in the eyes...

the blogsphere is a place of inspiration, it's filled with inspiring people, inspiring designs, inspiring words. it opens up a whole new world of awareness. i was browsing the internet today and came across this video and it got me thinking of my nail tec. she is the sweetest girl. i visit with her once a week or so. she takes such good care of me. the salon is owned and run by a whole gaggle of sweet cambodian women, most who have come here for a better life. they have shared many stories over the years. some of the stories of poverty and hardship are difficult to listen to. i understand why they leave their homeland and for all that they gain. but in the eyes of this video you see all the love they leave behind. xoxo

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

a little soggy...

dear weatherman,

please, please stop breaking my heart... i need vitamin d.... the sun is long overdue.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

happy golden birthday...

my golden child....

today is a special day.  my first borns birthday.  forever moments of blissful mothering, all my mistakes were made with you.  birthdays take you back to the beginning. a long walk through those delightful years, our wondrous adventure. you were my sidekick, you made my heart so full.  small pieces of the heart sewn together bit by bit.  you have been running through my days and dreams more than half my life. on that early spring day many years ago when you made your debut it was all a dream come true.   your nursery was perfect, a big quilt lovingly stitched with a big yellow duck, i loved it so.  all those books i was reading about how to be a good mom.  i can only say that from the way you have turned out i guess we did ok.  i love you.  i have always had a wide open space for you in my heart, a space  for you to grow up in.  well,  you are certainly all grown up now,  but there will always be a space in my heart that keeps you little forever in my mind.  happy, happy, birthday.  you are you and i am so thankful to be your mom.  wishing you a wonderful year ahead and many things that make you smile.

i love you.  mom   xoxo

Friday, March 26, 2010

bring me spring...

five senses friday is a project started by "abbey try again"  it's a writing project and  a moment for reflection a way to celebrate the quiet. hope you have a wonderful weekend.

smelling - freshly brewed coffee -  it starts the day off right.

seeing   -  glimpses of spring everywhere.

hearing  -  pink blaring "who knew"  while i dance around my house. tuning everything else out.

feeling  -  grateful for lunch with a special friend.

tasting  -  thin mints for breaksfast.  it's not exactly diet but it is friday right?

there are moments in a lifetime where you feel like you’re seeing everything for the first time. it could be a new challenge, old fixes that need to be made or an inspired story. for me, it’s all those things. i hear the bells of panic ringing loud and clear from changes. it’s ruining the quiet confidence in my head. but i also feel the warm promise of a positive solution where everyone will be happy.  maybe my lesson this week is to understand that although uncertainty smells a little funny; it probably tastes pretty fabulous once it’s been prepared, seasoned and cooked to perfection; just like the best ideas.  xoxo

Thursday, March 25, 2010

find your way...


remember yesterday i said i was cranky? well i was,  just ask some of the people that had to deal with me.  i was looking through the cranky lens.  today i am not. what a difference a day makes. yesterday a whole series of things spilling over from the night before came splashing down.  some days are like that. so glad they don't last very long.
happiness is, in my mind, a mental choice. we'll all have adversity, challenges, and setbacks, but we get to decide how we'll handle them. we get to decide to view things as opportunities. we get to decide to be nice. we get to decide who we work with and what kind of ways in which we’ll work. when i’m not over-committed, i generally can keep perspective and make good choices. lately i have been overcommitted.

i think every year as we get older rules change a little for living. you  realize how some things are just
not worth getting worked up over. i believe there are some ways you can remind yourself to keep happy.
and remember,  if you are not happy you can't make other people happy. 

keep a thankful journal,  you can remind yourself when you are down how lucky you are.(sounds silly
but it works)
sleep is valuable, don't skimp on it.
surround yourself with a good environnment, it can bring you peace.
remind yourself it's the journey,  not the destination.
stress can kill you,  work to avoid it.
don't turn down an opportunity because you fear the result.
keep a list of things you wish you knew and find the time to learn them.
don't let weaknesses affect your strengths.
flowers,  buy yourself  flowers.
mark down happy moments. small details are probably what really make you happy.
everyday stop and use your eyes like a camera come to a dead stop for a couple of seconds take it all in. you'll see the world differently.
give to yourself, give to others.
with every choice ask if it simplifies or complicates things.
almost any obstacle can be overcome if you genuinely work at it.
love people, they are the key to life. meet them, listen to them, learn from them,
view everyone like an encyclopedia with a beating heart. 

love sent, xo

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

cooking makes me happy...

today was a really lousy day. i was going to write a cranky pants post but decided to give you food instead.
it's much more appealing. i'll save the complaints for tomorrow.. xo

spaghetti with artichokes hearts and tomatoes


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ whole medium onion, finely diced
1 can artichoke hearts (14.5 oz. quartered or whole) drained
1 can diced tomatoes with juice (14.5 oz.)
1 cup heavy cream
½ cups chicken broth (more as needed)
salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound thin spaghetti
1 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 tablespoons fresh chives (or other herbs) chopped

to prepare

cook spaghetti till al dente. drain and set aside.

melt olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. add onions and garlic and saute for 2 to 3 minutes.

squeeze water out of artichokes. add artichoke hearts and tomatoes. stir and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. reduce heat to low. stir in cream and chicken broth. add salt and pepper to taste (do not undersalt!) cook over low heat until heated through, then turn off heat.

place drained pasta in a large bowl. sprinkle with 1 cup parmesan. pour sauce over the top. add chives. toss lightly to combine and coat; add a tiny bit of reserved pasta water if sauce seems to thick. enjoy! xo

this of course should be served with crusty bread, maybe olive oil with some seasonings to dip into
and wine.

