Monday, January 30, 2012

family home...

a home is where a family lives together.  always warm and welcoming.  a casual space for cooking  and eating together.  monday night happens to be dinner with the kids (who have all moved out).  with lacrosse season starting this was the last night we would all be together on a monday for a while . we have coaches, we have players.  xo
thanks for the conversation, the support,  and mostly the love. 

and for the reminder that
"when we walk to the edge of all the light we have and take a step into the darkness of the unknown, we must believe that one of two things will happen. there will be something solid for us to stand on,  or we will be taught to fly." -Patrick Overton

and i'll  remember the line from the song we always danced to when you were little...

these are the times to remember, they will not last forever. these are the days to hold onto, cuz we won't although we want to" Billy Joel "

probably one of my most favorite songs of all time.

love sent, xo

a few notes of what january looked like.

mom heading back to florida :(
roasted vegetables
wishing for snow (getting rain instead)
cardamon braided bread (the best)
cozy fires
dreamy new breakfast recipe.

football (playoffs)
thank you notes on fresh stationary
sweet new baby (welcome rhett)
cleaning closets
michael's famous pizza parties
filing the calendar
catching up with friends
morning coffee
new books
sipping drinks with red and white striped straws

Sunday, January 29, 2012

what i am doing right now....

what inspires you?  i sit here going through hundreds of pinterest ideas, while my dh works diligently around the house on some mini projects i thought up today.
 we took a trip to ikea and bought a variety of random things to spruce up a variety of rooms. 
pinterest -  i love you for all the ideas i find. seriously,  you are so addicting.

i can't believe we are at the bottom of  january.  month one is already wrapping up. right now
sunday seems to be my most productive day.  today i cleaned the house, made a few calls,
paid a few bills, did some  photo edits, and cleared my  in box like lightening  delete. delete. delete.
today was sunny and bright and wonderful.  one of those days we won't soon forget.
a sort of  in between day.  it was productive and happy and memorable. after a long day of shopping we decided we needed to eat - which is always on the top of the agenda. after rambling through a whole list of restaurants, contemplating on staying home and cooking, toyed with the idea of riding to the beach,  we settled on a small local restaurant which worked out perfectly.
over a flickering candle we talked about the day. the food was great, conversation was good. i must say a great weekend it was.

simple. uneventful. real.

and remember no day ever ends if it makes a memory.

love sent, xo

Friday, January 27, 2012

i need a holiday away from the rain....

i have posted about this duo before.  i love, love,  them.  happy, happy, weekend.  i played his loud like
jerry mcguire loud. enjoy <3 

love sent, xo

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

love letters...

dear bff, thank you for the (healthy) recipes you left on  my desk today i might can't wait to try them.  you are the best bff.  xo
dear bob, it was so good to spend time with you tonight.  i loved the pictures
of italy.  you inspire me to move forward.  our conversations are awesome.
dear mom, its going to be ok -  keep up your amazing attitude. one day at a time :)
dear vinny, can't wait for dinner tomorrow night.... the drive is worth it.
dear work, - really?  will it ever get better???? i keep hoping...

love sent, xo

Sunday, January 22, 2012

lemon sugar scrub

at this time of year everyone needs a lift.  for a fraction of what you would pay in stores you can make your own lemon sugar scrub.  a foamy, vibrantly scented sugar scrub for the body.  it lathers up for gentle and supremely sudsy, smoothing, softening skin cleansing and exfoliating with an a-"peel"-ing fragrance!

juice of 2 lemons             
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs of liquid soap
1 to 1 1/2 cups of sugar

juice lemons into a medium bowl.  add the olive oil and liquid soap. mix until
creamy.  add sugar a little at a time until it is thick and grainy.  pour into small
jars.  stores up to 2 months.

apply a handful to damp skin and scrub in circular motions until you are polished to perfection. rinse. use one to three times per week.

package up and give to the ones you love.  perfect gift for valentine's day. 


if you prefer ALL organic beauty recipes, here is the organic version of my lemon scrub
1/4 cup of sugar in the raw (raw all-natural sugar)
1/2 cup of organic white sugar
1 grated lemon peel- From an organic lemon
the juice from 1 organic lemon (about 4 Tbsp)
2-4 Tbsp of organic olive oil

Saturday, January 21, 2012

our lives are made in these small hours...

today it snowed. there is such pause with snow.  it seems to slow everything down.  i got to have coffee with all my bff's.  everyone made it, which is a rarity. it was a long leisurely morning.  there was laughter and stories and deep conversations.  it made me so grateful to have them in my life. 
during the week my brain requires so much day time vigilance that by the time the weekend comes
it says -  "i protest."  i refuse to stress out over one more silly email.  it says take a moment and relax.
but still, in my mind i have a mental list of emails i need to return, thank you notes i want to write, books i
want to read, quotes i want to remember. but here i am just blogging.  today was a hang around and cook
and shop and take care of me day.  everyone needs those right?

and tonight was a snowy, cold,  eat comfort food kind of night.  a hang around in front of the
fireplace evening.  so we did just that.

and ate this....

homemade chicken pot pie with pastry crust.

