Tuesday, January 27, 2015

blizzard of 2015...

on saturday we had a significant snow storm.  it was fun and it was the first real snow storm this year.
that was until today when we got about 30 inches more.  today's storm cancelled school, cancelled work, closed the airports and put a ban on driving.  a historical event where everything came to a standstill.

but back to saturday.  we never did make dinner. since then everything has felt like a standstill

mid afternoon i got a txt from the couple we were having dinner with that said "we need to cancel" i need to help my sister  - her father in law passed away.  within 24 hours my friends sister would have also lost her son.  as i type these words i still can not really comprehend what has happened.  i talked to my friend last night and again today at length.  we laughed,  we cried, we are parents ourselves and fully aware that there could be no greater heartache than losing a child. i want to say the right thing,
i want to be able to help where i can.  i want to bring comfort to the family but this is one of those
situations where everything feels like it comes up short.
we cant always make sense of a story when we are in it, and sometimes it will never make sense.
sometimes the heart just breaks.   i am reminded of the importance of friendships and family and how much we all need each other.
i can only be here for them if they need me.   i wish them resilience, hope and optimism.
this is a story that begins with evil, an evil that can happen to anyone.  something that can sneak up on you and take over your life.   but i want there to be hope.  i want to believe that somewhere in the darkest of days the darkness will be highlighted by light.  i hope they will have the courage
to over come the darkness.  i hope when they feel like a lonely drop in a vast ocean, they will remember they are not alone.  i hope they know anything that happens to them does not define them.
i pray they don't shut themselves off from life, i wish them strength.  i hope they surrender the guilt, the despair,  please don't let the story stop where evil writes a chapter, say yes to life in spite of everything.
it's another reminder on exactly what is important.  take joy in the precious simple moments,  pay attention to everything and live for today.
can you live the life you have been given no matter what? it is a much bigger question than anyone should ever have to answer.  but, there is nothing they could have done, they couldn't have known and they cant let the darkness define them.  i pray they don't shut themselves off from life.

please keep them in your prayers.

love sent, xoxo

Saturday, January 24, 2015

love snowy days...

i couldn't resist going outside for breakfast on such a beautiful morning.  i know -  crazy for sure but i loved every minute of it.  can you tell i was excited for the first real snowfall?

now if only we can still keep our dinner plans... 
my view from the office ... so pretty.  

Friday, January 23, 2015

today is national pie day - don't forget to bake a pie...

or you can head to portland maine for a whole weekend of  pie making, baking and eating.
it is awesome.  portland is fantastic in the summer but we went a couple of weekends ago and it is
fantastic in the winter too.  tons of awesome restaurants, cute shops, and of course skiing,
snow shoeing etc.  put it on your "places to go" list.


love sent, xo

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

happy wednesday...

for some reason i jumped out of bed today thinking it was already thursday and thursday was the day i had my super early meeting... once i was up and in the shower i realized ugh.. i could have hit the snooze button. today is only wednesday, a short week which now feels like a long one.

that's how winter can feel sometimes.

this past weekend was filled with football, warm fires and some relaxation.  we celebrated some birthdays, took long walks and made some great food.  aren't long weekends the best?

i got to thinking it would be fun to plan something fun to do each week to get me through these long winter days.  i have my oscar club which is really fun.  last night we saw american sniper it was intense.  i tend to slouch down in my seat and pull my scarf up to my eyes during many of the hard to watch scenes.  the one good thing about this movie club (besides the fact that i love all these crazy girls) is  it forces me to see movies i wouldn't normally see, it pushes me right out of my comfort zone.  this movie did just that.  i imagine what these guys go through but when you see something like this it just makes you more aware of how much they sacrifice for our freedom long after their service is done. so thank you to all who serve to make our lives better.

during the long winter months when the sun sets at 4:30 and it's bitter cold i can tend to get melancholy and quiet ( i know you don't believe me) but sometimes i do.

so i remind myself to do something fun every single week to brighten up the day.
drink champagne on mondays -  celebrate the beginning of a new week.
write a love letter -  it doesn't have to be a romantic one, it can be to a friend, a child, your mom. think about how often you look across from someone and think wow they look great today, what nice eyes, their hair looks so nice, what a great smile but... we never actually tell them.  perfect time is now.
buy flowers -  it totally works - every time.
light candles -  i do this all the time and it works all year long for making ordinary days feel special. make this dessert -  it is smooth chocolaty and it really feels like an indulgence.

                                        mocha chocolate mousse with irish whiskey.
                                                  from what katie ate (pictured above)


  • 170 g 1 1/4 c  good-quality dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
    170 g 1 1/4 sticks  unsalted butter
    3 tablespoons good-quality instant coffee granules, mixed with 2 tablespoons hot water
    4 free-range eggs, separated
    2/3 cup (150 g) caster sugar, plus 1 tablespoon extra
    2 tablespoons Irish whiskey (or dark rum)
    Pinch fine salt
    Whipped cream, to serve


