Thursday, May 30, 2019

Life Lately




Good morning! I hope that you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. Our weekend was spent working, and unpacking. As I mentioned last, we are moving back into our house. That means unpacking tons of boxes as if we are moving in for the first time. After having been without a lot of my/our things for the last few months I realize I do not need them. Just to clarify, we packed up a lot of our valuables and other extraneous stuff to stage the house and then packed up a fair amount of books, clothes, and more when we received an offer and a closing date of 28 days. Consequently, I am taking my time unpacking and getting rid of a lot. Books, kitchen gadgets, clothes, and various other household items and decor are all being donated to thrift shops, shelters and a few other places. It is funny because I feel lighter. I am happy for my stuff to go off to new homes and for other people to enjoy it. At the same time, I am redecorating the house; moving furniture, art, and accessories to different rooms, adding a few new pieces and starting anew after 11 years here. We have 2 unfinished projects left and they are already underway; we redoing our deck and fencing in the yard for the pups. 




Speaking of the pups, yesterday we had a little scare with Pisa. She is very sensitive to medication, in fact about 2 years ago she had a terrible reaction to ear meds and her nose and ear are permanently scared. Yesterday, Pisa and Paris had their shots and all seemed well until a couple of house later Pisa started gaging and throwing up at which point I noticed her nose was twice its normal size and she was covered in welts. After a trip to the emergency vet, a dose of Benadryl and steroids she is doing a bit better. She is a little lethargic but the swelling is going down. There is never a dull moment with these two. 

On the up side, my new neighbors are French and on Sunday they brought over a scrumptious lemon tart decorated with fresh strawberries. I felt as if I was transported back to France with each bite. 

Now that summer has unofficially started I am ready to slow down, enjoy weekends at the beach, taking road trips, reading and relaxing. My husband is a workaholic so it is a little bit of a struggle to get him to slow down, I will keep you posted if I am off on my adventures with or without him. 

What are your plans for this summer? Do you have any adventure or trips planned? Will you be enjoying time in the garden, soaking up the sun or spending time with family and friends?

I would love to hear what you have been up to lately. 

Have a great day!





Monday, May 27, 2019

Memorial Day



Good morning! I hope that you are having a great weekend. Today is Memorial Day, take minute today while enjoying your time at the beach, the bbq or whatever else that you have planned to give thanks to all those who have lost their lives so that we can celebrate today. 

Have a great day. 



Sunday, May 26, 2019

Silent Sunday 5-26-2019




Have a great day!





Saturday, May 25, 2019

Friday Favorites from Kitchy Kitchen, The View from the Great Island, Cocoa & Ash and More


Good morning and a happy Friday to you. I was wiped out this week and have been looking forward to Friday since Wednesday. I have no plans this weekend except attending a bbq and getting out on my paddle board. Other than that I plan on reading, relaxing and taking some time to honor those who have lost their lives serving in our Armed Forces.  Do you have plans for the 4 day weekend? 

I hope that you enjoy my favorite finds this week. 


Food

Image Kitchen Kitchen

My mouth is already watering and I cannot wait to make one of these Grilled Everything Burgers from The Kitchy Kitchen


If you do not eat meat but still love burgers, The View from the Great Island taste tested plant based burgers this week, here are the results.



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 Potato salad is one of my favorite things I eat at bbqs' and picnics and although I have my own favorite recipe I am always willing to try something new, this weekend I will be making The Best Potato Salad Ever from The Brown Eyed Baker.




Every party needs some chips and dip, I think this Bacon Cheddar Ranch Dip from Cocoa & Ash looks perfect for any celebration. 




If you are looking for a new cocktail this Mixed Berry Sangria from Goodie Godmother looks refreshing. 




You can never go wrong with a Toffee Bar Cheesecake for dessert. 


Interesting Articles 



Beautiful posts and photos of The American Museum & Gardens in Bath.



Movies




The movie Where do we go now? was recommended to me so I have it on my list to watch this weekend. 


Books 

I pre-ordered the 2 books below and cannot wait to read them.






Paris, 1940. With the city occupied by the Nazis, three young seamstresses go about their normal lives as best they can. But all three are hiding secrets. War-scarred Mireille is fighting with the Resistance; Claire has been seduced by a German officer; and Vivienne’s involvement is something she can’t reveal to either of them.
Two generations later, Claire’s English granddaughter Harriet arrives in Paris, rootless and adrift, desperate to find a connection with her past. Living and working in the same building on the Rue Cardinale, she learns the truth about her grandmother – and herself – and unravels a family history that is darker and more painful than she ever imagined.
In wartime, the three seamstresses face impossible choices when their secret activities put them in grave danger. Brought together by loyalty, threatened by betrayal, can they survive history’s darkest era without being torn apart?








