Thursday, January 31, 2013

month one

it's hard to believe january is over.  there were days that seemed so long. some winter days are so cold and empty.  but then there are the snowy, silent beautiful ones, when, if only for a moment the whole world looks magical.  this month brought with it a lot of loss.   i remind myself, each goodbye brings  another hello, for each ending there is a new beginning and for each painful memory, a happier one. 
change is never easy but it can be good. it does force you to move forward. i do struggle with finality but there comes a time when you have to stop, take a minute,  look around and step away.  like most things worth having,  when they end it stings for a while. 
i came across this quote and it truly was so timely.

we usually think of time as a river, a river like the nile, with strong, swift current bearing us further and further way from what we have been and towards the time when we will be not at all…but perhaps we should think of time as a deep, still pool rather than a fast-flowing river…instead of looking back at time, we could look down into it…and now again different features of the past–different sights and sounds and voices and dreams–would rise to the surface: rise and subside, and the deep pool would hold them all, so that nothing was lost and nothing ever went away.
- from The Long Goodbye, Meghan O’Rourke

love sent, xo

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


i know it's still a ways away.  but i can dream.  this morning they predicted warm weather and indeed it is warmer than the below 5 degrees  we had over the weekend.  however, it's soo foggy and dreary,  not at all a friendly day.  some new jcrew spring items came across my inbox.  i am so predictable, maybe to the point of boring but i am already swooning over several items.   they remind me that surely spring is not so far away. 

just love the collar and the stripes.  i love that it is casual yet a little dressy. 
i can wear it roaming around italy no?

                                                   and a girl can never have enough cute jeans....

                                                and of course my never ending love for scarfs

and again loved this sweet top.

                          i am putting all of these items on my nice to have  must have for my trip list.
those who know me best know i am not a great plan aheader or a packer so this is progress for me!!!

hope your day is bright and sunny.

love sent, xo

Monday, January 28, 2013

at the office...

the end of another month.  the beginning of another week. we are finally moved into our new office space.  now we just need time to settle in.   our new office space is really nice, all white and airy.  clean lines, wood and very modern.   it's nice and bright and seeing as we spend so much time here it's really a welcome change.
the weekends go by so fast.  there is never enough time.  after the great movie,  the road trip, the farmers market, the enjoyable lunch, the nature hike, the beautiful dinner in a cozy restaurant, the many perfect hours spent in each others company, there was hardly enough time for anything except being in the moment. 
yesterday i spent time purging my closets, baking bread and making soup.  finished the day off laughing about my not so perfect rocky road cupcakes.... 

happy monday.  hope you had a wonderful weekend as well  and your week is off to a great start.

love sent, xo

Saturday, January 26, 2013

such a great day...

love these two
the ice and snow create silence.  when you step out into the wilderness you can feel its power and unpredictability. embrace all the beauty.
and dinner at my most favorite place. 
and the day ended with a beautiful wolf moon.  wm my metaphor always with us.
love sent, xo


in my quest to start learning everything i can about italy,  i heard chili oil is extremly popular.  most people always have it on hand. this one is so simple and everything home made is better.

1 cup of good olive oil
2 Tbsp of red pepper flakes.
simmer on low heat for 5 minutes
cool and pour into bottle.
add whole dried red peppers for a beautiful finish.

use it on pasta, fresh vegetables, or for an amazing dip for fresh bread.

love sent, xo

Thursday, January 24, 2013

today ..

life is better because you make me laugh, eat good food, push through fear and love people harder.
you know who you are...

love sent, xo

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

hump day

what a crazy week it has been, wish it was still the weekend.
some beauty in january.

and something to get you through the rest of the week. 

Perfect Single Serving Chocolate Chip Cookies
by Melissa at No. 2 Pencil

makes two large chocolate chip cookies

2 tablespoons of butter
2 firmly packed tablespoons of dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
pinch of kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
1 egg yolk - discard or set aside egg white for a different use
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
3 heaping tablespoons of semisweet chocolate chips

preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

in a microwave safe bowl, heat butter just until it starts to melt and is softened. blend softened butter, sugars, salt, and vanilla together by hand. add egg yolk and stir again. add baking soda and flour and stir until combined.then stir in chocolate chips.

form cookie dough into two balls and place on baking sheet. the cookies will spread during baking, so make sure they are several inches apart. bake for about 8 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.

remove baking sheet from oven and give the baking sheet a firm, but careful bang on the counter top. this will deflate the cookie and give it a perfect wrinkly appearance.
love sent, xo

Saturday, January 19, 2013

love this book.

can be purchased



happy winter weekend.

love sent, xo

Friday, January 18, 2013

love this song.

love sent, xxoo

happy friday

winter sun cocktail

we  all need a little sunshine
juice of 2 clementines (about 1/4 cup)
juice of 1/2 small lemon (1/2 oz)
1/2 oz triple sec
1 1/2 oz vodka
sprig of rosemary
lemon zest

