Sunday, December 29, 2013

stay warm...




love sent, xo

Saturday, December 28, 2013

gratitude and love...

i just can't sleep  - i have been  awake for hours thinking and going over things in my head.
it's still dark as i type this  -  i look out the window at the street light bouncing off the snow and i
know that in a few hours i will be brewing coffee, planning out the day and confronting the piles of gifts that need to be put away.
but just for a moment i was thinking of the gifts that weren't wrapped that we shared and received over christmas.  my mom got really sick shortly after she arrived and in that moment everything changed.  all of us shifted everything we had been doing to be with her and share in her care.
there were a few days where we were certain that the outcome was not going to be good.  sitting in that hospital room  there were some tense times where all of us showed our stress, short tempers, panic and frustration.  but in the end everyone came together and vowed to do whatever we could to care for her in the best way we could just as she had always done for us over all these years.
she is such a tough lady,  she is currently in rehab and determined to be back home in florida as soon as she can.  i love her spirit and her attitude. 
all of this reminded me of something that i surely already knew,  christmas isn't really about gifts or another party, it's about spending time and being there for each other, finding that place in our hearts that is filled with love for each other.  knowing this family will do whatever we can to help each other
is so comforting, every moment is another opportunity to capture all the tiny details of life  -good and bad.



and i love this quote.

life gives us what we need when we need it”
- Pam Houston, In My Next Life

love sent, xo

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

capturing december day twenty-three



via home affairs food blog
love sent, xo

Saturday, December 21, 2013

winter solstice

this is the shortest day of the year, this also means that it is the longest night of the year. part of me feels like this has been the longest week of the year.  it feels dark tonight and a bit uncomfortable. but each day after this will be longer and brighter. you can count on it.  there’s something about this day, a bone-deep awareness that the world turns on an enormous galaxy.  more than any other time of year, i’m reminded of my tiny place in the grand scheme of this universe.  something ancient and essential beats in my body like a heartbeat on the solstice, an ancient message about the interplay between light and dark.  it is so dark right now, there is darkness in my heart, but there is also so much light.  this day reminds me that such a time offers the perfect opportunity, amidst a bustling season, for quiet reflection and simple family celebration. cultures all around the world have ceremonies and activities to mark this special day.  here are a few suggestions for how to celebrate.

- gather around  a big cozy fire.
- gets lots of hugs and reassurance that we are all doing the best we can.
- light candles and ask every family member to say a prayer.   wish for what is to come as the weather warms and the days shine long and bright.
go stargazing or admire christmas light displays.  don't forget to wish upon a star!
- share a kindness   celebrate the warmth of family togetherness.
- help others.  this first day of winter reminds us that there are those struggling through the dark and cold. everyone has something they are struggling with.

i want to align my heart with the soul of solstice.  here in the darkness, i am seeing more clearly just what  i wish to cultivate,  love, laughter, comfort, peace of mind, togetherness, gratitude and joy.


wishing you and yours a wonderful season! 

love sent, xo

capturing december day twenty-one


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

capturing december day eighteen


for today...

every moment in life is absolutely itself. that’s all we have. there is nothing other than this present moment; there is no past, there is no future; there is nothing but this. so when we don’t pay attention to every little detail, we miss the whole thing.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

december: currently

praying my mom gets well soon.
making lists upon lists.
totally obsessed with amazon.
watching the snow fall.
finishing up the christmas cards.
listening to pandora (love it)
asking santa to be good to everyone.
procrastinating about cleaning the house for the party.
tying ribbons on everything.
feeling so glad to be home in front of the fire after a nightmare commute.
wrapping and wrapping.
loving getting the mail at this time of year.  love all the cards.
burning my evergreen candle.
watching michaela paint amazing presents.
loving, loving life.


love sent, xo

peppermint hot chococlate

 
 
serves: 2-4

ingredients
 
½ cup of sugar
¼ cup of cocoa
dash of salt
4 cups of milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp of peppermint extract or candycane
 
whipped cream:
heavy whipping cream
1 tsp confectioner sugar
 
 
directions
use a whisk to combine all dry ingredients.
the salt gives the cocoa a little edge.
combine dry ingredients to 4 cups of milk and bring to a low boil in a saucepan.
while the hot chocolate is heating, make your fresh whipped cream. whip the heavy whipping cream until peaks form. add a tablespoon of sugar at a time to taste.
crush up a candy cane.  this will be the garnish for the top of your whipped cream.
once boiling, remove from heat. add the vanilla extract. to get the peppermint taste you can use a tiny bit of peppermint extract or you can  toss in a small candy cane into the pot and let it melt.
be careful not to use too much.
serve hot chocolate with a dollop of whipped cream, marshmallows, candy cane bits. for added peppermint flavor, you can hang a candy cane from the mug to use a a stirring stick.
 
 
 
enjoy.
 
