Wednesday, February 29, 2012

life is where you are...

if you decide how you are suppose to feel and you allow yourself to decide what things will make you feel this way then the whole world can be yours.
it's nearly march now and i am feeling the silence of winter.  it has been so quiet.  i can hear the birds now in the morning getting noisier with each passing day.  awaiting spring  - it reminds me that change is good.
you never know what might be in store for you today.  so be open to what's out there and the connections you can make.  people sometimes show up in our lives in the most unexpected ways. 
i remind myself that there is an ebb and flow to everything, especially good times and bad. 
celebrate everything, and anything.
loving people doesn't require solving their problems.
accept change, it will happen anyway.
dance, sing and laugh... a lot.
be thankful and let people know it.
err on the side of compassion.
being a good friend usually requires action.
and remember after a difficult day you can start new tomorrow.
chase the light...

happy leap year and the extra 24 hours it provides.

love sent, xo

Monday, February 27, 2012


have you ever felt something that you knew instantly you would never forget?  a feeling that heightened your overall experience and elevated it into something more than a simple feeling... a feeling you will never, ever, forget....

love sent , xxoo

happy monday..

this weekend went by way too fast. here's little recap through pictures.
had an awesome birthday dinner on friday night - thanks patti !!  the celebrating continues.
sipped on mai tai's on saturday night.
celebrated the oscars in style.
bought a pasta making machine (now to actually use it)
said a sad goodbye to my friends mom. what a gifted lady, she will be missed by many.
what was on your agenda?  hope it was happy.

love sent, xo

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Happy Happy Birthday Joe!!!

Hope you have a fantastic year ahead.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

happiness is on the menu...

i am a lover.  i admit it -  something about me falls easily, for people, for places, for food, for things.
so i guess it's appropriate that i was born in the month of february.

because its my birthday and valentines day there is certainly plenty of  reason to celebrate.  quite frankly tho, i am always open to celebrating just about anything no matter what the month.  

this weekend revolved around late night dinner reservations, shows, wine and even later cocktails and dessert.  after all what else do you do in the city that never sleeps?
but speaking of sleep i got to rest my head on the most comfortable bed ever -  complete with egyptian sheets = learn how to tackle nyc in the most luxurious fashion.
we got to mingle with the after work crowd at extra virgin in the west village.  it's casual but elegant and i got to feel the magic. i got to feel the vibe that so inspires wanderlust and so much more.

we strolled along greenwich village and wondered who lives in these romantic brownstones that zig zag the streets. certainly no starving artisit can afford to live there now. and if you go to greenwich village try to make it to this amazing restaurant

there was shopping -

lets just say when the stores are open until 2:00 am you can do some serious shopping. whether you want a wardrobe overhaul, a few spring jackets, or a new shade of lipstick, there is no shortage here.

we got to walk in the warm late winter sunshine and feel that spring is near. the trees in central park might be
bare but you can feel that spring might just arrive momentarily.

we got to see a wedding on the steps of the new york public library and feel the romance, feel the promise.

the flower markets were spilling over with beautiful tulips and the coffee shops were busy with all the hustle and bustle that nyc offers.

perhaps one of the most intimate experiences you can share with someone other than ... is the simple act of sharing a meal. stroll 5th avenue and do not miss this incredible adventure..   you can spend hours there.  drink italian hot chocolate, order small plates, sip wine, watch them make pasta, watch them make home made mozzarella.

 figure out how you can bring all this home,  the experience and the food.   and laugh... a lot. cherish the beautiful joys in life and hold on to them always.  linger in the moment as long as possible.  this weekend was a memory to hold on to for sure.  xo

memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.
~The Wonder Years

love sent, xo

Friday, February 17, 2012

make these for someone you love...

chocolate mint whoopie pies

1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda                      
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup milk

position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375°. line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

in a bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, shortening and sugar on low speed until just combined. increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. add the egg and vanilla and beat for another 2 minutes.

add half of the flour mixture and half of the milk to the batter and beat on low until just incorporated. scrape down the sides of the bowl. add the remaining flour mixture and the remaining ½ cup milk and beat until completely combined.

using a small cookie dough scooper, drop about 1 tablespoon of batter onto one of the prepared baking sheets; repeat, spacing the rounds at least 2 inches apart. bake one sheet at a time for about 10 minutes each, or until the rounds spring back when pressed gently. remove from the oven and let the cakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

mint filling

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons non-hydrogenated solid vegetable shortening
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups plus 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/4 cup egg whites (about 2 large eggs)

using electric mixer, beat shortening, peppermint extract, and vanilla in large metal bowl until blended. add powdered sugar, egg whites, and pinch of salt; beat until light and fluffy. fill piping bag with mint filling and pipe covering the flat side of a cooled cake. top with another cake, flat side down. repeat with the remaining cakes and serve.

