Snow day ~ take 5

Saturday, January 29, 2011 | | 19 comments

Bright and early I awoke to another 18 inches {but who's counting at this point} of white wonder. It is rather beautiful and certainly does provide for some lovely photos.

Picnik collage

I noticed something rather comical from the inside the warmth of my home {and still in my jammies} on this particular snow day.

There is a dress code for snow blowing.
It must be highlighted in the owner's manual.
It reads: The individual operating the snow blower must wear a red jacket, black snow pants, black hat and gloves.
Every husband on our cul-de-sac was wearing the required garments in the offical colors. This is probably a good idea with the amount of snow were getting this winter as we might just lose them in a snow drift if they wore white.

Picnik collage

When it snows; I bake. It's a rule!

I made a batch of these AMAZING cookies. They are chewy, chocolaty, and heavenly all in one bite! Warning ... they won't last long!

You must visit Bakerella. She has some of the most adorable ideas.

For a few other yummy recipes visit Kim.

Picnik collage

Once the roads were clear I ventured out to run a few errands.

I found these lovies at Michaels. What a fun way to perk up my winter blahs.

*The journal in the top photo was just what I was in need of for my Bible study.

*The shoe folders and pencils have been put to good use in  my reorganization flurry.

*I'm going to use the tags for labeling binders and to hang from white gift bags.

*Lastly the adorable purse and shoes note cards ~ a girls best friends.

*The pink and green paisley peeking through is actually my new ironing board cover that I picked up on my trip to Michaels.

I'm not sure of the last "normal" week I've had. This past week consisted of

    1 delay
    1 early dismissal
    1 snow day                     
total chaos in the classroom

My poor little guys are SO off schedule, I am too for that matter. At the end of the day on Friday, I telling my students to have a nice afternoon and I'd see them tomorrow. Thankfully we haven't racked up enough snow days, yet, to warrant the need for school on Saturday.

Leave A Comment

Weekend with Jack

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 | | 19 comments
Jack Frost was our host this past weekend in Vermont.  He was the perfect gentleman and did his very best to insure that we were chilled to the bone during our entire stay. In fact, he went out of his way and dropped the temperatures to a balmy -30 with wind chill just for us. Such an invigorating treat!

However, we weren't about to let this spoil our fun. Despite the frigid weather, we prevailed and treated ourselves to all the winter sports and fun that Stowe had to offer. Thanks to a snow day here in Connecticut, our trip began earlier than expected.

With a few extra layers packed in our bags, we eagerly hit the road with childlike anticipation.

* Warning ...
Bad hair and Weeble Wobble lookalikes ahead.

Growing up in Michigan my family had snowmobiles. Almost every weekend our friends and family would go up north to our cottage for skiing and snowmobiling. Being back in this mode brought back some really great memories. I had to include the photo of the snowmobile parking lot at the restaurant. You just gotta appreciate a place that offers areas for vehicles and snowmobile parking. The food was fabulous as well. If that isn't your choice of transportation, there is also the option of skiing in for dinner. I love the photo of the tree with skis parked right next door.

Please note the fashionable outfits and hair styles. One must wear half their winter wardrobe for the weeble wobble look. In order to master the flat lifeless hair style, you must don a helmet for several hours in a row ~ dedication I tell ya!  Jealous, I know :)

I haven't laughed {to the point of tears} so hard in a long time. There was always something that put us into fits of laugher. The best one was Courtney riding along on her snowmobile and then falling over into a snow drift. We still have NO idea how she accomplished this difficult task but she did. With grace; nonetheless. We had to laugh when she came back with a map at lunch trying to explain the tricky terrain of our tour.

My photo does not offer justice to the Von Trapp Family Lodge. It was gorgeous! There are several buildings on the property all dressed up for their winter guests. It is a winter wonderland.

