Holiday happenings {late}

Monday, July 15, 2013 | | 6 comments

I'm having battles with my computer and it's winning!

My holiday photos are late but I wanted to get them on my blog for family to see and memories to be held.

We had a great 4th of July! It was relaxing with no pressure and filled with family time and catching up with old friends. 
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The day began with a festive overnight french toast bake ~ sooo yummy!

July 2013 100 1 Bentley was happy to oblige with his holiday bow tie. Not so much, he tried to chew it off!
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A blueberry mojito. Cheers!

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Having everyone involved in the kitchen is secretly a favorite of mine. The conversation flows and silliness escapes creating fun
memories.

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The cute pail idea came from none other than Pinterest. I filled them with a few fun goodies, candy, sparklers, and necessary tools for the lobster dinner. I made crab sugar cookies in two different sizes. The larger one on the bottom was dressed in polka dots. These were a cute addition to the table and a great take away.


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Dinner was New England style ~ lobsters, corn on the cob and a roasted potato and pepper salad.

We had mini fruit pizzas that Morgan and Nicholas made in the pictures above.

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It was a fabulous being with family and friends. To top all the greatness off, I snuck in a quick afternoon nap ~ pure luxury!


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Stephen Bonanno

Saturday, June 22, 2013 | | 8 comments
 

Quick question ...

Did you order from the Bonanno anniversary sale? Have you received your shoes?

It's been 6 months now and I have yet to see my package on my door step.

I've called, left messages (when they accept them), emailed and no answers! Nothing!

To be honest, I'm really surprised by their customer service. I understand their sale was popular and they are busy but communication is a must!




 
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Image not mine {although I wish!} but similar to what I ordered.


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Hello June!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013 | | 6 comments


 

                       I think I can, I think I can …..
 
                                                      finally catch my breath!
 



The month of May has been one of endless projects, obligations, programs and commitments since I began teaching and only intensified when my son began school.  When it rolls around each year I take a deep breath and jump in with both feet.  I know that it is going to be intense, but will also offer many highlights. This year it delivered just as promised and feared :)
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 {love the colors for spring}

 
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{a few of the baskets}

A good friend of mine was celebrated at school for her many talents and dedication.  I was asked to do the center pieces. I filled moss baskets with seasonal fresh flowers.  The baskets offered a bright pop of color on a very cold spring day.  The luncheon was filled with great conversation and an amazing display of girly foods {lots of salads and desserts ~ so yummy!}

 
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{not the best photo but you get the idea}
 
 
In keeping with my Pay It Forward/ Do Unto Others theme this year, I altered a prom dress for a young lady who's family needed some help.  When I was asked, my response of “I’d love to!” slipped out before my brain engaged. I haven’t taken on a project like this in years and I’m more than a little rusty.  Working with satin (ie slippery) material is not my strength. I ripped out many seams more than once before I accomplished the task. When I delivered the gown I added a mani and pedi gift certificate to the package. After all, every princess needs a little pampering before her big night!   In the end, it was me who received the greatest gift. Her mother relayed to me that the young lady was SO excited with her dress that she put it on as soon as it was delivered! She treated her family to a preview of prom night with her hair and makeup in place because they needed the full effect! ;) 

 
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I adore these over sized headbands so I was thrilled to make one for a friend.

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Showering a friend at work wrapped up my fun filled month ~ a true highlight. Kaci is expecting a baby girl in late August. I had sooo much fun shopping for baby girl outfits. Who can resist a ruffled butt or a tutu in teeny tiny sizes?!  As any girly girl knows, you have to have accessories to complete your outfit.  I made a few bows and headbands to match her outfits. So many bows posed the problem of storage. Easily solved!  I made a monogramed bow board.  This was such a fun project for a special baby girl. 

The pace is slowing and I can almost smell summer in the air. I'm looking forward to a summer schedule and tackling a few home projects that I've put off due to lack of time.


As of today, we have 8 days of school left {not that I’m counting ~ ha!} in the school year.  If hurricanes and blizzards hadn’t visited our area we would be out of school … grrrrrr!


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Something Simple

Sunday, June 9, 2013 | | 6 comments


It's hard to believe that it's already JUNE and summer will {officially} be here in a matter of days! Our weather here doesn't reflect the calendar. In fact, I'm quite convinced that Mother Nature is having some sever mood swings! In the past few weeks we gone from 90 degree to 40 degrees in a matter of a day and then back into the high 70s. This doesn't include the heavy rains and snow ~ yep, it snowed here in May! I have both my summer and winter clothes out as I never know which season it will be when I get dressed for school in the morning!


I threw this together one night for dinner when we had a very full schedule and not a lot of time to spend in the kitchen.

 
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Ingredients~

Pasta of choice

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 Cloves garlic

1 lb shrimp 1 healthy cup of fresh peas {I found them at Trader Joes}

Juice of one lemon

1/2 of white wine ... a glass for yourself :)

1 cup (or more) cherry tomatoes cut in half

Fresh basil lightly chopped {use as much or as little as you like}

Parmesan cheese

How to ~

Boil pasta according to box

In a saute pan add olive oil and garlic ~ saute until golden

Add the shrimp ~ cook until light pink

Add  in the fresh spring peas

Pour in the lemon juice and wine

Toss in the cherry tomatoes and basil

Combine the pasta with the rest of the ingredients

Sprinkle on the grated cheese 

Serve

You could easily replace the shrimp with chicken or scallops.