enjoy, xo

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

because love was meant to be shared...

in the spirit of the romantic holiday of valentine's day i am sharing some of my journey of love.  after all, life and love are a continuous journey.

i was 12 and i got a ring. really? yes, really and a stuffed poodle with a radio inside.  my mom was worried.  his mom said it's a fun thing. he was an only child and allowed to spend lavishly on anything that would make him happy.  he walked me home. i thought he was handsome and popular and his hair was the color of dark nights.  he said i had nice eyes. at that moment i think i graduated from childhood.  i had two older brothers that teased me endlessly. this was a boy that noticed me. that first kiss he planted on my cheek was filled with such innocence.  times were so simple then.

in tenth grade i transferred from an all girl high school to a coed one in the city. i had attended catholic school for 10 years. my eyes opened - wide. i think i fell instantly in love with the boy i would spend the next many years with.  he smiled the best smiles in the whole wide world. he was cute and funny and captain of the hockey team.  being my cheerleader self it was a match made in heaven.  we connected on so many levels.  i loved him with all my heart. we were inseparable for many years to follow. his family was my family. the good the bad and the ugly. there were football games, and hockey games and family gatherings. he encouraged me, he cared about me.  he had a big family just like me with lots of drama. and he had an edgy side - just enough to make him mysterious.  i wanted us to be forever. but there was always something that told me we wouldn't.  we went to proms, we went to weddings, we were a pair.  i had curfews and my parents were strict.  i couldn't always attend all the social events that he could.  then one night i heard the rumors, he had been down at a party making out with some else.  it hit me hard. i cried a river. he wrote me a big letter of apology and i tried to forgive him but my heart wasn't in it anymore. we kissed again, but everything had changed and i knew it was time to move on. 

after that i dated some guys.  one guy brought a guitar on a date and serenaded me to "tiny dancer."  he was so sweet and cute. but not edgy enough for me. i dated a guy that was 6' 9" i guess just to say i did.
i am 5' 1'  it was an awkward match at the least. i still remember my younger brother and sister sitting on the couch trying so hard not to laugh out loud.

then came along the love of my life.  i was 20 and i knew exactly what i wanted . i met paul on a beautiful spring sunday.    he hid behind a newspaper peeking over to decide if i would be his type. from the first date i was smitten beyond belief. totally enamored. he was a former football player, much older than me experienced in life and love. already divorced he surely knew at this point what he wanted this time around. he had a quick smile, he was very handsome,  and i knew beyond a shadow of a doubt he was for me.  forever. i fell so hard. i had a determined heart. i tried to convince myself to slow down but i was blind and he sparkled . he was epic and my family adored him. we married soon after and set up house. i was the happiest person on earth. from that marriage i was blessed with two beautiful boys. then one cold day he decided this wasn't the life he wanted .  i was devastated. i had no idea what to do. it was a dark, lonely and scary time. i wanted so bad to change into whatever he wanted but i just couldn't.  and he really didn't know what he wanted. well,  he sort of knew he wanted the girl in the cash office at the supermarket where he was the manager. for the months that followed i slumped around in depression. i could hardly forgive myself for this bad choice.. i couldn't eat or sleep.  i played whitney houston's song "all at once" on repeat for months and months. hearing those songs over and over this week may have even prompted this post.  but the heart goes on and i had two little people depending on me so i did what any mom would do, i put on a brave face got a job and moved on...

there were dates after that time that i could write a book in itself about.  it's pretty funny trying to date when you have two babies to take care of.  like,  -  you can't really do it.

then one day my sister insisted i attend a grammar school reunion at the catholic school we attended for 8 years.  i don't think so i responded. why? what else do you have going on? admittedly nothing. nada. so i reluctantly went. it was there i met t. he was someone i sort of knew a little through my sister but just to say hello. we talked, he was quiet, and sweet and funny. i loved that he was funny. i hadn't been laughing a lot at that time. i guess there wasn't a lot to laugh about. just before the reunion ended he asked if i would like to go out sometime. he confided later that he waited until the end in case i said no.  i wondered if he realized what it would be like to date someone with 2 small boys.  oh he did and  i would realize later he was cut out for this. but how would this law abiding, eagle scout fit into my complicated life? or worse my complicated personality? but from day one he intrigued me. he courted me, he adored me, he craved the family life and he was willing to do anything for us. he treated my boys better than i saw some dads treat their own children.  finding someone like t who was cute, smart, funny and ready to take on a ready made family was just too much for me to embrace. i panicked on more than once occasion and he backed off.  he was patient and kind and just deviant enough to know how to keep me.  people would say he is so good for you and i knew in my heart of hearts he would love me forever. without a doubt for the rest of my life. and of all the choices i have made in my life i know that this one was certainly the best...