We ate and drank at some amazing places. There is almost nothing better than stepping into a warm room with a roaring fire and a host offering you a beverage after being out in the elements all day. The entire weekend we ran with the theory of play hard during the day and sit back and relax during the evening. What a treat!

We ladies did manage to find a few spare minutes to hit a couple of the sweet shops in town. I think my husband was rather proud that I continued my quest of stimulating the economy with a few fun purchases. Hope you're picking up on the sarcasm here :) I am very excited with my new antique champagne vessel. It’s much larger than anyone I’ve seen before. I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to use it for but one thought is a planter for spring bulbs.

No trip to Stowe, VT would be complete without a stop at the Ben and Jerry's homestead. Oh so yummy! They have flavors there that I haven't seen here in Connecticut. I tried my hardest to convince my husband we needed purchase a cooler so that we could bring some home. I came home empty handed ... next time I'll go prepared.


The winter weather isn't going away any time soon so I guess I'll just continue to find ways to enjoy the snow covered festivities!

Leave A Comment

Work in Progress

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 | | 17 comments

I'm not one to make resolutions. In the past I've tried, failed and then felt horrible for not seeing simple {what seemed at the time} tasks through to fruition.

This year I wanted to make some changes in my day to day life. Nothing drastic, just simple subtle changes to better myself.

So, I'm claiming 2011 as the year of me!


1.Reorganizing and decluttering

This process is in full swing. I listed out all the areas of our home in need and posted them in my Agenda. The hope is to accomplish 1~2 tasks each week. Each area was purposely divided into manageable amounts of time so that I can accomplish them and not feel stressed. I'm the type that "grows"  projects until I'm in over my head and the project has taken on a life of its own.  I've allowed for a couple days each week as catch up days in the event that a certain area takes longer than anticipated.

2. Bible study

I've joined the Beth Moore 10 week study. I'm loving it! There are 5 sessions each week that I view online. She is an amazing teacher and even through a computer screen, she is able to reach out and grab you. By the end of the session, I feel empowered and alive! I highly recommend this as well as many of her books that I've read.


3. Photography

Over the past couple of years I've dabbled here and there reading a few books, articles and blogs covering this subject. It's time to get serious. Just in time, Lisa is proposing two options that I'm very interested in taking. Funny how things have a way of working out just when you're in need of them. I've also just begun Project 52. Simply put, I take a photograph a week for 52 weeks. I'm fashionably late to the party but I'm fine with that.  I wanted to keep this project seperate so I created a new blog, Simple Elegance.  Doing this will also allow me to view my progress as well as create a book at some point if I'm interested.


4. General Ed Certification

After much thought, time and consideration I've decided to switch certifications. I begin classes in a few weeks. I'm really looking forward to this challenge and sitting in a seat rather than standing in front of the classroom. Well, for part of the day anyway.

5. Getting to know my husband

We are very comfortable in our roles and routines. I have no real complaints and in all honesty, I'm very happy. However, we've become complacent and predictable. I think this is true of many marriages that are years old. My husband has been on travel A LOT the past 7 months, we both have busy careers, on-going home projects, and various volunteer committees. I want to hone the focus back on "us" and find activities that we can share together and get to know the man I married again.  My first proposal is working towards a 5k next fall.


The first month of the new year is off to a great start. I'm not feeling overwhelmed, stressed or pressured with my goals. This is a good sign!

I'll post my progress in a few months and let you know if I'm still on task.

Leave A Comment

Comfort food

Saturday, January 15, 2011 | | 11 comments


Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sizes pieces
1 onion chopped
1 cup carrots, sliced
1 1/2 cup new potatoes, diced
1 cup Italian green beans
3/4 cup portabella mushrooms sliced
1/2 cup red pepper halved and sliced
2 cups spinach roughly chopped3~4 cups chicken broth
1 can low fat cream of chicken soup
1 can low fat cream of mushroom soup

1 package low fat refrigerated biscuit dough, torn into pieces.

1. Place all the ingredients in a slower cooker except the biscuit dough.

2. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5 hours.