 

capturing december day seventeen


via flicker

Monday, December 16, 2013

today was a tough day

whoever you are, wherever you are,the holidays are bound to leave your heart in shreds at least a little.

capturing december day sixteen


love sent, xo

thought for today.

eventually everything falls into place, until then hang onto hope, laugh at the confusion, live in the now, see the beauty in everything, trust your intuition and have faith that it all happens for a reason.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013

capturing december day twelve


life as it is.

this time of year my focus usually turns inward. i pour over recipes that bring comfort. the days are so short the nights are long and very cold. we are fully into the dark days of december.   the time spent together becomes more cozy.  more stories seem to be shared in front of the fireplace.  it's beautiful when there is a light snow falling, especially if there is no where to go. in this season there can be heightened anxiety with all that has to get done, but there are so many gifts of this season to love. remember to gather with family and friends, find light in their laughter, share stories, and  hold a place in your heart for all of it.

"our lives are made
in these small hours
these little wonders,
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away,
but these small hours
these small hours still remain."
(rob thomas)
 

love sent, xo

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

i believe.

believing is an act of love.

what do i believe in tonight?  i believe in certain people.  i believe that the light will come back.
i have hope that they are trying.  i believe you can fall and still fly again. i believe in positive energy.
i believe that if you fall you can be okay, in some instances you might even be better than before.

i believe that life is made up of those moments to hang on to that most often take your breath away.  i believe if we walk in this world with our hearts open we can conquer anything.  i believe that most people are doing their best.

what do you believe in?

       
maine - december 2013

love sent, xo

capturing december day eleven


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Monday, December 9, 2013

Sunday, December 8, 2013

sharing christmas

happy sunday night friends...

today did not go as planned.  but letting go of what i might have planned has always been good for me.  i would have run around all day trying to make sure i was on track for all my errands.  checking things off my list etc. really nothing earth shattering.
every christmas has a twist all it's own,  and each year feels a little different.  you can buy fancy paper and  coordinating  ribbon, all the right presents and you can  plan, plan,  plan.  but... life  always gets in the way.  sooo when you get a day to hang out and enjoy each other,  then there is truly no better gift.  if nothing else happens this holiday season i got today and i am forever grateful. what rises up from the inside is what totally matters. my heart is so full.    the bulls eye is life being lived, feeling the good stuff and the hard stuff and knowing what matters is having each other,  look inside the box and outside the lines. the season is flying by - make every moment special.  today was so special.
thanks to my family, who amaze me every day. xoxo

"the world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper." william b. yeats

capturing december day eight


love sent, xo

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Friday, December 6, 2013

Thursday, December 5, 2013

capturing december day five




love sent, xo

the alphabet of 2013

in the spirit of lists and letters i thought this might be fun...

A - appreciation -  for all that i have.  all of the blessings in my life.

B- boston -  love this city,  it was a tough year for so many but it showed how strong this place is.
"its not just a city it's family".   blog - love my little blog, as random as it is.

C- caroline - such a little beauty.  arriving in time to see the red sox win the world series.  she made singing sweet caroline even sweeter.  children, mine, grown up and so proud of all of them. i would be less of a person without them.

D - divorce -  sadly something my sister just finished. endings are sad but i have never seen her happier.
sometimes the best kind of love a person can offer is knowing when it's time to move on even if it means saying goodbye.  not everything is meant for forever.

E - eating - my passion for food continues. but it's about so much more than just eating.


F- family - so lucky to have the amazing family i have.  florida -  where so many memories are made. our trip with anna was the best!

G - griffin such a beautiful little guy, so happy to share in his life.   girlfriends, thankful to have some loyal ones, people that would drop anything if i needed them.

H - happy - what i try to be most of the time.  hopeful - that the coming year will be as kind as this past one was.   hugs - can never get enough of them.

I - italy - it was everything i hoped it would be and more. we loved everything about it. incredible.



J - joy - to the world.  i love this time of year.

K - kindness - i am trying to practice random acts of kindness each day.  it really gives me far more pleasure than i thought it would.

L - love - i can't  live without it.

M - mom so lucky to have the one i do.

N - north conway - love being able to go there so often now.

O - open -  keep your heart open at all times.

P - patti -  my sweet friend who moved away.  so happy all is going so well and happier still that we can have our weekly chats and pick up right where we left off.

Q - quiet -  i love the first quiet in the morning when it's just, me, my coffee and the view from my office window.

R - ryan -  another gift for our family this year.  arriving precisely on the day of the world series win,  so he could join his 2 big brothers in the celebration.

S - summer nights - on the deck sipping wine = perfection.

T - thankful - for all the teachers in our family and the newest one who has been sharing a lot of time with us.

U - universe -  i like to think we are all together even those that have left us - they are looking out for us just from another place in the universe.

V - vacation - hoping to take more of them soon.   vegetables - our garden was so much fun this summer.
can't wait to do it again next year.