1. moisten the rim of your glass with some fruit juice. (the juice helps the sugar to adhere better than water does.) combine zest and sugar in a shallow bowl or plate. turn the glass over onto plate and coat with sugar. 2. pour juices, triple sec, and vodka into a shaker. shake and then pour over ice. garnish with rosemary sprig. (makes 1.)

love sent, xo

Thursday, January 17, 2013

one heartbeat at a time...

tonight was a good night.

we sat around the table and made good conversation.

we are friends, together, until the end.  we are connected, each of us, like pieces of a puzzle. each so different but collectively we help each other.  we had no idea when we first met how our worlds would be shaped together. we have our ups and downs.   we lock eyes, we learn from each other, we share heartache, we share tears.  we are brave. we take leaps of faith, we never stop hoping. we dream.  we know how fragile life is.  we know how important friendship is.  we don't have all the answers,  no one ever does. some times we are able to give more than other times, but  it is the intention of the heart that matters.  every part of life tilts, each of us is seeking balance -  i do know one thing - balance is a lie - there is no even balance.  but a full life is better than a quiet one.  we promise not to leave each other, even if we run out of ideas and enthusiasm. it's always good to rekindle our love on a weekly/monthly basis.  our life spills out over the edges and  that is what makes us feel alive.  that is what moves us forward.  we can't solve the worlds problems but we look for things that are within our reach.  one step at a time.  we will keep throwing lucky pennies into a jar.  we might spend a life time looking for one ray of hope but we will be right there beside each other in good times and in bad. 

and that is what it's all about.

love sent, xo

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

cauliflour soup...

this is a great snowy day lunch.  serve with the bread from my easy bread post.

cauliflour soup                                    source -  sweet paul magazine

serves 4

2Tbsp olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
1 cailiflour broken into pieces
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup cream
salt and pepper
unsalted sun flour seeds for garnish
2 pieces of toasted bread

1. use a cookie cutter to cut out the stars from the toasted
2. preheat oven to 375 f. 
3. place pieces of cauliflour and chopped onion ino an
oven proof dish and  sprinkle with olive oil salt and pepper. 
4. roast until golden brown about 40 min.
5. place the cauliflour and onions in a large pot
6. cover with chicken stock
7. bring to a boil and let boil for 5 minutes.
8. add cream, season with salt and pepper
9. puree with emersion blender leave some pieces whole
10.  serve with toasted star -  drizzle a little olive oil and sprinkle with
sunflour seeds.

good advice...

Monday, January 14, 2013

the voice inside of me...

things i realize when i stop and look around.

my bed is super cozy (especially when i am sick ) 
i love the opportunity to read with no schedules.
i love snow and we need more of it.
the germans are so efficient (hot chocolate on a stick)
looking forward to this weekend.
i never get tired of the view from the front window.
can't wait to book "our trip" one detail away.
making pasta is so much fun.  lots of work,  but so worth it.
i love the smell of tangerines.
missing people hurts. 

love sent, xo

good morning

how can it be monday already?

i can honestly say a cold has never kicked my butt this badly in a long, long, time.  this is day ten. ugh.   i have been trying  so hard to fight through this thing but it is killing me.  i guess it serves me right for bragging about how i never get sick and the last time was probably ten years ago and how i got the flu shot, blah, blah, blah.. the one thing i will say tho, it has made me rest.  like,  all weekend... rest.  stay in your jammies, read books,  rest,  and that might even be good. something i never do.  other than dinner on saturday night,  which by the way was grand. i had to get out and get some fresh air.  under the suggestion of a friend we tried a newish wine bar that was just wonderful.  100 wines by the glass. and although i certainly would like to go back when i am feeling better i did manage to try a couple of interesting tastings.  the beauty is,  they offer wine flights,  1 oz options that you can try before you make a choice.  they have some great tapas choices and full meals but also some great pizzas.  it's located in nashua, nh  in an old warehouse type setting, lots of space, a huge bar, and wine barrels littered throughout.

the place is cool. i think you would like it.


love sent, xo

Saturday, January 12, 2013

north conway and this winter...

we have spent lots of evenings huddled around fireplaces, hot tubbing under a blanket of stars, tip toeing through the snow, celebrating with champagne toasts and sharing old stories. spending the days doing a whole lot of nothing and that being alright. winter walks deep in fresh powder and vibrant blue skies, it's unlike any other place. i thought i had lost the fond feelings for this place but the truth is it's still here, just one of my many layers. some things come back easier than you would expect.   i guess i am a country girl at heart.  i shouldn't have spent so much time away from here.   i am so happy to be back enjoying all the beauty.  so happy to have had the chance. looking forward to our next visit which is very soon.