3. Place the dough on top of the of the simmering pot pie one hour before it's finished cooking.


This recipe takes on a different twist each time it's made. I throw whatever veggies I have on hand in the crisper or freezer. This time it had an Italian flair to it but next time who knows!

It's the perfect comfort food for any chilly evening.

I run on kicks where I use my slow cooker several nights in a row during the week. For me, it's the perfect solution to getting a delicious meal on the table after a long day in the classroom. The effort level is low {just a little organization is needed} but the presentation is impressive.

Can't beat that!


Take a peek and see what others are cooking up this week.

Leave A Comment

Snow day ...

Thursday, January 13, 2011 | | 16 comments
We were treated to the true definition of a nor'easter. At 3:30 am I was awoken to loud claps of thunder and bright lightening! Not the most pleasant way to wake. I had to peek out and assess the progress of the storm. It was well underway.

The surrounding school districts called it correctly and canceled schools the night before. That is my idea of a special treat :)

These are a few of the photos I took to capture my snow day.


The first of many passes the plows made in our subdivision.



This was taken at 6:30 am. By mid morning, the snow was over little Bentley's head. I had to go out and rescue him when he tried to follow Bozley.


A winter wonderland in my very own backyard.
So peaceful.


The topiary has a new fluffy white top hat.


This little guy, tucked safely on our front porch, wasn't spared from the blowing effects of snow.



Hard to tell, but this is an urn on my back patio. That is actually a small wall in the back drop. The inches of white continue to accumulate.




There is just something about a snowy night and a home lite with the warmth of light.We have a delay this morning.
While I'd love to enjoy one more day snowed in my home, I'll appreciate the return when June rolls around and we have one less day to make up.

Leave A Comment

Winter white

Monday, January 10, 2011 | | 16 comments
I'm with the theory that if it's going to be winter and the temperature chilly, then there should be snow. After all, the season would be wasted if we didn't have something to enjoy.

How can you argue with predawn beauty?


I love how everything is so fresh and crisp. The neighborhood was still soundly asleep when I snuck out for a few shots. I would have been too but the snow plow coming down our street took care of that. So worth it once I realized how beautiful my morning began.



This was the first one I took. It's very blurry and completely out of focus but I like it nonetheless. It has a warmth to it with the porch light on and the sun coming up.


Little Bentley's first real introduction to snow. He wasn't all that thrilled on the first take but once Bozley started playing around, he changed his mind and came around.

The romance of the fresh fallen snow had worn off and the reality of the situation at hand and looming.

Snow Removal!

We own a HUGE snow blower.
It has gears.
Ginormous blades.
It rotates
and even backs up.
I think it even has turn signals ~ I'm not joking.

I'll be honest, I'm afraid of it.
My husband has shown me how to operate this massive piece of machinery but in the back of my mind I'm saying s h o v e l!

Had I thought ahead, I would have hired a hot  lawn boy to step in with such needs in my husband's absence.
Note to self!

A mere few minutes into my panic attack, the phone rings with a life line ...

Bill {neighbor} is coming over to do my drive. FABULOUS! I'll trade him his snow services for the use of our snow blower. He was thrilled {as all men are} to try out a new toy.

Best trade I've ever made!


This is the monster in question.


Look at those blades ~ they're vicious! 
You've heard those horrible snow blower stories on the news. I don't care to be a headline feature any time soon.


Seriously, who needs something this big? We do live in civilisation; I've checked. 

Oh yea, now I remember ...

You end up with one of these bad boys when you {husband} wait too long to purchase a snow blower and all the reasonable machines sell out.


I'm toasty warm inside my home while my generous neighbor tackles the elements.


This was no easy task. We have a loooog driveway.

Not only did he do it on Saturday but he returned Sunday morning when we awoke to a few more inches.

We are in for a big storm that is threatening over a foot and a half of fresh winter white on Wednesday.

