Smelling the roses

Tuesday, June 22, 2010 | | 13 comments

I am taking some time away to meet up with my sweet husband. We'll be enjoying some much needed time reconnecting. I've been looking forward to this for weeks!

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Supper with Friends

Sunday, June 20, 2010 | | 12 comments
I can think of no better way to begin summer vacation than to celebrate with the women that I enjoying working with side by side each day.

We don't often have the opportunity to have "real" conversations during the school day. In fact, I'm not sure if we have ever actually completed a thought without several interruptions.

On Thursday evening I invited the girls over for a relaxing evening. There was plenty of chatting, good food and wine.


We started on the patio despite the wind. I had hoped to serve supper outdoors as well but the gusts were a bit much at times.

I tried to grab a few shots before the guests arrived. By the time everyone was mingling, this table was over flowing with fabulous additions. Not only are these women great teachers, they can cook!


I had to add this photo for the vivid colors. This time of year is my favorite when the fruits and veggies are ripe and plentiful. I served my crudites platter with two different hummus and a curry dip.

In keeping with my light and fresh theme, I decided to use the flowers from my own flower garden. There isn't a photo but I actually have roses this year as well.


The hydrangeas are lovely this year. Believe me, it's nothing that I did. It is certainly a freak of nature. For the last couple of years we haven't had a single bloom.


A quiet moment in our dinning room.


Have you spotted the silver I picked up at the Elephant's Trunk? I bought the sweet silver tray with feet in the first photo as well as a few serving pieces in this photo.


We dined on a selection of salads and crusty breads.

I must admit that these aren't the best photos possibilities from the evening. It's rather hard to entertain, converse, hold a wine glass and take photographs! ;)


These are the incredible women that wear many hats all in a period of time from 8:50am until 3:25pm. This is no easy task and it's done every so lovingly.


I sent each of my guests home with a sweet summer package. It included a jar of homemade salt scrub and a pedicure brush.

It was a wonderful evening that didn't end until 12:30. It's a good thing we are on summer vacation because that is WAY past my bedtime on a school night ;)

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Kick off to Summer

Friday, June 18, 2010 | | 15 comments
Today was my first full day dedicated to summer. I had a houseful of women for dinner last night {post later} so I'm counting today as my first day.

 I slept in until 6:30 {that is late for me on a weekday} and enjoyed a slower paced morning around the house. It's amazing what you can get accomplished when you don't have to shower, apply make up, pack lunches, iron, dress for work and rush off to the classroom. 

I had an appointment at 9am for a manicure and pedicure. This time I had an OPI Axxium Gel mani. This process is suppose to last a minimum of 14 days. Since I'm getting ready to go on vacation, I thought I'd give it a try. I usually don't travel with painted nails due to the up keep and I don't want to be bothered when I'm not home.

My color of choice was Pink Flamingo. A perfect color to celebrate summer. The photo looks darker than in person. There was an additional cost of $10. for the gels but if it last twice as long, it's worth it in my book.

When I was ready to leave, my nails were completely dry. I didn't have to worry about smudging them when I got my keys or wallet out of my purse. Nor did I have any marks in the polish when I tried to *carefully* buckle my seat belt ~ these are always hazards  for me.


* The Gel manicure is a process of curing the "gel" polish between coats with a UV light. Due to the nature of this, the polish lasts longer without chipping or wearing. I USE my hands {yes, I know that sounds odd} and I'm not gentle when doing so. When I heard about this, I was intrigued and decided to give it a whirl. As I shared, this mani was only 10 dollars more than the traditional and required little additional time to apply. There seems to be a nice selection of color choices. The salon I frequent is slowly adding to their supply as the desire increases.

Afterwards, I met up with a few friends at the beach. The picture above is after spending time in the ocean and sand. Yes, I had my hands in both. I was told not to worry even though it was a humid day.

I'm off to shower, do a few things here at home and then I'm heading to the club to meet friends for cocktails.

So far, summer is off to a great start!

*On a side note, it's rather difficult to photograph your own hand and not have it look  like a disfigured object.

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Road Trip and Treasure Hunt

Monday, June 14, 2010 | | 16 comments
Bright {well, the sun wasn't shinning just yet} and early Sunday morning my friend Jane and I hit the road in search of fabulous treasures.