Monday, March 22, 2010

monday, monday, can't trust that day...

hope your weekend was filled with sunshine and happiness. the weather here was amazing. today, not so much - back to cooler temps and rain. wanted to share some images that i am loving today.


and always the food
secret message envelopes.....

Thursday, March 18, 2010

spring is here...well almost

hello how are you?  happy thursday.
the past few days have been something of a springtime daydream. the afternoon sunlight cast a warm glow all around, melting away all traces of winter and flooding the streets with citrus-y sunshine. insteadof working i wish i was taking a lovely long walk down the sunny side
of a street, stopping in a charming cafe and indulging in one of my favourite treats - lemon tarts. i always find citrus to be such a happy,cheery flavour full of zest and life. lemon shrimp, lemon chicken, it's almost impossible to stay blue after the first bite of  lemony-ish. same holds true for a dose of lemony sunshine - life just seems a little better. bring the same feeling with you wherever you go with soft, buttery shades of lemon yellow and enjoy the comfort of a warm afternoon in spring.  xo

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

happy st. patrick's day dad....

wish we were sharing some of these together... my milk didn't turn green when i poured it this morning  :(
dad, i miss those days..  i can hear your music playing "when irish eyes are smiling"  all the way from here. 
  i love you,  xoxo

hope your day is happy and filled with
                 good luck

my bff's -  i think you should make these for your next brunch you will be a major hit .. trust me on this one. 

it's the presentation that gets them every time !!!  this recipe combines my two favorite ingredients. eggs and cheese.

three-cheese frittatas

kids love these—maybe because it’s such a treat for them to have their very own little omelets.

makes 8

8 eggs
6 tablespoons heavy cream
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
2 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons grated jarlsberg cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
8 small oregano sprigs
preheat oven to 350ºF.

cut 3”x 3” squares of parchment paper and press into a muffin tin.
mix eggs, cream, ricotta, parmesan, jarlsberg, salt and pepper.
fill each paper cup 3/4 full.
add oregano.
bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden and set.

Monday, March 15, 2010

rain rain go away...

a beautiful weekend spent ducking in from the rainy streets. torrential rain for days -  filled with big umbrellas, wellington boots everywhere,  but coming in to the comfort of the perfect cup of tea. xo  soup season got extended an extra week.   i would really like the streets to be flooded with sunshine rather than water. but it looks like  later this week i will get that wish....
until then -  stay warm, you can't possibly stay dry.  xoxo

no winter lasts forever, no spring skips it's turn.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

friday thoughts...

this is what i know.

i know god exists. and i know he will always be there.

i know that life is hard but i will never give up. and because of that, i know i have lived my life with grace.

i know that every person i've encountered entered my life for a reason, and had something extraordinary to teach me.

i know we need to experience the bitter,  in order to experience the sweet.

i know that tomorrows are a chance to live yesterdays better.

i know that crying is good for the heart,

and hugs are good for the soul.

i know that a life without trials, is merely a life without lessons.

i know that regret is just a six letter word. there are no regrets, there are only lessons learned.

i know life is a form of not being sure, and that is beautiful.

i know that the beauty of life will always overpower the ugly days.

and i know that no matter how many times i am lost, i will always be found.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

i used to think i was fashionable...

then i grew up and learned the following:
the tooth fairy was actually my mother.
bills come in all shapes and sizes and often.
and i'm fashionably inept.

enter bff’s
Christine -  is an accessory goddess. how does she always choose the right necklace or earrings? she is so hip, hip, hip. she even made bald look good.

Nancy -  is haute and cutting-edge. i daydream about raiding her closet and stealing all she's got (then i have a follow-up dream that i fit into those clothes).

Jane -  has an unfailing formula for easy elegant and manages to make everything look audrey hepburnish

Lynne -  is amazing. she manages to make clothes look as they were intended. how could anyone look that put together with that many kids?  

Patti - she is always so current an ever evolving style that i can't hope to emulate let alone predict.

My (much younger friend Alice) now she is a total  fashionesta

Me - I want to be stylish and comfy, and age appropriate - it’s an on going battle. it’s a lot of work. it’s the reason i run late for work half the time. i guess that’s why i spend so much time shopping. i could spend less time shopping if i could just buy all jcrew has to offer. but, i can’t spend $98 per shirt…. well i mean i could, i just couldn’t pay my mortgage.

thank goodness i have a slew of hip bff’s to feed off of.

well i'm off ,  to find the new spectacular jcrewish  t-shirts lynne found today at marshalls.

love you guys…..