‘Let the wind take me and the soft rain settle me into the Irish soil from where I came. And may my sins be forgiven.’


Arethusa Clayton has always been formidable, used to getting her own way.   On her death, she leaves unexpected instructions.   Instead of being buried in America, on the wealthy East Coast where she and her late husband raised their two children, Arethusa has decreed that her ashes be scattered in a remote corner of Ireland, on the hills overlooking the sea.


All  Arethusa ever told Faye was that she grew up in a poor farming family and left Ireland, alone, to start a new life in America as did so many in those times of hardship and famine. But who were her family in Ireland and where are they now?  What was the real reason that she turned away from them?  And who is the mysterious benefactor of a significant share of Arethusa’s estate?  


Arethusa is gone. There is no one left to tell her story.  Faye feels bereft, as if her mother’s whole family has died with her.  Leaving her own husband and children behind, she travels to the picturesque village of Ballinakelly, determined to fulfil her mother’s last wish and to find out the reason for Arethusa’s insistence on being laid to rest in this faraway land.




This week I read the 3 books below and think you might enjoy them as well 




The Fifteen Wonders of Daniel Green



Sometimes wonder is found not beyond the stars, but a few feet from your own front door...
Daniel Green makes crop circles. As a member of a secret organization, he travels across the country creating strange works of art that leave communities mystified.
He's has always been alone; in fact, he prefers it. But when a dying farmer hires him in a last-ditch effort to bring publicity to a small Vermont town, Daniel finds himself at odds with his heart. It isn't long before he gets drawn into a family struggling to stitch itself back together, and the consequences will change his life forever.
For readers seeking the warmth of The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend blended with the creative spark of Rachel Joyce, The Fifteen Wonders of Daniel Green explores the unexplainable bonds of family, the everyday wonder of love, and the strange mysteries life provides that help humanity light up the dark.






For Stella Fortuna, death has always been a part of life. Stella’s childhood is full of strange, life-threatening incidents—moments where ordinary situations like cooking eggplant or feeding the pigs inexplicably take lethal turns. Even Stella’s own mother is convinced that her daughter is cursed or haunted.
In her rugged Italian village, Stella is considered an oddity—beautiful and smart, insolent and cold. Stella uses her peculiar toughness to protect her slower, plainer baby sister Tina from life’s harshest realities. But she also provokes the ire of her father Antonio: a man who demands subservience from women and whose greatest gift to his family is his absence.
When the Fortunas emigrate to America on the cusp of World War II, Stella and Tina must come of age side-by-side in a hostile new world with strict expectations for each of them. Soon Stella learns that her survival is worthless without the one thing her family will deny her at any cost: her independence.
In present-day Connecticut, one family member tells this heartrending story, determined to understand the persisting rift between the now-elderly Stella and Tina. A richly told debut, The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna is a tale of family transgressions as ancient and twisted as the olive branch that could heal them.




The Peacock Feast opens on a June day in 1916 when Louis C. Tiffany, the eccentric glass genius, dynamites the breakwater at Laurelton Hall—his fantastical Oyster Bay mansion, with columns capped by brilliant ceramic blossoms and a smokestack hidden in a blue-banded minaret—so as to foil the town from reclaiming the beach for public use. The explosion shakes both the apple crate where Prudence, the daughter of Tiffany’s prized gardener, is sleeping and the rocks where Randall, her seven-year-old brother, is playing.
Nearly a century later, Prudence receives an unexpected visit at her New York apartment from Grace, a hospice nurse and the granddaughter of Randall, who Prudence never saw again after he left at age fourteen for California. The mementos Grace carries from her grandfather’s house stir Prudence’s long-repressed memories and bring her to a new understanding of the choices she made in work and love, and what she faces now in her final days.
Spanning the twentieth century and three continents, The Peacock Feast ricochets from Manhattan to San Francisco, from the decadent mansions of the Tiffany family to the death row of a Texas prison, and from the London consultation room of Anna Freud to a Mendocino commune. With psychological acuity and aching eloquence, Lisa Gornick has written a sweeping family drama, an exploration of the meaning of art and the art of dying, and an illuminating portrait of how our decisions reverberate across time and space.



Finds







I love this sandal it reminds me of one of my favorite Gucci patterns.








I love this tropical maxi dress from Anthropologie. Don't forget to check out the sale this weekend at Anthropolioge.


I hope that you have a happy and safe weekend. Please share your favorite recipes, podcasts, recipes and whatever else you discovered this week. 






Thursday, May 23, 2019

Memorial Day Outfit Ideas


This post contains affiliate links.