W - writing - i love it, always looking for more time for it.  watching - the sun rise on a beautiful snowy winter morning in maine.  such a beautiful memory.



X - xylophone because it's the best x word i can come up with.

Y - yoga something i don't do that i keep thinking might be something i might try. you are laughing aren't you?

Z - zzz - never seem to get enough of it.

love sent, xo

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

why i write... how we feel and who we are matters...

i love words, and books and music.  sometimes i get caught up in an idea or a song or a character and
it travels right through me.

i always have lots of lists and ideas going.  often they are drizzled with lyrics from a song, or random phrases, quotes or book titles.
sometimes i have to stop what i am doing to jot down something i need to capture just at that moment. so i won't forget how that feels.

sometimes i might have a hard time saying what i really feel out loud.  but then when i do you should know that it has probably been rolling around my brain and my notebook forever.  sometimes i may seem spontaneous but it's usually something i have been thinking about for a long, long time.  my words are best when i can circulate them around in my head for a while.

i might send you a song or a quote it's my way of showing i care about you.  i might seem really outgoing but i really like my alone time.  it's necessary for my survival.  i love to share stories and sometimes i might go on and on especially before i fall asleep.

 i love to explore ideas and i am  curious about a lot of things.  i love my children fiercely,  they mean everything to me.  having passion in my life is as important as breathing.  i think it's important to build authentic relationships anything less is not worth it.  i like to write about that. i know the value of taking a risk,  i have made plenty of mistakes, but i know how to pick myself back up.

my heart is fragile and i know fear and sorrow and loss.  but i also know how to be strong and i realize how important it is to laugh at myself. 
i feel deeply, i am a very porous person.  i remember what it felt like when we ran through the leaves. i see your  face before we threw a coin into the fountain to make that wish, or how your eyes twinkled under the street lamp when nothing else mattered.  i hear snowflakes falling on a perfect winter night. documenting these things are my  way of continuing to feel them.  

sometimes my words will filter through the pages and fall into another story.

i write because life is fluid and every day i am made aware of how beautiful and scary this is.  but i want to start each day looking to learn something, create something, experience something, because this is what makes life worth living. 

i am sure about one thing - you can never be really sure about anything.

writing and music move through me and make my world better.



love sent, xo

capturing december - day 3


love sent, xo

for you...


this is awesome     click anywhere on this cookie jar and get the recipe selected. it's genius.

i am cooking up a christmas version of this      

how cute is this     i am totally adding these to my chicken soup

to keep track of all your dates this month     love this,  print it out and keep it handy.

really cool gift for kids     fantastic.    and this one too.

one of my most favorite christmas songs    i love josh groban

if you love gingerbread this is for you    i will definitely be making this for my peeps

                   (via susan branch)

hope you have a great tuesday!!


love sent, xo

Monday, December 2, 2013

Sunday, December 1, 2013

capturing december - day one

a daily ritual for the month of december. capturing a moment from each day with  a single photo –
no words. a single extraordinary moment.
a moment i want to pause savor and remember.

day one
 
love sent, xo

Saturday, November 30, 2013

what to do with your thanksgiving leftovers

turkey croquettes

2 tbsp. butter
1 small onion chopped
2 sage leaves torn
1/2 cup cream
saute onion in butter with sage for about 3 minutes
add 1/2 cup of cream (this will make the mixture a bit thick)
saute about 2 minutes longer

mix in
2 cups chopped leftover turkey
1/2 cup mashed potatoes
1/2 cup stuffing
sprinkle with a little salt and pepper

mix all together

form small meatballs size circles roll them in panko bread crumbs
place in refrigerator for about 10 -15 minutes.

heat oil (about 2 inches) in saute pan
fry croquettes for about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown.

serve with some left over warm gravy.



if you are extra ambitious you can make some dessert ones as well.

in a food processor whip
2 cups of left over mashed sweet potatoes
with 1/2 cup cream

then add

1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

mix all together

heat 2 inches of oil in a saute pan
using an ice cream scoop place in hot oil saute about 2 minutes on each side.
drain on paper towels
then toss the croquettes in some more cinnamon sugar mix,
sprinkle with powdered sugar
serve with maple syrup for dipping.



love sent, xo

thanksgiving

thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. a day to just enjoy the food and each other. a spacious day of togetherness where nothing else is expected.

there is nothing more comforting to me than to be surrounded by all the people i love. one theme i’ve become aware of during the holidays is the way things cycle, around in circles, back and forth like tides, waxing and waning like the moon. we all have stories to tell, words and thoughts that recur, the familiarity that makes us a family.  lots of things change, the menu, the table, the people around the table change too, but the love remains and each of us are creating our own memories. i hope you made some wonderful memories too.

 















i read once to "pay attention and your life will be rich."  this becomes more apparent with every passing year. 

i hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving too!


love sent, xo