Monday, December 31, 2012

happy last day of 2012

never stop believing in magic....

who doesn't love the promise of a new beginning?  the year ahead is filled with hope
and mystery.  living in mystery helps us release our hold on needing to know all the
answers.  this coming year learn to love the darkness of mystery.  dance on the edges of life
let what you love shine through. each day find some music that you love and close the door
and dance. listen closely to your dreams, they are calling to you, whether or not they make
sense to the waking world.  we each have our own story, it doesn't have to be understood by
anyone else.  pay attention to what makes your heart beat loudly.  make room for what makes
you feel alive. leave a little corner of your heart open for any seed the winds may bring.

let go of what is no longer necessary, piles of stuff that weigh you down. 

make this new year not about fixing or improving but about finding deeper meaning in the life
you have. 

believe in yourself.

i’ll tell you a secret: magic hides.
 in the bottoms of our shoes, it is sleeping.

 it is the shadows drifting across our ceilings the moment before we wake up.
 what we have to do is live in a way that lets us find it.

- Naomi Shihab Nye

happy new year. 

love sent, xo

Sunday, December 30, 2012

the question always is ...

what's for dinner  supper?..  well, it's whatever we can come up with.

this may not be the healthiest meal i have ever eaten, but it was packed with flavor. 
great for a snowy night.

roasted onions.

slice onions
sprinkle with olive oil, salt, pepper and a few sprigs of thyme. 
bake at 400 degrees for about 25 min. 
roast potatoes

pretty much the same as above. 
panko breaded zucchini was my favorite.

slice zucchini lengthwise roll in flour, dip in egg then in panko bread crumbs. 
fry in canola oil for about 3 minutes.
drain on paper towels.
pork chops - coat with a rub of your choice (i used bev dickinson's mum's spice rub) it is awesome!
cook for 5 minutes on the foreman grill.
our grill was covered under lots of snow so we opted for the foreman...
i was worried that 5 minutes was not enough time but i was assured it was fine
and it was perfect.

pour your favorite wine and voila the 30 minute meal!


love sent, xo

no knead bread....

this bread is the easiest bread you will ever make.  it is crusty, crunchy and fantastic. i can't say
enough about how good it is.  and it is so simple to throw together you will be giving it away to everyone. 

happy snowy sunday!

simple crusty bread

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1 1/2 cups water

in a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast.  add water and mix until a shaggy mixture forms.  cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12 - 18 hours.  overnight works great.  heat oven to 450 degrees.  when the oven has reached 450 degrees place a cast iron pot with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes. meanwhile, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball. cover with plastic wrap and let set while the pot is heating.  remove hot pot from the oven and drop in the dough.  cover and return to oven for 30 minutes. after 30 minutes remove the lid and bake an additional 15 minutes.  remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.
love sent, xo

Saturday, December 29, 2012

everyday heartbeats...

these have been the most precious of days.  having this week off free of any schedule has been just wonderful.
i got to enjoy lots of quiet moments (after tuesday). hosting christmas is always special.   i love having all the people i love in our home.  sharing food and laughter is what it is all about. since then, i have enjoyed stormy days lingering over coffee, browsing antique shops, lots of cooking, warm fireplaces curled up with good books and given lots of hugs.  today,  another storm is coming.  i have poured through a gorgeous cook book that i received over christmas.  you should press this book into the hands of every one you love.  "what katie ate",  by katie quinn davies.   a beautiful book filled with simple and seasonal recipes.  i have a whole list of recipes i want to make and photos i want to take.  i need to get to the grocery store before the snow falls to stock up on ingredients.  but, just wanted to share a few of my favorite christmas moments.

always remember, family is the magic thread that sews your life together. 


love sent, xo

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

merry merry christmas....

all is calm all is bright...

Friday, December 21, 2012

winter solstice

today is the shortest day of the year -  the darkest day of the year.  but...every single day from
here receives more and more light.  even though winter hasn't really started yet there are many different ways to view it,  so i am choosing to focus on the bright side. 

love, love.

Your imagination is more real than the world you see,
because the world you see comes from what you imagine and believe!

What you believe and feel to be true is what will be your life.”
- Rhonda Byrne

love sent, xo

Thursday, December 20, 2012

favorite things....

my friends did a great job last night of bringing my holiday spirit back to the forefront.
just being together always reminds me how lucky i am to have these people in my life.
when it comes to friends i definitely hit the lottery.
the evening was filled with
lots of laughter.
strong martinis.
lots of wine.
great food.
50 shades of gray chicken.
fun gifts.
great conversations.
being together - the real meaning of christmas.

love you all.  xo

salty caramel chocolate cookies

16 oz. semisweet or bittersweet ghiradelli chocolate
½ c. + 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1¾ c. brown sugar
4 tbsp. butter, room temperature
4 eggs
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 ghiradelli sea salt soiree bar, coarsely chopped
16 soft caramels, chopped into very small bits
Sea salt for garnish (optional)

1. preaheat oven to 350 degrees. line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (or a silpat mat), set aside.
2. in a double broiler, melt butter and plain chocolate. remove from heat when smooth.
3. in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together sugar and eggs. add vanilla and cooled chocolate/butter mixture. mix until incorporated.
4. in a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. with mixing speed on low, gradually add, mix until just combined. remove bowl from stand and fold in chopped caramel bits and chopped sea salt soiree bar. chill in refrigerator for at least 45 minutes (you have to refrigerate the dough).
5. scoop 2" balls onto a lined baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt. place in oven and bake for 15-17 minutes or until edges look set. remove from oven and allow to cool on sheet for 5-10 minutes. transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

by life made simple

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

this and that...

