Friday, January 31, 2014

be strong and be brave...

you know who you are...
For a New Beginning

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.
For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.
It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.
Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.
Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

- John O’Donohue
love sent, xo

moments in january...

               because there was something in this exact sliver of time that  i want to remember

                                                     some winter days are magical

                                                          finally feeling back to herself

                                                   some days call for long slow breakfasts

 celebrating the new found love for the dominican and of course their beer

                                                                              cold days

                                                                  and warm nights

so sweet

                                                            the beautiful wolf moon

                                             heading back to school for the final semester.

                                                               banana crepes

                                                              decadent drinks

                                                           surprise snow falls

wii competitions

we celebrated birthdays

had time outs

some days call for cozy blankets and long movies  

and then...    tulips remind us spring is coming.
                                                    that pretty much sums up January

love sent, xo  

Thursday, January 30, 2014

because life has been challenging...

i remind myself of the simple things that can make my day better.

the amazing sunsets at this time of year.

warm sheets out of the dryer.

small tea lights all over the house.

our cozy fireplace.

unexpected hugs from behind.

special coffee.

a phone call with a friend i miss every day.  love you patti.

sirius radio

warm socks.  love love these.

this quote

love sent, xo

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


keep your faith in all beautiful things;
in the sun when it is hidden,
in the Spring when it is gone.
~Roy Rolfe Gilson, American Writer, (1875 – 1933)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

difficult balance.

the past two months i have learned a lot.   a lot about patience and fear.  i have always admitted to
struggling with the unknown.  i would rather know what i am up against than to not really have answers to my questions.  when someone gets sick especially unexpectedly the first response is usually panic, fear, etc. when a very independent elderly parent suddenly has to depend on others it is a little blindsiding at first. even tho with age it should not have come as a total surprise, somehow it still does.
when an elderly person gets an illness that might usually call for a short recovery, advanced age changes everything.   everything takes longer,  to heal, to do, to prepare. we avoid thinking ahead of  the what if.
right now the ground is icy and uncertain beneath me.

i am learning to live with what could happen, while letting things take their course.

i'm treading the line between now and then, what will come next, between here, and wherever there is.

so here i am, learning to exist at the edge of the unknown, where my fears rise up again and again. i am afraid of what i can’t control, of the things i do not know, of outcomes that aren’t certain.  of edges i don’t know how to trust and their isn't much i can do about it.

we are all here briefly, this i know. my prayers become profound in their simplicity:
please watch over us.

love sent,  xo

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

comfort for the soul...

doesn't my life look so calm and quiet?
it is totally the opposite at the moment.
the up and down days are so stressful.
life is a story with so many levels.
i am trying to roll with the punches and find my way through this timeless challenge.

i  remind myself what i so often say to others, one day at a time.

this picture makes me happy.

love sent, xo

Monday, January 20, 2014

chewy chocolate brownies

there is a lot going on here.  and it's a bit stressful.  my quiet life has turned chaotic and it's
a challenge for me.
so i do what i do best when i feel this way.  i either cook or i bake.  i find that words to tell a story
don't come easy at times like this.

so for now i will leave you will a recipe.

a chewy dense chocolate delight. 

4 tablespoons butter
4 ounces dark or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
2  eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup  dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
preheat oven to 350 degrees  grease a 9x9-inch pan.
in a large saucepan, melt the butter and chopped chocolate over low heat until smooth. remove from heat. stir in the eggs, sugars, and vanilla extract. fold in the flour, baking powder, and salt.
allow the batter to cool to room temperature before adding the chocolate chips.
transfer batter to the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean with a few crumbs. cool before slicing into squares.

enjoy, xo

Saturday, January 18, 2014

last nights moon...

spectacular wolf moon....





“may you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night and a smooth road all the way to your door.”

Friday, January 17, 2014

i just loved this...

Video from KarmaTube
so sweet. happy friday love sent, xo

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


thanks Irene for the amazing cookies!
love sent, xo

i hope...

love sent,  xxoo

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

on repeat

send this to someone who can spin the world on their finger and let you slow it down. the kind of love that feels like a dream.
love sent, xo

Saturday, January 11, 2014

a rainy saturday.....

is a perfect time to make cinnamon bread and taco seasonings, print up calendars and display art.
especially while i am housebound with my patient :)

to make your own homemade taco seasoning use the following recipe.  i promise you won't go back to buying the package. 

homemade taco seasoning

1 3/4 teaspoons garlic powder
1 3/4 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 3/4 teaspoons dried oregano
3 1/2 teaspoons of paprika
3 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt
3 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons chili powder.

add spices to jar one at a time after each addition mix with a spoon. close jar and shake slightly to ensure it is completely mixed up.

use 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons per each pound of meat.


love sent, xo

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

on being a mom...

