Saturday, September 29, 2012

every life has many stories...

the light turns richer and softer as the years pass. there are currents of feelings that run through all of us. there are the stories of people whole and flawed and full of love. the path they walked together as the world turns forward. "some waves die sideways and silent, miles from shore. not every wave gets to reach it's peak and high five the beach in celebration" (Steve Gamlin) but that doesn't make the wave any less powerful. days seem to accelerate each year but nostalgia can pull me in like an under tow. because of my emotional wiring all my experiences are tremendously rich but also bittersweet.


"some love stories aren't epic novels, some are short stories. but, that doesn't make them any less filled with love."

love sent, xo

Thursday, September 27, 2012

loving this...

to my friend tim because i know how much he loves little girls and he knows how fast they grow up. xo

dream big...

“When it appears as if your dream is on hold or delayed, it is quite tempting to trade-off your dream and downsize it in favor of something more “realistic”. If it really is the dream of your heart it will not be silent when you attempt to mute its voice. It will demand of you to fight the good fight and be intentional about changing your outlook, regaining your intended vision for the future. Take courage! The dream lives!”
-Dr. Mark Chironna

love sent, xxoo

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

on the cusp of change...

last night i had dinner with some friends.  we talked about families and the threads that hold people together. 
hugs were exchanged and we shared the progress of the past many months.  everyone has a story, a journey that all of us make through the years.  some years are easier than others.  there is plenty of struggle but also
ample beauty.  there will be storm clouds, bright sun, coming together, and falling apart.  some times we have to let go of what we thought it was going to be to embrace an uncertain future.  a new life whose contours are unfamiliar can be hard -  but also very rewarding.   sometimes we have to clear out what was beginning to fade to make room for something not yet in view.  respect your past but look forward to the future.   make new traditions, new dynamics, make room for each other - all the differences and all the silmilarities.  that is what makes a family.  some families are born and others are blended.  some by blood others by magic.  everything is connected. 

love sent, xo

time to usher in fall...

this weekend we bid a fond farewell to long summer days and dinners outside. 
one last summer fling.

friends at our house.
drained wine glasses.
raucous laughter.
homemade pizza.
open windows.
clean sheets.
a visit to keene.
pumpkin patches.
and more hugs.
my favorite restaurant.
apple pancakes.
lots of cooking.
family time.
baby snuggles.
apple cider.

love sent, xo

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sunday, September 23, 2012

simple thoughts...

sometimes my heart feels as if it's in a vice, this beautiful pain that i never knew existed before children.  all-emcompassing unconditional soul-filling love.  i have had children for a very long time now but it never ceases to amaze me how when they suffer i suffer too.
the past few days have been hard.  first, i should preface this by making sure everyone knows this is no
life threatening illness or tragedy.  it is however, about disappointment.  disappointment is all part of  day to day life.  sometimes life is unfair.  it's as simple as that.   but, when you know how hard someone has worked for something and it doesn't work out  - well, it hurts. big. painful. hurt.  but i believe (i have to) that this is a temporary stepping stone to something much better.  a time to clear out what just wasn't meant to be for something not yet visable. 

oh how sometimes i wish i could return to the days of sloppy kisses, hugged knees, dirty floors, and sand in the bottom of the bath tub.  a simpler time when hurt could be fixed with an ice cream.

love you to the moon and back,

Saturday, September 22, 2012

just an apple pancake morning...

on this first day of fall..