With travel mugs of coffee and homemade blueberry banana muffins in hand, we headed in the direction of New Milford, CT.

The ride was quite beautiful. The scenery was lush and green from all our rain. Not a moment of silence was heard the entire trip. I've always enjoyed the relaxed conversation of friends.

Thank you for your comments and input regarding the Elephant's Trunk. It was very helpful.


If you can image it; they had it! There were rows and rows and rows to meander through. I had my eye on this large frame as I'd like a mirror at the end of our hallway upstairs.


How sweet is this child's dress form? I have no idea what I was going to do with it or even why I needed it but it was going home with me! Small problem ... it was already sold. Seriously, I felt like a deject child. No worries, I quickly rebounded.


Poor guy was exhausted from all the fun ;)
See the cute table and chair{ there are 3 more chairs in the set}? My friend picked that up for her side porch.


They even had plants, fresh veggies and beautiful flowers CHEAP! If only we weren't finished planting for the season. I couldn't believe all the incredible deals {and junk} to be found.


This is my bag of goodies. My husband makes fun of my cart on wheels but it sure beats carrying everything. My take home treasures included a couple silver trays, a silver bowl, fresh from the garden veggies and beautiful flowers. I'll show you my silver pieces at work later this week.

I will be returning! Care to join me?

Our adventure continued on to higher end antique shops in Woodbury. We poked around in many sweet shops, had an amazing lunch, did a little more shopping (the theme of the day) and then headed home.
It was an incredible day.

Today is my last full day of school ... bittersweet emotions. I will officially be on summer vacation tomorrow at 1:07 ~ not that I'm counting ;)

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Ending the Year

Saturday, June 12, 2010 | | 14 comments
These cuties are in our Title1 Pre~K program. Their school years starts a few days later and ends a few days earlier than the rest of our school. This is all based on how the grant is written.

I had to say good~bye to these little guys this week. I've watched them explore, learn to socialize and grow into such wonderful individuals. Sadly, they won't be returning to our school next year. They will attend their home school for kindergarten.


I will SO miss their smiling faces and excited exclamations when I walk in the room. There is nothing better for your self esteem than when they shout out your name and are truly thrilled to see you each day.

Childhood ~ nothing can compare to its honest emotions.

Judge me if you'd like but I LOVE playing with Potato Heads. Seriously, if you've never had one you need to run out and buy a set. You'll be hooked.

On their last day we pulled out all the bins and had a fabulous time creating and chatting. Oh the things you learn from 4 and 5 year olds! They will tell you anything and everything in full detail. I could share some very interesting stories with you ;)


Just in case you didn't see the resemblance, this is me ;)

I promised not take it apart so if they come to visit we can play with it again.

You've all stolen a piece of my heart.

Have a wonderful summer.

I'll miss seeing you next year!

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Hey Connecticut ladies ...

Thursday, June 10, 2010 | | 17 comments

Have you ever attended Elephant's Trunk in New Milford?

Is it worth the drive?

Are the "treasures" really as great as I've heard and read about?

Any thoughts or helpful hints would be greatly appreciated.

I'm thinking about a road trip this weekend.


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Mary Mary Quite Contrary

Tuesday, June 8, 2010 | | 14 comments

The green house has been taken down and put away until next spring.
Over a matter of a few days I carefully planted my kitchen garden and then moved on to the vegetable garden.
My kitchen garden is planted on our patio in what I have termed the "bump out" around the grill. My husband built it for me when he designed our patio. It's perfectly placed not too far from the french doors so I can zip out and snip off fresh herbs when needed for a recipe.

I was lucky enough to be in front of the line and grabbed {yes, I did} a Chelsea tomato plant at the Essex Garden Plant Sale. I can't wait for the first tomatoes of the season to appear. This year I'm giving lettuce and collard a try this year ~ I'm making no promises.


My herb staples ~
{they come back every year}
{also makes a return appearance}
sweet basil
thai basil

If I haven't mentioned it before, I should probably share with you at this point in the game that I'm married to an engineer. Translated, this means perfectionist.
 I admit to teasing him on a regular basis for this trait.
When I told him I wanted to plant a garden again this year he suggested a raised bed. This would assist with soil drainage as well as providing the option of placing a net of sorts over the top in case the animals stopped by for a dinner buffet.
 I had to concure that this was indeed a good idea.