this has been a really tough week for me.
M left last wednesday on a humanitarian mission in a remote part of the dominican republic.
no cell phone coverage,  spotty internet, no hotel room,  just a house rented to help those in need.   her original flight was on thursday but with the snow storm and all the travel troubles we spent the day rushing her back from her over night new years eve party to quickly packing and changing all her plans to get her out a day early.  with all the last minute changes and rushing to pack (why do this ahead) with all the stress over my moms illness, hospitalization, etc we had not connected a lot on the plan to keep in touch while she was away. 
so she left  - and we waited for her to call.
and we waited.
and we waited.
and i practically made myself sick over not having enough information to reach her etc. 
so finally tonight she called and i felt so relieved i almost cried.
she could not understand why i was so worried. 
she was fine and having an amazing,  "life changing experience"
after i hung up i thought ...
this quote is really true -  "after you become a mom your heart walks around outside your body"'
and then I thought of my own mom, on the mend after being so sick over christmas.
i have stood over her bed for the last few weeks and offered support and love and felt heartache watching her suffer and felt her pain.  but she was not thinking of herself.
she would look at me and say i am ok and if anything happens to me now i am ready. 
it is ok.  
no, it is not ok.  i am not ready. 
not at all.  and i suspect i never will be. 
luckily she is better and hopefully she will get to come home soon.
but it did get me thinking of the whole circle of life.
she was so sick and she would ask me have you heard from m?
how i worried about my daughter and how my mom worries about me.
what is sweeter than a good mother? 
nothing.  i hope you are blessed with such a special person.
it is fascinating to discover the multitude of the facets of a mom's love.
a mother's love is the purest love on earth, it represents the highest level of sacrifice.   since our babies are born, till the day we die, a mother is bound to her offspring.
unconditional,  all of this is done without expecting anything in return, except maybe for a loving embrace. how does a mom know what her baby will treat her like when they grow up?
will they take care of her in her old age or simply forget about her?
she doesn't even care, all she cares about is to do her best to keep her child safe, giving them an education, a shelter, all she can do to offer them more and better than she had.
i realize grown doesn't  mean anything to a mother. a child is a child. they get bigger, older, but grown? what's that supposed to mean? in my heart that doesn't mean anything.

i can see this as i stand over my mom's bedside, i  realize more than ever that to have a mother is a temporary blessing, the more you have her around, the more blessed you are.
however, sometimes the more we have that fortune, the more we get used to it, take it for granted, forgetting to appreciate this unique human being.
a mother is the truest friend we have, when trials are heavy and sudden, when adversity takes the place of prosperity, when friends who are there for us  in our sunshine desert us, when trouble thickens around us, she will still be there for us, to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and bring peace to our hearts.
i have been so blessed with an amazing mom.  she has taught me well. 
i know that m will be that kind of mom some day too. 
we are blessed.
love sent, xoxo

new year thoughts...

i've read so many posts on new year's resolutions, theme words for the year, reflections on life, all very beautiful and all very inspiring.  and while i love the idea of ushering in a clean slate each january, i tend not to be big at making resolutions.  for the last couple of years or so, i've felt a real and genuine pull to live more simply. to be more conscientious of how i spend my time, our money and my energy.  to be more present and attentive to one another, to be a bit less connected to the virtual world and all it's addictive time zapping attractions, there are so many. i want to try  harder to make life special in simple ways for the people i love the most.  sometimes i fall short but there are a couple things that i think i do relatively well, one is cooking.   mealtime is one of my favorite times of the day. I honestly feel that it connects people.  i know i have said this before,  to me it is way more than just food and eating.  i love quiet intimate dinners and large loud dinner parties.  my favorite times are when the kids all stop by, we love to cook and hang out with them.  even if its just eating nachos around the football game.  it is my favorite family connection  i know meal planning and cooking will continue to be a main stay for 2014. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

snow is magic..

to me, it really is.  i love nothing more than to sit in front of the fire place with snow softly falling
reading, writing and baking away the day.  i really settled in to the clear,  frost encrusted days.  i have
really loved being home and i haven't even minded the gray skies and fleeting daylight. sleeping in has been the norm. after all the craziness of christmas these past few days have been heavenly.
hope you enjoyed some down time too.

love sent, xo

Thursday, January 2, 2014

cinnamon coffee cake...

    cinnamon coffee cake
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 3 large eggs, whisked
  • 1 cup apple sauce
  • 1 cup vanilla greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup nuts (walnuts, pecans)
whipped cream 
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Nuts
  • Pomegranate Seeds
  • Fresh Cranberries
    coffee cake
  • preheat oven to 350 F with the rack in the middle. Spray a 9" springform pan with cooking spray. combine dry ingredients (excluding nuts and raisins.) in another bowl combine wet ingredients. mix wet and dry together until well combined. fold in nuts and raisins. add cake mix to the pan, smooth out the top if needed.
  • bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out crumb free. let cake cool on a rack.
  • Top cooled cake with whipped cream, nuts and fruits.

what i know...

here we are with a blank slate.  a new beginning,  a brand new year.   we are in the middle of a snow storm which left me with a totally free unexpected day to do whatever i wanted.  so, of course there was baking and reading and totally being in the moment.  there was time for reflection too.

i have some reflections on 2013.  some things i know and some things i need to keep re-learning over and over again.
  • you can't change people, i wish it was different but it never will be.  it's a life lesson that i continue to struggle with.
  • usually my intuition is extremely accurate.  i need to let go of what i can not control and to be confident in my gut feelings.
  • the sky at this time of year can often bring me to my knees with its beauty.
  • i will never get tired of taking pictures of food.
  • i love music and it can easily alter my mood, usually in the best way.
  • i will never stop worrying about my kids.
  • life grabs my attention and holds it.
  • my family has taught me some important lessons i never knew i needed.
  • families weren't made to be perfect, we all have our faults and our good parts.
  • the truest friends are those who are there beside you when things go poorly and when things go well.  a true friend will never abandon you.
  • i hate cancer and all it has done to so many people i love.
  • sometimes i miss people so much it makes me physically hurt.
  • nothing matters unless you are near the people you love.
  • our safety rests in the instinct to believe in the best of each other.
  • what ever makes you feel bad leave it - whatever makes you smile keep it.
love sent, xo

Wednesday, January 1, 2014