The count down is in full swing ... only 10 more days of school!!!


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Simplify

Sunday, March 3, 2013 | | 12 comments
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At the start of the new year I felt a great need to simplify. Many areas of my life have become cluttered, confused and bogged down by stuff. I would be an extremely rich woman if wealth was measured in excess amounts of clutter!



I kicked the new year off {literally the very first day} with the goal of filling 40 bags in 40 days. This is a task often taken on during Lent but I couldn't wait that long! I breezed by the 40 bags challenge within days. Yes, I have that much stuff! I've donated, recycled, and thrown out more than I care to admit. My husband thinks I may qualify for the Hoarders show. He's just kidding ... sort of!



The next task was to detox my thoughts, feelings and focus of my life. After the horrible tragedy of Sandy Hook I've lost a lot of faith in mankind. I read on a blog, shortly after the incident, that while this was an unthinkable event, we should focus on the good things in our lives and the world. Well, I can't. By doing so we simply desensitize ourselves and emotions. This is quickly becoming an epidemic that is spreading with vicious speed. The timing of You Version's soul detox in my inbox was perfect and just what I needed. It last for 35 days and the readings each day are very manageable.



Over the holiday, I was confronted with a health scare {why do these things always come up when you have absolutely no spare time deal with them?} that really jolted me. It was time for a major health overhaul. We've always eaten healthy, for the most part, and exercised when it fit into our schedule. After many hours of research, we are eating clean. This is a new path for us and I have a lot to learn. Cooking and baking are a true source of joy for me. It's actually my way of decompressing after a long day at work. My goal is to simply transform this into a healthier version. I have to admit that I feel so much better on this path and when I do fall off the wagon I really feel the effects! I've lost 10 pounds and have so much extra energy! Once I've perfected a few recipes, I'll share them with you.



Lastly, I'm trying {really hard} to observe the Sabbath during the Lenten season. Our pastor spoke a few weeks ago about "taking on" rather than "giving up" for Lent. He suggested acts of kindness, giving to others, and volunteering during the 40 days. He also expressed the need to observe the Sabbath. I've always looked at Saturday and Sunday as my catch up days to prepare the busy weekdays. The thought of giving up one of the days was just short of terrifying for me. I know that sounds ridiculous but it's true! Who knew it would be so hard not to do anything! With two weeks in, I think I'm doing rather well, with plenty of room for improvement. I've enjoyed some quiet unscheduled time with my husband, long talks with my son, and time just being in the moment!






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Crazy Train

Sunday, February 24, 2013 | | 6 comments

You know it's been too long when you have no idea where to begin. I've been on the crazy train for months. It just doesn't slow down long enough for me to jump off!

I'm going to throw in some pictures, a few blurbs, and hope you can read between the lines and get the big picture of what's been going on in my little neck of the world.

Nicholas came home to go skiing in Vermont then headed down to spend a few days with me. Time with him was just what I needed! As a nice suprise, he was making dinner for me when I got home from school one evening. Such a sweet boy! We had a great time together, I really enjoy spending time with my son. I'm very proud of the man he is becoming!

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We had quite the snowfall ~ blizzard! It lasted two days and left us with almost 3 feet snow. It was beautiful! I'll be honest, it was nice to be snowed in for a few days with no schedule! I was able to tackle many projects that I've been meaning to get to. Nicholas was bummed that he was back in North Carolina and not up here to take advantage of the fresh snow cover.

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I made a few goodies for my friends and family. It wouldn't be a special day if I didn't make sugar cookies and homemade candies. This year I made heart hand warmers for my teaching buddies. If you worked in my school, you'd appreciate the need!


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I have to be honest, Valentine's hasn't always been a holiday I've looked forward to or enjoyed. I've always done special things for my son and students but didn't really like all the hype for adults ~ expensive dinners out, the expectations of flowers, or expensive gifts and so on. My husband began the tradition of making dinner for me at home several years ago~ as in shopping, cooking and cleaning the kitchen. It's the greatest gift. Now I LOVE Valentine's day :)


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I'll close with one of my new recipes ...


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I've been experimenting with overnight baked oatmeal. The one pictured is apple and cranberry ~ yum! This is part of my new plan of eating cleaner. I'll go into that other time since this is getting rather long.


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First Snow

Thursday, January 3, 2013 | | 10 comments

There is something so magical about the first real {as in more than just a dusting} snow of the season. 
It's soft white blanket covers all the brown and barren from the final days of fall. So pretty and peaceful!

 The forecast was to have flakes flying by afternoon. I waited ... and waited ... and waited. NOTHING! Just when I was about to give up hope, white fluffy dots began to float from the sky. YAY! Snow brings out the kid in you. After dinner I talked Kevin and boys into a walk through the neighborhood.
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Bentley wasn't into stopping for pictures. We tried to get him to look at the camera. Nope!

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Let's get this show on the road people!


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 Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow!

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The homes in our subdivision look so pretty dressed up for the holidays. I just wish my photos were better. It's rather difficult to shoot a camera, walk a dog and not slip on the snow and ice. 

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Pretty lights in the window just make it so warm and cozy!

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Heading home to warm up by the fire.

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Just in case you needed a closeup of these delicious treats from my cookie exchange. They are so yummy.

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