time is moving quickly. i have been in a funk since friday. between the constant up to the minute news of the conn. shootings and the depressing weather i am not feeling in the spirit. i have cried more in the past days than i have in a long time :(. but i have talked about this before and i know there is always the ebb and flow to life. i have been in a real upbeat place for a while and there is always the crash of reality... but this too shall pass,   maybe tomorrows hump day will be the turning point. christmas is in full swing and there are parties for the next 4 days so i am hoping that my spirits will lift. 
we are all walking around with our wounds and sometimes it takes something not even related to our wounds to rip them open. we are all guilty of judging, assuming, and projecting our own stuff onto others, but we are not all blessed enough to step back and take a second look at that. being a person that feels so deeply is hard, but oh so worth it.

this is the darkest week of the darkest season.  friday is the darkest day of the year.  and yet how much more pressing this new darkness feels, this darkness wrought of an incomprehensible act, this darkness from the heart of someone who was a fellow human being.  we are moving towards the solstice, and there is still so much here i do not understand.

We do know that no one gets wise enough to truly understand the heart of another, though it is the task of our lives to try.

– Louise Erdrich

wish i were here... i love, love this place.

love sent, xxoo

Monday, December 17, 2012

i can see you from here....

playing on repeat. repeat. repeat.

love sent, xxoo

Saturday, December 15, 2012

sleep in heavenly peace...

like everyone, i am so saddened about the horrific events yesterday in newtown connecticut.   my heart is so broken for all the families.   i had such a pit in my stomach all day,  such evil is incomprehensible.  when i was at a particularly down time in my life i visited that town a couple of times, some family members were living there then.  it was christmas time and it was such a quiet, perfect little place to raise a family.  i have always remembered how kind the people that i met there were.  it's a struggle today to think  positively, to be brave and to look beyond the darkness. but it's the only thing that will get you through this helplessness.   hold your family a little closer, and tell the people you love how much you love them.

"Tragedy urges us to honor life by connecting even more deeply with each other- to locate our fiercest compassion, to do the soul-work required to endure unbearable grief in times of suffering. We can hold our families and communities close, share our vulnerable hearts, light the candles, sing the old songs, beat the drums, to raise the vibration of human consciousness and our potential for healing."~ Pixie Campbell

love sent, xo

Thursday, December 13, 2012

a little love note...

i've been thinking a lot about the notion of what it means to be together. as individuals, we each have our own unique perspectives, beliefs, priorities, ideas, strengths, weaknesses, and values. when we are together, ideally we bring the essence of our individuality and blend it in equal parts. as time passes things are always changing. i love that we are so much the same, yet different.   i grow and benefit from your individuality. you grow and benefit from mine. the sum of this blend has the power to shape each of us if we invite what's different, embrace what's new, and remain open to change.

always changing.

i love you.

love sent, xo

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

on my list...

i've always believed your home should tell your story.  that pine table over there? i found it in a shop just outside mexico city.  the sun was beating down and i was a little hungry, but i saw it and i knew i wanted to look at it everyday. those cuff links? they belonged to somebody i loved, we picked them out on one of the most perfect days we ever spent together. that tortoise shell on the wall?  there was one exactly like it in my mother's house and i can't see it without thinking of a thousand inedible family dinners. each object tells a story and each story connects us to one another and the world. the truth is, things matter. they have to.  it's what we live with and touch each and every day.  they represent what we've seen, who we've loved, and where we hope to go.  they remind us of the good times, and the rough patches, and everything in between that makes us who we are.           (Nate Berkus)

                                                         and with that paragraph ... i fell in love.   

                                    nate has amazing style and he is,  most certainly,  fabulous eye candy.

this book is filled with inspiration,  you learn so much about nate's life, which is very interesting, yet he's really relatable. then, we learn about the lives of 12 other people through the decorating nate does in their homes. the book reminds us that the things we have in our homes should be things we love, not just for show.  like the people in the book, our homes should tell a little bit of a story about ourselves. 

definitely putting this on my "list"

love sent, xo

december 12.

check your calendars everybody because today is one special day! 12.12.12. it is the last repetitive date we we will ever see ... never in our life time we will experience a date like this, how special is that! i wonder how many weddings are being held and how many babies are being born to this birthday. 12.12.12 is definitely a once in a lifetime experience.

make it special for you.
love sent, xo

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

my favorite christms carol.

last year we saw josh groban in concert.  it was a fantastic show.  he has such a calm
presence and his voice is so captivating.  


Monday, December 10, 2012

christmas is coming...

this summer while vacationing in maine we talked about possibly coming back for a christmas holiday weekend.   at that time christmas seemed so far away.  i am not the best plan aheader (love to make up words)  so deciding to do that even 4 months in advance seemed overwhelming.  we went back and forth and before we went home, we booked it.  boy am i glad we did.  it has already been a really special season for us and this added to the beauty. 
a dear friend of ours owns a bakery in this little maine town and we don't always get to see much of each other.  but, when we do it's as if  we were here yesterday.  this weekend we had the opportunity to catch up over coffee, reminisce of days gone by,  remember the love, remember the loss, revisit all the changes still  wondering how we ever survive some of the challenges that we face. but we do.   we laughed, we cried, we hugged and i knew that in that moment this is really what chritmas is all about.  this gift of friendship is what really matters, this gift of love.  these ordinary moments make my christmas complete.

i now have christmas music playing non stop.   i am holding on to the memory of walking around this small town admiring the lights, taking a trolley ride, gathering around the fire pit toasting marshmallows and feeling such peace.

                                                           the first real gift of christmas

                                                        mom arrives tonight.  more magic.

                                         here 's a peek at picturesque, beautiful, kennebunkport.



love, sent, xo