  1. Bring a medium-sized saucepan of water to a gentle simmer and melt the chocolate, butter and coffee in a heatproof bowl that fits snugly over the pan without touching the water, stirring occasionally. Carefully remove the bowl from the heat and set aside. Keep the saucepan of water simmering away.
  2. Place a few handfuls of ice in a large bowl and half-fill with water. Set aside nearby.
  3. Sit a heatproof bowl that will fit into the bowl of ice over the saucepan of simmering water and add the four egg yolks, caster sugar, whiskey (or rum) and 1 tablespoon cold water. Using a balloon whisk or hand-held electric beaters, whisk for about 3 minutes until the mixture thickens, becomes paler and has a similar consistency to that of runny mayonnaise. Remove the bowl from the heat and place it in the bowl of iced water. Continue to whisk for a further few minutes until the mixture thickens and cools slightly, being careful that no water accidently gets into the mixture. Add the chocolate mixture to the beaten eggs and stir to combine.
  4. Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until just stiff and frothy. Add the extra tablespoon of caster sugar and beat again until just glossy.
  5. Using a large mixing spoon, add one spoonful of egg whites to the chocolate mix and fold it in gently. Gradually fold in the remaining egg whites, taking care not to over-mix.
  6. Transfer the mousse to a jug, then pour into individual serving jars or glasses. Place in the fridge and chill for 3–4 hours before serving. Serve topped with a thick layer of whipped cream
love sent, xo

Saturday, January 10, 2015

it's january and everywhere we turn people are talking about change. be the change.

when your children arrive, the best you can hope for is that they break open everything about you.  your mind floods with oxygen.  your heart becomes a room with wide-open windows.  you laugh hard every day.  you think about the future and read about global warming.  you realize how nice it feels to care about someone more than yourself.  and gradually, through this heart-heavy openness and these fresh eyes, you start to see the world a little more.
– Amy Poehler

you really do start to see the world a little more.
m just returned home from her second humanitarian mission, a life-giving opportunity to see and experience a developing nation and their poverty first hand.
not that i haven't always cared about poverty and people with struggles etc.  we have sponsored a child  for many, many years.  we however, send a check each month and a small stipend at the holiday and maybe one other time during the year.  we get an update on the child but we don't personally know them other than what we read in the updates.  we have never visited them or held them in our arms.
   i worry endlessly when m is away,  there is very little/no communication while she is gone.  it's hard when you are so connected to someone and then you experience so many empty hours with no
communication.  the world is a complicated place and every day the news has another devastating story.  this week has surely been filled with horror.  when you send your child off even though you support what she does, it's hard, really hard. 
 when she stepped off the plane this morning there was such a flood of relief, she was home safe and sound.   but, also a changed person arrived. changed in a good way.  it was another opportunity for her to see the world and another piece of its hardship. a part of the world where life is upside down and logic leans to the left.  it is in the unraveling of this world that we are reminded where our true gift is found.  we can  have beautiful things, but all "things" in this world are only temporary.  
every "thing" will unravel in time.  but when we share our heart and if we dare to hand it over, that  love is multiplied.  

sharing stories over breakfast made me realize how very much we can take for granted.  how many people suffer daily. - sure,  we know about the homeless, the poor, the drug addicts,  but at least in this country we have access to health care.  many of these folks have no health care and no way to get it.   she spoke about a man laying on a mattress outside his house suffering with cancer with only tylenol to relieve his pain.   she said for a brief moment she wondered how can you ever make a difference when there is so much need everywhere? 
certainly a good question.  
but... . when they had completed building the house (which she said was about the size of our family room)  for a single mom of three whose husband had died, the smiles never stopped.   
the tears flowed freely and the difference they made really, really mattered.  she witnessed joy and faithfulness from those who live with nothing
so maybe, just maybe, we can change the world, at least our world, one good deed at a time.

we are so proud of m for all that she offers and for her amazing heart.

love sent xo

incredible love in an ordinary world. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

today january 8th is...national bubble bath day.

sounds like a great idea to me.  light the candles play some music.  

keep warm

love sent, xo

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

happy 2015...

how are you?  i never intend to stay away from this space it just gets busy and then
before i know it weeks have gone by.  i feel sometimes that i am overly connected to
social media,  then by the time i get to this space i worry i am repetitious.  i have
been using instagram so much over the holidays, it satisfies my need to take photos and
with a short description,  one click,  it's all done.  simple, clean, and i get to share the
things and people i love.

i find instagram super inspiring - a way to look for the beauty in everything.

instagram love

it goes without saying that i am keeping busy but never too busy
to enjoy the simple pleasure of cooking.  i spent a blissful 2 weeks over the holidays
catching up with family and friends and cooking tons of things i have been wanting to try.
after 2 full weeks of not really using a proper keyboard i am ready to be back to work.  i
hope you enjoyed some time off as well.

i am not one for new years resolutions, i gave them up years ago. what i did start to do in celebration of a new year, was find things that would make my life better. there are just so many things i want to do, food i want to try, places i want to visit, people i want to meet, dinner parties i want to host. so with that in mind, i toast the new year ahead to making life better for myself and my family. i read a few things recently that are great reminders of keeping my new year in check.

1. work with good people, hang out with good people, love good people and everything else will work itself out.
2. reading a book a month can change your life ( i really believe this is true)
3. the way i see the world is my own personal version - no one else shares the exact same version of reality.
4. health should always be your number one priority.
5. simplicity is the key to just about everything.
6. if you love someone - tell them.

as i look back on 2014 i made some observations, they are not new, just reflections.

1. some years have more questions than answers.
2. travel will always make my heart sing.
3. life is a continued lesson.
4. our health is most important.
5. life is a lesson in letting go (we will endlessly be saying goodbye - to people, to things, to places, but we will always be welcoming new things, new people and new places too. i am an immensely attached person so this is really hard for me.
6. there will always be challenges but life is filled with so much more.

and remember nothing of value will ever be forgotten.

love sent, xo