1 cup potatoes, diced
1 cup onions, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 cups chicken, cooked and chopped
1 sheet of puff pastry


preheat oven to 400°F.

saute onion, celery, carrots and potatoes in butter for 10 minutes.
add flour to sauteed mixture, stirring well, cook one minute stirring constantly.
combine broth and half and half.
gradually stir into vegetable mixture.
cook over medium heat stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly.
stir in salt and pepper; add chicken and stir well.
pour into shallow 2 quart casserole dish and top with puff pastry (or individual ramekins)
cut slits to allow steam to escape.
bake for 40-50 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly and cooked through.

i made these in individual dishes and cut circles of puff pastry to cover.

we ended the evening with pear bread pudding and vanilla ice cream.....

pear bread pudding.


2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
3 teaspoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
5 slices soft whole-wheat or white bread, each cut in half (i cut mine into quarters)
2 pears, peeled, cored, and cut into eighths
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1.heat oven to 375ยบ F.

2.butter a 9-inch square pan. a saucepan, heat the milk, sugar, butter, and salt until small bubbles form. in a bowl, whisk together the eggs, then add the warm milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly.

4.layer the square pan with the bread. top with the pears. (i honestly would have sauteed the pears in some butter to soften them for next time) my pears were not ripe enough. 
pour the milk-egg mixture into the baking pan and sprinkle with the cinnamon.

5.bake until golden, about 40 minutes.  serve warm.

love sent, xo

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

what would be...

yesterday over coffee with a friend we were discussing movies, the golden globes awards and the emmys coming up. we chatted about movies that may be in the running for best picture etc. we talked about the descendants and what an amazing actor george clooney is. did i say amazing? he is. but that movie left me feeling spent. it was heavy and mostly sad. it was deep and the family was weird. i needed light and fun. she mentioned a cute movie called "new years eve." she said it's up now you should go. its "your" kind of movie, you will love it. so... i went and i LOVED it
it was just what i needed yesterday.

remember be nice to each other, be kind to each other and not just on new year's but all year long.

love sent, xo

Monday, January 16, 2012

best guy ever...

this video is of my neighbor colin one of the greatest guys ever.
it's so hard to believe it's almost a year since you left this earth. not a day goes by that we don't miss you driving by...

sleep tight my friend....

final from tim o'donnell on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

for a snowy day...

you will find a snowy day playlist

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

the view from here...

full moon 2012

after my dad died something shifted in me.  i'm still not sure how to put it into words.  but things changed.  even though we all know that each day is a gift.
 and we all know that everyones life comes to an end.  those life altering moments change who you are.
my dad was a big astronomy guy.  he loved it. he studied it, and could never get enough of it. he was
always looking through telescopes and reveled in the magic of all the stars and planets.  maybe being
a long time nasa emloyee and working in the background of the first walk on the moon fueled his passion.
whatever it was -  it was a passion.
last night while i was driving home i saw what appeared to be the biggest moon i have ever seen.
it peeked in and out of the trees as i drove along, as if to say hello.  it was the first full moon of
2012.  it's called the wolf moon.  i grabbed my camera when i got home but it appeared smaller by then
but it was still amazing in all it's beauty.  in all that splendor he was there, i know it. i could feel him in the distance.  it provided me with such peace and calm of heart.  it warmed me from the inside and reminded me he is still here in the simple reflection of the full moon.

i miss you. <3

love sent, xo

Monday, January 9, 2012

best food of 2011

i was going through my hundreds of pictures and decided to post the best food
of 2011.  it was really so hard to choose.

january - making cinnamon bread over and over
february - making sugar cookies and chocolate covered angel cakes to share
march - crab cakes
april - easter brunch
may - pizza and salad
june - sunset dinner
july - lighter fare
august - amazing breakfast in york.  did i say amazing? visit them
september - dinner in the north end
october - apple crunch with pumpkin martinis
november - turkey dinner
december -- peach crepes with whipped cream and brown sugar

Sunday, January 8, 2012

sunday night...

the first week after the holidays always feels well ..abrupt and cold.  the spirit of the holidays disappears so quickly.  everyone seems to be rushing back to their hurried lives.  this weekend was so warm and even tho it was enjoyable it gives off a really weird vibe.  like...  it's not suppose to be this warm in january and i was going to go ice skating but i couldn't get in the mood. 
so..  we went to a small coffee shop and watched someone else's world behind our raspberry latte.  and talked about if we owned a restaurant - what it would look like,  and what it would feel like,  and what the food would be like...  and then we went home and cooked.. and baked... and  packaged... and dreamed...