No worries, Bill said he'd be over to help me out!

Ya just gotta love fabulous neighbors ~ thanks Bill and Fran you are over the top!

Leave A Comment

Mexican Soup

Saturday, January 8, 2011 | | 17 comments
It's the perfect soup day here in Connecticut. We have a fresh blanket of snow with more on the way this evening. There is little better than warming up with a bowl of soup after all that shoveling.


Mexican Soup
1.5 pounds ground chicken {you can use beef if you prefer}
1 red onion, diced
6 cloves garlic {adjust this to your liking}
1 can green chilies, diced
1 package taco seasoning {we like the hot}
1 cup of water
2 28oz cans petite diced tomatoes
1 28oz tomato sauce
1 can chicken broth {a second can if you want your soup thinner}
2 cans black beans {rinsed well}
1 cup roasted corn {I buy mine frozen at Trader Joe's}

sour cream
shredded cheese


Saute the first three ingredients until just cooked. Add the green chilies, taco seasoning and cup of water. Mix together. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Longer is better if you have the time.
The leftovers make a great lunch for the next day. 

I'm linking up with Quit Eating Out today for her featured Saturday Swap. Take a peek.

Leave A Comment

Quiet beginning

Tuesday, January 4, 2011 | | 22 comments
Our New Year was very quiet and laid back.

I wanted the color theme to be in whites and the focus on just relaxing and enjoy our friends.



White flowers in the winter, right after the holiday of green and red, was a bit of a challenge. The selection isn't all the glorious.


The men did all the cooking for the evening. We were treated to some yummy appetizers ~ I was too busy talking and forgot to take pictures.

My husband made a beef tenderloin with shrimp and scallop skewers on the side. We also had garlic mashed and green beans with fresh basil and lemon zest. Kevin is a great cook. If only he had more time to share those skills.

Why is it that everything takes so amazing when you don't have to do the cooking?


Life is back to normal in our home. Well, at least our normal :)

Hope your New Year is off to a great start!

I'm finishing up my goals for 2011 and will share those later.

Leave A Comment

Holidays 2011

Sunday, January 2, 2011 | | 21 comments
We are going to pretend that I am ultra organized and have already begun planning for next Christmas {please insert major humor and lateness of this post.}
Yep, that's what we're doing here.

I am self taught on the sewing machine despite the many attempts my mother made to teach me. Trust me, it wasn't pretty! Over the years I've learned to make curtains, shades, and various other projects for our home. However, anything that involves a pattern doesn't end well!

When Tessa posted that she had made stockings for her family my ears and eyes perked right up. I've been looking for white stockings for the past few years. I'm a little picky and I didn't want something that everyone else had in their homes.


Upon entering the dining room my husband presented two thoughts ...

First thought ~

K: Whatcha doing?

J: I'm making new Christmas stockings.

K: I wasn't aware that we needed new stockings.

J: Oh you silly man!


Second thought ~

K: Why aren't you doing this in your art room?

J: Ummm, have you seen that room lately? I think someone broke in and vandalized it; seriously!

Focus on the task ... almost done ... Santa arrives in a few hours; no pressure ... what was I thinking? ... no worries, we have back ups ... or do we? ... did I donate our stocking with the last bags to Goodwill? ... I can do this ... what time do the stores close on Christmas Eve?


Tessa assured me this was an easy project and that I would have no problems creating my own.

Was she aware that I would attempt this on Christmas Eve? In the afternoon no less? Did she know I would be mauled with questions by my husband? ;)


Finished and hung by the fireplace just in time!

I love how they turned out!
The monogram is just the perfect touch ~ such a clever idea of hers.


Santa was impressed with my skills {ha!} and filled it up to the tippy top.


I am loving our new family stockings. They are one of a kind and made with love. My brother wants me to make them for his family.

Not a problem since I'm ahead of the game this year! ;)

Thanks Tessa :)

Leave A Comment
Newer Posts Older Posts Home