all of our loves shape who we are.  i will never regret any emotion spent falling in love.

happy valentine's day.

love sent, xo

Sunday, February 12, 2012

so much can happen in a matter of minutes.. or... ok, maybe hours...

i love to love.  what better way to celebrate the month of love than with a new, perfect, flawless child.  welcome Michael Anthony Pirrello the IV we are so happy you are here. if only you knew how many
people have been waiting for your arrival. thank you to aprile and michael for being so generous with
their brand new love.  congratulations to elaine and michael on this amazing day. <3.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

more love.


  • 3 tablespoons butter 
  • 3 tablespoons sugar                    
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • egg yolks
  • egg whites
  • pinch salt
  • pinch cream of tartar


  1. heat oven to 375° F. grease one 16-ounce or two 8-ounce ramekins with 1 tablespoon of butter. coat with 1 tablespoon sugar, then tap out the excess. set aside.
  2. melt the remaining butter in a large saucepan over medium heat and whisk in the flour. blend in the milk and cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce boils, 1 minute. remove from heat. blend in the liqueur and zest. whisk in the egg yolks one at a time. set aside. (recipe can be made to this point up to 1 day ahead. cover and refrigerate.)
  3. beat the egg whites, salt, cream of tartar, and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. pour the sauce into the whites; gently fold together. spoon into ramekins.
  4. bake until puffed and browned, 40 minutes for a 16-ounce soufflé, 20 minutes for two smaller ones.
  5. serve immediately with Custard Sauce: poke a small hole in the crust of the souffle and pour sauce inside.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

be mine.

valentine's day is fast approaching.  this is a must have on your menu for your special someone.

love sent, xo

this week...

hey there.. it's thursday.. this week has had it's ahaa moments, its sad moments, and the moments when i reminded myself it's a big, big, world.  and i got flowers, beautiful flowers, from a very, very, unexpected source.  xo

how to make your day instantly better:

do something for someone else.
check your mailbox.
spend time outside (it's really a stress relief).
email a friend (they are only a few key strokes away).
play music loud.
cook a good meal.
make bread.
find a reason to laugh.
hug. and hug again.
hold the door for someone.
light your fireplace.
bargain with the universe.
help clean up.
take photos.
take a bubble bath.
read a good book.
appreciate the little things.
buy new lingerie.
try out a new recipe.
make art.
drink wine.
a good haircut (thank you nicole).
drink almond milk.
meet friends.
book a trip.
call your kids.
see a good movie.
send flowers to someone.
believe in little moments.

love sent, xo

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


love sent, xo

Monday, February 6, 2012

the sun before the burn...

i usually like my weekends to be nicely balanced –  a little relaxation, some time for discovery (there are always restaurants on my must-try list), and a bit of work.
this weekend started out really nice and ended on a down note.  i guess that is balance alright but i like
it when the scale tips more towards mostly sunshine.
but ...  i found that a great day of fun and laughter always means a good  memory even if what follows is tough.  everyone wants to keep a good thing going as long as you can but nothing lasts forever.
when you share an evening with someone you know so well, someone that smiles at the stories you tell,  someone that you know beyond a shadow of  a doubt loves you very much - the sky looks bluer and you know it may take time but everything will be alright. walk the beach and look out over the water.  watch the waves as they rise and fall, you will find the answers there.  in the waves  if you listen still enough you always find the answer ...   or you can catch the next one.

love sent, xo

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

browned butter chocolate chip cookies

makes 16
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
14 tbs unsalted butter--divided
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar-firmly packed
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
3/4 cups walnut halves

heat oven to 375F. line baking sheets with parchment paper. whisk flour and baking soda in a bowl and set aside. heat 10 tbs of butter in a skillet over medium heat, swirling continually, until it becomes a dark golden brown and it smells a bit toffee like. this should take about 3-5 minutes...the larger the skillet, the quicker the reaction. remove from heat and pour butter into mixing bowl. add the remaining butter and stir until it is melted. add the sugars, salt and vanilla to the bowl and hand-whisk until mixed well. add egg and egg yolk and whisk until smooth and begins to lighten in color a bit. let rest for 3 minutes. whisk again for 30 seconds and let rest for 3 minutes. do this procedure 2 more times. use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir in the flour mixture so that it is just combined = don't over-mix. stir in chocolate and nuts. scoop out large balls (about 3 tbs) onto to the parchment, placing about 2" apart. Bake for about 10-14 minutes or until the edges are slightly browned. cool on wire rack.