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

life's little luxuries..

in no particular order...

waking up early and pulling the covers back up -  then falling back to sleep.
a second pot of coffee.
sunshine through my window.
reading a book that has been patiently waiting.
listening to my ipod play my favorite song (of the moment) over and over.
eating out.
red wine.
watching the food channel and getting inspired.
cooking with someone you love.
pouring through piles of magazines.

hope you are offered up some luxuries today.  xoxo

Monday, March 8, 2010

color your monday happy...

i can hardly contain my excitement that spring is around the corner. the past few days the weather has been amazing.i am excited for longer days and warmer weather. fresh flowers and the scent of rain. but i don’t have that spring in my step.  i am in a funk. i am trying to find some inspirational goodness, something to inspire me.
what inspires you? i need to focus on some things that make my heart leap.

spring is full of fresh new life, there is an energy in the air , plants, animals and people all come out of hiding. it's the perfect time to start afresh and greet the world with a new outlook, unveil a new look, re-organize yourself, your home, your life.
here are some of my favorite things about this exciting season:

1. fresh new spring fashion - easy, breezy classics that spell instant chic and let you run out of the house in a hurry (to join the fun outside!)
2. opening up the windows and letting the outside in. fresh flowers, lighter linens and softer colors are instantly uplifting and help your home shake off the winter blues.

3.  long walks, bike rides and delicious light dinners.

4. delicate cherry blossoms, vibrant tulips all taking part in nature's most beautiful celebration in the form of an explosion of color. not long from now the brown lawns will be replaced with lush green… let’s hope for an early spring. xoxo

"Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather". ~John Ruskin

Friday, March 5, 2010

comfort soup...

hurry - soups on

Serves 6-8

1/2 cup butter (doesn’t it sound good already?)
4 chopped shallots
3/4 cup flour
8 cups chicken broth
1 bunch spinach leaves (aprox. 1 bag shredded)
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2 cups chopped up roasted chicken
1 1/2 cups cooked mini shell pasta
very thinly sliced shitake mushrooms (as little or as many as you like)
1/2 cup cream
1 egg yolk
a tablespoon or so of chopped basil for garnish
roasted pine nuts

heat butter and saute shallots for a few seconds. add flour and whisk continuously. gradually add chicken broth and continue to whisk until mixture is smooth. boil for 1 minute. lower heat to medium add spinach, chicken, white pepper, the shitake mushrooms cook for an additional 5 minutes.

just before serving, mix together cream and the egg yolk and fold gently into the soup and stir. garnish with a little chopped basil and pine nuts

serve this with good crusty bread and wine.  xo

Thursday, March 4, 2010

i'm still here...

you know who you are:

i saw this today and thought   - please be as lucky as this person who wrote this post. 

i pray everyday.

@sugarshack100  -  " I too can  relate to this song. yesterday it was 7 months since I  have drank. I spent  19 years drinking. and I wouldn't go back. Ever. It's been such a long road.  I had to pull myself up and find myself again and this song hit me so hard. Finding out who you are is the best part . I'm so proud your clean too. It's a long rough road but one I would never turn back on.   I'm 51 but I finally feel I got my life back and you can only figure that out when you believe in yourself and love yourself  first before others . Never give up.  hugs and keep going on. It's so worth it. "

i love you xo

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

dancing with the stars revealed...

i am not a huge fan of dancing with the stars but everyone at work never stops talking about it.  i like it, i am just not an (i cant miss an episode of it) kind of person.

but this looks like a pretty good line up.

the season 10 cast of dancing with the stars: airs-march 22, 2010

1. Jake Pavelka- If you don't watch The Bachelor, you probably don't know Jake. But it's appropriate that he choose his wife last night and revealed he will be appearing on DWTS.

2. Kate Gosselin- Everyone's favorite mother of 8 (you know her from Jon and Kate Plus 8) is going to show us her dance moves. And we can't wait to see her hairstyle.

3. Pamela Anderson- It would be tough to find someone who doesn't know who Pamela Anderson is. This former star of Baywatch will be doing her thing on the dance floor.

4. Shannen Doherty- The former 90210 star hasn't been spotted much since her days on Charmed.

5. Buzz Aldrin- The second person on the moon won't be the first man on the dance floor. But it should be easier to dance with gravity.

6. Evan Lysacek- Many of us didn't know him until a couple weeks ago. Now we know and love him as the gold winning medalist for men's figure skating. He's going to be an amazing dancer.

7. Nicole Scherzinger- We already know this Pussycat Dolls member can dance too.

8. Aiden Turner- He plays the role of Aidan on All My Children.

9. Chad Ochocinco- The NFL star who famously changed his name to a Spanish number.

10. Erin Andrews- The ESPN sportscaster who was spied on while at a hotel room. Often named "America's Sexist Sportscaster."

11. Niecy Nash- The actress and comedian most known for her role on Reno 911.

march right in....

i am tired of heavy boots and coats they are weighing down on my soul. i need to fill up my kitchen with tulips.
i need sunshine.  i can feel spring coming. it's so close i can tell. the brown lawn and chirping birds assure me it's close by. i am tired of the darkness, i need sunlight. but march i know you'll be good to us. i know there will be a day this month when i feel the sun on my face and know that i'll be on the other side of the shadows...