Saturday, December 31, 2011

dear 2011...

well we made it one more time around the sun.  thanks for being good to us.  you were speckled with  happy days, tearful days, and firework days. when you mix it up like that it makes us realize all the good and all the hard.  we all know you can't really feel the joy without knowing the pain.   thanks for our continued health and the good health of our family and friends. bless you for the new members that arrived this year.  sweet molly is a love. thanks for keeping some nasty illnesses at bay.  each moment is a gift. we will continue to pray for healing. 
please continue to bless the ones that left this earth as they will always hold a special place in our hearts.
 here's to a happy and healthy 2012...  now off to do some celebrating...

love sent, xo

Friday, December 30, 2011

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

winter's rest and comforts...

hope your christmas was merry and your home was peaceful and your family was joyful.
mine was.  i am blessed. so very very blessed.
it was packed filled with celebration and time spent together.
lots of new memories were made.
enjoy the lights that sparkle around you and let them be a reminder of the

the oldest and the youngest...

magic in portsmouth

family games.

homemade donuts

the girls breakfast...

the fam
best $2 gift ever...

                                                  i count on both hands the ones i love...

cozy supper...

tortellini soup

this is a recipe that i tweaked from several other recipes.
2 T. olive oil
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
5 sausage links, casing removed, chopped
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
5 cups chicken broth
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
15 oz. can great northern beans, drained
20 oz. frozen cheese tortellini

freshly grated parmesan cheese
heat oil in large stock pot over medium high heat. saute carrots, onions and red pepper until semi translucent, about 5 minutes. add sausage, garlic, basil, rosemary, red pepper flakes. season with salt and pepper. continue to saute for 3 - 5 more minutes. add the broth, tomatoes with juice and beans. bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. add the tortellini to the soup and simmer until tender, about 10 more minutes. to serve, top bowls of soup with grated parmesan cheese.

this soup comes together pretty quickly. i also think you could double the recipe right up until you add the pasta and then take out half and freeze it. then finish it with the tortellini. when you are ready to eat the frozen half you could just put the whole frozen block in the crock pot in the morning and then come home and put in the tortellini for the last 30 minutes.

i like to serve this soup with a nice loaf of bread. hope you love it as much as we do!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

magic hours...

for those of us who will always believe...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

in the lane snow is glistening.....

i love these photos. there are so many amazing photos on pinterest

i've been gifted...

with the best friends and family ever.  last night was my favorite things swap.  it is one of my
most favorite nights of the year.  to be together with my girls is always a special night for me. we act as if nothing has changed when in fact every. single. thing. has changed. years pass. mountains are
moved. challenges are met. friends remain. we all share the stories.
we find our way with friends. old and new.
each of you makes me smile for a different reason.  you all challenge me to be better, be stronger, be softer, be braver.  i am truly blessed.  thanks for a wonderful evening. 
you all mean so much to me.  xo

love sent, xo

Monday, December 19, 2011

unwrap the now....

i should be wrapping but i am writing. i  just wanted to share a thought.  we have been
busy as elves around here. decorating, baking, crafting etc.  a balsam candle is burning on
the counter.  i remind myself that so much of the joy of christmas is really in the preparation.
setting the stage in our homes to welcome our family and friends brings us closer together.
the important things will get done.  take 30 minutes just like i just did,  walk outside
look at the lights in your neighborhood, regroup and prioritize what's most important.  you won't
remember all the things that didn't get done.  you will however remember the sweet moments and the
time you spent with your loved ones.

love sent, xo

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

new drink recipe...

as most of you know i am hosting an annual christmas party for some
friends.  we always like to have a signature martini or two on hand.  last year
we had huge success with a gingerbread martini.  i had high hopes of a repeat
performance.  however, i am losing hope as i have not found the gingerbread liquor
so far this year, except in north carolina.  but, i didn't want to check bags
to take one home. of course, that was when i was sure i would find it up here. an effort to move on and not fret about the loss of the gingerbread idea i found
this ... yes s'mores martini with marshmallow vodka.  are you kidding? marshmallow vodka? 
really? is there a vodka they don't make yet?  this sounds a little decadent for my taste, but i have
some friends that can never get enough chocolate.  i know this would be right for them.

s'more martini     makes 2 martinis
4 ounces marshmallow vodka (or vanilla, whipped cream or cake flavored vodka)
4 ounces Godiva chocolate liqueur
2 ounces bailey’s irish cream liqueur
4 ounces cream/half and half or milk
chocolate syrup

graham cracker crumbs
vanilla frosting for glass rimming
mini marshmallows

dip the rim of you glass in a bit of frosting, then dip into graham cracker crumbs. pour about 1/2 teaspoon chocolate syrup into the bottom of the glass. combine vodka, baileys, godiva and cream in a shaker with ice.  shake for 15 seconds. pour into glass. top with mini marshmallows skewered on a toothpick after you have roasted them (if you want )

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

it's christmas time...

give to the ones you love... i have so much left to do.  i feel frozen.  but i am really enjoying every minute.  i am  behind with my shopping.  but... not to worry, it will all get done.  i know it will.  i believe  this
is how i roll.  it's like this every year.  it seems the more i have to do the more i procrastinate.
but...  there are things i need to do.  like go away for the weekend with my bff's.  attend parties
with the people i love, and laugh... and cry.. and breathe in the moment.  i think at this time of year
it's important to focus your attention on all the little things in life that we so often take for granted. 
december is certainly fast paced festivity. but for a minute turn your thoughts and your camera into capturing the moment.  embrace the magic of twinkling lights, morning fog, faces of children, friends that matter, balsam candles, christmas music, you get the picture.  it's a win - win love + love.
life is about the little things right?  life is never black and white. the journey is a checkerboard.   be grateful for the every day togetherness of regular life...

and all of us have someone looking out for us. 

thanks lynne for such a fun, whirlwind trip.  you are the best!!!!
love, xo

Monday, December 12, 2011

merry christmas...

Stationery card
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