    1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
    3 tablespoons sugar
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
    2 large eggs at room temperature
    1 1/4 cups milk at room temperature
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter plus more as needed
    4 macintosh or other small apples
    warm maple syrup


preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. set a wire rack on a baking sheet and place in the oven.

whisk 1 3/4 cups flour, the sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in a large bowl. in small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk the eggs with the milk and vanilla extract. melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large well-seasoned cast-iron or non stick skillet over medium heat. whisk the butter into the milk mixture. add the liquid ingredients to the dry mixture, and whisk just long enough to make a thick batter.

peel and core the apples keeping them whole. slice the apples crosswise to make 1/4-inch rounds. put some flour on a plate and dedge the apple slices until lightly coated, shaking off any excess flour.

in the same skillet over medium to medium-low heat, place 3 apple slices about 3-inches apart in the skillet. cook without turning until browned, about 3 minutes. ladle about 2 tablespoons of the batter over each apple ring. cook, until bubbles break the surface of the pancakes, about 2 to 3 minutes. add a small bit of butter to the skillet, as needed, and flip the pancakes cook until golden on the underside, about 1 minute more.

serve immediately or transfer to oven to keep warm. repeat with the remaining apples and batter. serve with warm maple syrup.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

pumpkin cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting.

by life made simple.

1/4 c. warm water
1 package (or 2 1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast (at room temp)
1/3 c. whole or 2% milk
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 c. solid-pack pumpkin puree
1 tbsp. butter, melted
3 1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4. c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/3 c. (1 stick) butter
2/3 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2-3 tbsp. solid-pack pumpkin puree or pumpkin butter (optional)

4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. whole or 2% milk
2-3 c. powdered sugar

1. stir yeast into water in a large bowl. allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before stirring to combine (it should get thicker and begin to bubble). stir in the milk, egg, pumpkin, butter, 1 1/4 c. flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. beat vigorously with paddle attachment for 2 minutes.
2. attach dough hook to mixer. slowly add the rest of the flour, a little at a time, until the dough is stiff enough to knead.
3. turn dough onto a floured surface. knead, adding flour if necessary, until the dough is smooth and elastic. place dough into a greased bowl (olive oil is fine), turn the dough to coat the entire ball. cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled, approximately 1 hour. if the dough is has not doubled by then, allow it to rise for an additional half hour.
4. meanwhile, prepare the filling by combining the sugars, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl. set aside.
5. transfer the risen dough to a floured surface and roll into a 16"x 12" rectangle. spread butter and pumpkin over dough. sprinkle with sugar mixture. roll into log and cut into 15 slices using a sharp knife or dental floss. place slices into a 9x13 or two 8 or 9 inch round cake or pie pans. cover with a towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.
6. preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake the for 20-25 minutes or until rolls are golden brown (don't worry if the filling rises and bubbles, it will go down once the rolls have been removed from the oven).
7. while rolls are baking, prepare frosting by beating the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, salt and lemon juice in a medium mixing bowl until smooth. add the powdered sugar one half cup at a time. if the mixture becomes too thick, slowly add milk one half tablespoon at a time.
8. remove rolls from oven and let cool on wire rack. frost 5-10 minutes after removal.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

in the art of less...

every weekend there is always a moment, a moment that won't come again. a moment when all feels right with the world. a time when relaxing makes all the long work week worth while. a few days of solitude and peace bring the reassurance of support, be grateful. remind yourself of what matters most. drive with the windows down, hang out with people that love you. a weekend in the mountains is very good for you. remind yourself to do it more often.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

last night...

we slept out under the stars.  no tent, just the open sky.  all those times we looked out at the sky when  i couldn't see the light.   there was a fall crispness in the air. curling up together to keep the heat from escaping.  we watched the universe spin above our heads and we were reminded of the fleeting moments of beauty. simple moments of borrowed time.  a chance to celebrate the ordinary.  a moment to appreciate the beauty in what we already have. this was a weekend packed with memorable moments.  the earth spins and spins with a huge amount of wonder.   laying there felt so peaceful , the peace we are all looking for.  not peace that crumbles as soon as there is chaos, but peace in knowing the smallest details about a person, the smallest details that remind you about the best glimpse of the whole person. 

we woke to beautiful blue skies.