deep, dark salted butter caramel sauce 

makes about 1 1/3 cups
1 cup sugar
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) salted butter, the better you can get, the better it will taste
1/2 cup plus two tablespoons heavy cream, at room temperature

melt the sugar over medium to moderately high heat in a larger pot than you think you’ll need–at least two or three quarts, whisking or stirring the sugar as it melts to ensure it heats evenly. cook the liquefied sugar to a nice, dark copper color. add the butter all at once and stir it in, before turning off the stove and pour in the heavy cream (the sauce will foam up quite a bit when you add it; this is why you want the larger pot.), whisking it until you get a smooth sauce.
you use it right away or pour it into a jar and store it in the fridge for up to two weeks. when you take it out, it will likely have thickened a bit but 60 seconds in the microwave brings it right back to pouring consistency.
serve over, well... everything

coconut thumbprint cookies with salted caramel.

3 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 c flour
table salt
2 large eggs
12 oz sweetened flaked coconut
caramel sauce (above)
large flaky sea salt

preheat oven to 350 degrees.   beat together butter and sugar with a mixer on medium until pale and fluffy.  then beat in vanilla. with mixer on low add flour and 1/2 tsp table salt. beat to combine.  roll dough into 1 1/4 balls.  dip each ball into egg then into coconut.  place balls on parchment lined baking sheet, press indentation into each with your thumb.  bake 10 minutes.  remove sheets from oven and repress indentations.  bake another 8 minutes.  let cool and repeat with remaining dough.  spoon warm caramel into indentations and sprinkle with sea salt.  store in air tight containers.

love sent, xo

Saturday, January 7, 2012


it's january and  there isn't a snowflake in sight. it has been an incredibly mild winter. i would love
a blizzard or two but in the meantime i will embrace the warmth.    last night the sunset was incredible.
incredible.  it looked like melted popsicles in the sky.

love sent, xo

Friday, January 6, 2012

dear brae...

happy happy birthday... love you... 

who most likely would have been the winner as usual. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

hi there...

happy new year.  make the little things a special occasion.  that is going to be my motto for 2012. how can it be 2012?  i am going to promise myself not to get caught up in the future - it happens regardless and if you worry about it to much it makes you miss the present.   i write here to capture some moments and feelings that would escape me otherwise.
i write most often at night while i should be sleeping.  but sometimes sleep escapes me.  sometimes i write in the early morning while sipping on warm vanilla coffee.   that is really my favorite time of day.
this is the time of year for new year's resolutions. do you make them?  do you break them?

i am not a resolution kind of girl.  i don't make them so i can't break them. 

a few years ago i made a new year's resolution to try more restaurants and honestly it
was the best resolution ever. i'm still doing it.

this year it will be along the same lines.   i decided to choose 12 things to work on for 2012 and i have the whole year to do it.

here goes:

1.    cook healthier meals.
2.    have more patience.
3.    be kind to strangers.
4.    have more dinner parties.
5.    take more walks.
6.    focus on the simple - less shopping -  less is more.
7.    blog better.
8.    buy more flowers.
9.    worry less.
10.  dream big.
11.  read more.
12.  embrace the moment.  everyday moments.

this is a new beginning -  again.  it's interesting,  beginnings and endings arrive unexpectedly.  i don't
have everything or anything figured out,  but then again who does...

love sent , xo

Monday, January 2, 2012

you will love it, i promise...

tonight, as usual,  it was monday night family dinner.  a special time to share in great conversation and
love.   sometimes these nights are challenging and sometimes they are rushed and sometimes they
are just filled with love.  and tonight it was the latter.. another reminder of how lucky we are.

because i was off and had the time -  i made a BIG dinner consisting of barbecue ribs (boys favorite) corn bread, scallop potatoes, special salad and corn chowder. dessert:  peach crepes with whip cream and brown sugar topping...

the chowder (the simplest part) was the most well received... 


8 strips of thick-cut bacon

1 lg. yellow onion, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 carrott sliced
2 c. fresh or frozen corn kernels

1-14 oz. can creamed corn

4 c. milk

1/2 c. heavy cream

1/4 to 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (to taste; i use almost a half tsp.)

1/4 tsp. ground sage

salt and pepper to taste

3 tbsp. minced fresh chives, or minced green onion tops

in a large heavy saucepan, slowly cook the bacon until very crisp; drain on paper towels; cut with scissors into 1″ pieces and set aside. pour off all but 1 tbsp. bacon fat. put onion and celery into pan and cook over med. heat until softened, about 10 min. stir in corn, carrotts, creamed corn, and milk. simmer gently for about 25 minutes; stirring occasionally. add cream, red pepper flakes, sage and half the reserved bacon pieces. heat through, taste for salt and pepper. serve in soup bowls, garnished with bacon and minced chives/green onion tops. plenty for six.

love sent, xo

happy happy birthday shae...

love you to the moon and back...

thanks for the piano lessons.. i've been practicing but i have a way to go...

love sent, xo

Sunday, January 1, 2012