love sent, xo

Thursday, January 10, 2013

you are in safe hands...

today i listened as my godson read a eulogy to his grampy (his good friend) someone who he has shared many cherished life moments with. this relationship was unique at best.  a rare and amazing friendship,  something that is really hard to explain.  more than once i was brought to tears as i listened to his heartfelt words.    none of us really knows what to expect from death. but as i listened to my nephew share his thoughts in the church where we said good bye to my own dad just two short years ago, (these kinds of events bring you face to face with your own vulnerable self)    i was reminded of one thing - we only have today -  this moment, so make the most of it. 

love sent, xo

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

winter blues...

seriously,  january can be so long and dreary and it has hardly even begun.   sometimes this stage of life can make me wonder if the best days are behind me.  most of the time i don't feel that way.  the past few days have meant a lot of soul searching,  i wonder if i can find a sense of meaning and identity in the years to come.  with another family member passing it makes you re-evaluate everything.  i think about all the people i love and how each one of us is somewhere different, engaged in our own separate lives.  we are all still growing and moving in our own directions.  perhaps the central work of aging has to do with starting to realize that each of us must learn how to die.  falling apart happens continually.   and then,  as i sort through pictures for the up coming service i come across the beauty of this past summer and all the happiness that still remains.

all the happiness that mike would want us to be sharing. 

love sent, xo

cranberry pistachio shortbread cookies.

you really should try these.  they will make your day better than it would have been.
cranberry pistachio shortbreads:

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup  unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped
1 cup dried cranberries chopped

In a large bowl whisk the flour with the salt. 
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth (about 1 - 2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until smooth and creamy (about 3 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Gently stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated. Fold in the chopped pistachios and dried cranberries. (Make sure that the nuts and cranberries are evenly distributed throughout the dough.)
Divide the dough in half. Place each half of dough on the center of a 14 inch  length of parchment  Smooth and shape the dough into an evenly shaped rectangle that is about 10 inches long and 2 inches wide. Then thoroughly wrap the shaped logs in the parchment or wax paper, twists the ends of the paper to seal the logs, and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours, or up to three days. (The logs can also be frozen for about two months. If freezing, it is best to defrost the logs in the refrigerator overnight before slicing and baking.)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F  with the rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using a thin bladed knife, slice the logs into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick cookies. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake for about 15 - 20 minutes, or until the cookies are just beginning to brown around the edges. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Makes about 48 shortbread cookies.

love sent, xo

Saturday, January 5, 2013

grampy pirrello

may you continue to inspire us:

to enter each day with a generous heart.
to serve the call of courage and love
until we see your beautiful face again
in that land where there is no more separation,
where all tears will be wiped from our mind,
and where we will never lose you again.

~ John O'Donohue

we have been so blessed to be part of your life.  so happy we shared christmas and new years together.  everything changes so quickly.

may you rest in peace.  we will find solace in believing you have been reunited with mae and sharon. 

sleep well grampy.

we love you always.  xo

love sent, xo

Thursday, January 3, 2013

in between


i am still in the space between days.  i did return to work today but it is still pretty quiet in the office.
i am not quite back to the regular routine and not yet into the new one but i'm getting there.  it was fabulous to have all this time off.   so many changes at work at the moment.  the construction crews  have been here for weeks and although when i returned today there was a lot done,  they weren't as far along as i  thought they might be. it's difficult to operate trying to dig through boxes for things, it's so strange,  but all good.  people seem to really be embracing the changes and looking forward to the new space.  it's been nice to have people laughing again and looking in the right direction.

 and at home it felt amazing to be able to pack up all the holiday decorations and  get back to some type of normalcy.  

just enjoying it all.

love sent, xo

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

page 1 of 365

dear 2013,

i don't make new year's resolutions.  i wouldn't keep them anyway.

i am looking forward to this new clean slate for 2013 as an opportunity for a new beginning.

i am vowing to keep positive everyday.  i am in the midst of reading a wonderful book called three good things.  the title of the book was arrived at by the wisdom of the  authors mom who told her no matter what,  you can find three good things in every single day.  some days there will be more and some days you might struggle to find three good things but they are there, you just have to look for them.  make a promise to yourself to stop and look around every day.

so,  with my sweet memories of 2012 in hand i say bring on the days ahead.  whatever 2012 brought you, it is now behind you, so leave it there.  you can revisit the good memories and let go of the bad ones. very often something that begins with great intention, excitement, and enthusiasm can wind into an utterly unanticipated close.  but remind yourself there is value in the journey no matter where it takes you. there are cracks in everything, but remember,that's what lets the light in. 2012 brought me amazing adventures and wonderful memories, mighty challenges, and bountiful lessons. i am thankful for all the beautiful moments and i must appreciate all the frustrating ones.

here's to a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2013.

love sent, xo

happy new year everyone!

love sent, xo