"one day in retrospect the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful"

sigmund freud.  

love sent, xo

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

lean in to the moment...

today was one of "those" days.  i feel like i say that more often than not.
i am trying to make the most of every day.  i remind myself that every day
has good and bad in it.  work is challenging, there have been so many changes
over the past couple of years and everyone is pretty spent at this point. each day
is filled with struggle.  every person that stops by my office has the same story.
how will i ever get everything done?  maybe we need to stop over doing
everything?   over thinking everything, over analyzing everything?
the world spins on and on with a mute inexorability that is often the most violent and
the most beautiful thing i have ever witnessed.   it reminds me, over and over again, that
even as i lean into a moment,  and i realize its been a tough day,  the  golden light of a september
evening is now gone.

i read recently that your health is tied to the five people you spend the most time
with.  it directly affects your well being.  the message is to surround yourself
with positive people and positive images.  luckily i live with the most grounded person
on this planet.  someone who makes me laugh every single day.  someone who
reminds me that he "gets" me,  all the good parts, and all the bad parts.  he reminds me that
i can go through all the "what if scenarios" i want,  but no matter what,  everything is always changing.
tomorrow is a new day. 

love sent , xo

Monday, September 10, 2012

to die for.

apple beignets with caramel sauce

via  sweet paul magazine

serves 4
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup water
4 tablespoons dark rum
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
6 tablespoons heavy cream
2 apples, golden is great
1 1/2 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg
3/4 cup apple cider
corn oil for frying
powdered sugar

start with the sauce.
heat the sugar in a pan on medium heat.
once its melted and golden brown add butter, water, run, vinegar and cream.
stir until you have a smooth sauce.
remove from the heat and pour into a bowl.
peel and core the apples.
in a bowl stir together flour, baking powder, egg and cider.
the batter should be thick.
dip the sliced apples into the batter.
heat the oil in a large pot.
fry the apple slices until golden.
let them run off on paper towel.
sprinkle with powdered sugar.
serve hot with the sauce.

photo by colin cooke

Saturday, September 8, 2012

have a sweet weekend...

summer went way to fast.  yes, i guess my expectations were too high. but,  summers are always
memorable.  actually,  all seasons have their special moments.  but in summer it's so care free,
all it takes is an ice cream to redeem a cruddy afternoon.  today was a extention to summer,  it was
really humid.  i opened the refrigerator door and stood there for a moment with my eyes
closed and it felt like heaven. the simple pleasures of carefree days. today gave us one more beach day
one more day to bury our feet in the sand, another day of casual and free. another night of sparkling moments.    

love sent, xo

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

sunshine on a cloudy day...

today it rained, it poured actually.  and for no real reason i felt really down.  but i told myself tomorrow will be better.. yes, tomorrow will be better.

"i beg you to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. and the point is, to live everything. live the questions now. perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer."
every day i learn about friendship and fear, about my shortcomings and strengths, about expectation and the power of thought. i learn that i know very, very little in general. and there are times i learn that some times it's better just to let go of relationships rather than feeling the need to work at them.

love sent, xo

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


we are heading toward the sunset of summer...

(photo by michaela)

the past few days have given me a strong sense of fall.  underneath all the sun and laughter fall is
making its way to the present.  you can feel the chill in the evenings, and each night its darker
a little sooner.  as much as i hate to see the summer end, fall is truly one of my most favorite seasons.
like everything, these hours don't last forever so pay attention to them while they are here....

love sent, xo

Monday, September 3, 2012

pay attention, be astonished, tell about it.. "mary oliver"

we are trying to hold on to the last of the golden sun soaked days.  this weekend was filled with amazing seafood. when you are this close to the ocean and you can tell it was just caught this morning = nothing better.  we are trying to bottle the tastes of an unforgettable summer.  we have tried to explore lots of new things.  the world,  even the smallest parts of it are filled with things you don't know.  even a small town is a place of mystery.  put yourself out there, talking and meeting new people is energizing...  put yourself in the middle of a tic tac toe grid, meet the people in the surrounding squares, find something out that is important to each of them,  it will make you grow. the relationships we develop in our lives make all of our life more meaningful.  nothing is more important than connection.  focus on the little things, they are what will make your heart stretch so big...    we are inching toward the end of summer...  please don't go...

love sent, xo