Let me share with you my design plans:
buy some wood
make a rectangle
fill with dirt
plant seedlings
sit back, sip on a cold beverage and wait for my great harvest to arrive.


His design plans:
research raised bed options
call different suppliers
{I'm tired already!}
level ground
use surveyors string {my terms} and level
to align with patio
once design is securely in place add dirt, peat moss, manure and mix

OK ~ maybe, just maybe, his idea was a little better than mine, maybe.


In my new garden I am featuring peppers, broccoli rabe, brussel sprouts, beans, peas, radishes, patty pan squash, zucchini, and baby jack pumpkins.
It's not a huge garden but it's just the right size for us.
Now I just need some sunny days and a little less rain ~ please Mother Nature.


Speaking of rain, I have a bumper crop of mushrooms growing.
They are enormous, slimy and disgusting. I've never seen them so big or so many of them ... everywhere!
Our poor lawn still hasn't come back after the heavy rains this spring.


I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll have a healthy harvest to share with you in a few weeks.

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Bountiful blooms

Sunday, June 6, 2010 | | 20 comments

I've been awaiting their beautiful arrival.
Peonies are my favorite flower.
 Hands down, there is nothing to compare to their simple and elegant beauty.


Each year I add a new plant to our garden beds.
My goal is to one day have a lovely variety of peonies displayed in our yard.
To be honest, they don't last long outdoors before they are on display in our home.


Seriously, I am just like a little child on Christmas Eve awaiting the arrival of Santa.
I check my buds daily {several times daily} to see if there have been any changes or improvements since my last visit.


If there is the slightest threat of bad weather coming our way, I'm out snipping my little loves in fear of losing them to Mother Nature.


Nearly every room in our home features a bouquet in different sizes and colors.
Their light sweet fragrance is so subtle and welcoming.
 Sadly, they are only here for a short time.
If only they grew year round.

* note to husband ~ if we move, they are coming with us!

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Easy with a side of Yum

Thursday, June 3, 2010 | | 10 comments
IMG_0324 scallops and asian slaw

When time is tight and you're trying to eat healthy it becomes a challenge to achieve the desired goal.

I think I accomplished my mission with this delicious seared scallops and asian slaw salad. The combination of flavors and ingredients is amazing and so fulfilling.

Give it a try ...

6 cups of thinly sliced napa cabbage
1/2 cup red radishes*
1/2 cup sliced red pepper*
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots*
1/2 cup thinly sliced (length) green onions*
1 cup blanched snow peas*
4 tbs rice vinegar
3 tbs soy sauce
3 tbs dark sesame oil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
18~20 large sea scallops
salt and pepper

*Combine the first 6 ingredients and set aside

*Mix together the rice vinegar, soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil, and red pepper. Set aside.

*Heat the remaining oil in a pan over med high heat. Place sea scallops in pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper for taste. Cook for approximately 4 minutes on each side.

*Plate the cabbage and veggie combination. Place desired amount of scallops and drizzle with the dressing.

*Feel free to add more veggies or even different ones if desired ~ the more, the merrier!


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Memorial Day Weekend

Tuesday, June 1, 2010 | | 16 comments
IMG_0311Memorial Day Lobster
{hubby tackling his lobster ~ not easy with plastic silverware}

Our holiday weekend was filled with activities, outings, and projects. I was able to check off several items from my list and spend some quality time with my husband. We even managed to get together with many of our friends through the course of the long weekend.

One of our standing traditions since we've moved to Connecticut is to enjoy the first lobster of the season on Memorial Day. It's the official kick off to the summer season for our family. Memorial Monday was a beautiful day and the lobster and cold Mystic Pale Ale made it even better!

It was ever so hard to get out of bed this morning. Why is it that when I wake up at 6am on a weekend morning I have tons of energy but during the week when the alarm goes off I feel like I've been hit by a semi and can't move?
Only 10 more days of schools ... if your counting ... I SO am! ;)

Hope you all enjoyed your holiday weekend.

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