Good morning! First and foremost Memorial Day is about remembering those who have lost their lives for our country, and our freedom. It is a day of gratitude for all that we have while keeping in mind their sacrifices. If you would like to add a little patriotic color to your outfit this weekend here are a few pieces that you might like.




You can never go wrong with a red and white stripped t-shirt, not only for Memorial Day and the 4th of July but as a casual addition to your summer wardrobe. I love this one from Joules with the long sleeves which makes it perfect for cool summer evenings as well. If you prefer short sleeves this one from Ralph Lauren is great too. 




This blue and white one is classic and the button detail on the sleeves give it a little extra panache. I just ordered this short sleeve linen one. 





If a dress is more your style this one from Target is perfect for the beach, a bbq, or lounging at home. 




This dress from Talbots would be a great piece for any occasion this summer. 





I do not wear sneakers that often but these gingham slip-ons would be great with shorts, a sun dress or your favorite jeans. 




I like this patriotic tote from Vineyard Vines. It is bright and cheery. 

I hope that you have a wonderful, safe holiday weekend and while you are sharing your time with family and friends, take a minute and remember all those who have sacrificed so much. 




Wednesday, May 22, 2019

10 Easy & Delicious Memorial Day Desserts


Good morning! I hate to wish away the days but I cannot wait for Friday! I love long weekends, especially if they involve a BBQ with lots of desserts. I have rounded up 10 of easy and delicious desserts that you might want to make for the weekend. 




1. White Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting. These cupcakes are so easy that I make them for both Memorial Day and 4th of July. These cupcakes and the cake below start with a white cake mix! That said, if you don't have the add ins just make the cake and cupcakes from the mix, frost and decorate with patriotic sprinkles and colored sugar. Let the kids do this part they will love it. 





2. White Cake Piled High with Frosting and Fresh Berries. Again, this cake starts with a mix, pile on the frosting or whipped cream, add some fresh berries and you have a quick, easy, delicious dessert. 




3. Roasted Vanilla Bean Cherries over No-Bake Cheesecake. Summer to me is all about cherries. I can eat pounds and pounds of them but I also love to bake with them. This recipe could not be easier, you simpley roast the cherries with vanilla bean paste and pour them over your favorite no-bake cheesecake. I think they would be delicious over ice cream and pound cake as well. 





4. Cherry Slab Pie. This pie can be made with homemade pie crust or you can buy pie crust and roll it out, add canned cherry pie filling, bake and frost. It could not be any easier. I personally love to make the homemade crust because it reminds me of my grandmother. You can add blueberry filling, or apple filling which is how I make it in the Fall. Although in the Fall I use fresh apples and lots of cinnamon. 



5. Almond Cheesecake Bars. I have made these several times and they are fabulous and every time I take them to a party they are one of the first things to disappear. 


Image from Hungry Happens

6. Cream Cheese Brownie Muffins from Hungry Happens. Oh my goodness, these look so great. I am definitely making these this weekend. 





7. Every BBQ has a pile of Rice Krispie Treats, so why not change it up a bit and make Nutella Dark Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats?




8. No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies. These are the easiest cookies ever and are a perennial favorite of kids and adults. They travel well and this one recipe makes about 36 cookies. 




9. You can never go wrong with Classic Brownies with Nuts. Make homemade or make them from a box your guests will love them no matter what recipe you use. 


Image Brown Eyed Baker

10. Easy Strawberry Shortcake. You can make all of the components a few days before and assemble the day of your party!


What is your favorite BBQ dessert to make or to eat? Share your recipes and links in the comments. 

Have a great day!


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

My 10 Favorite Memorial Day Burgers


Good morning! This weekend is a long weekend for most and I am pretty sure that burgers are going to be on the menu for many at bbq's, Memorial Day parties and picnics. Today I am sharing 10 fabulous burgers that will make a great addition to your gathering this weekend. 

There is something for everyone, spicy, sweet, traditional, exotic and vegetarian. Enjoy!


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1. Butter Burgers from The Cookie Rookie. These are a Wisconsin staple and I have eaten many, many in my lifetime. 


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What kind of burger is your favorite? I love all kinds but my favorite is a cheeseburger with bacon and lots of ketchup. 

If you don't see something that you like here, check out my Burger Board on Pinterest.

Have a great day!



Monday, May 20, 2019

Monday Musings





Good Monday morning sweet friends! I hope that you had a wonderful weekend. It has been busy but fun here. Wednesday night we had a dinner party for friends who were visiting from Spain. Thursday I went to a luncheon for a friend and then raced home to have a dinner party for my husbands colleagues. Friday night we hosted a BBQ and Saturday we had a brunch for the same colleagues. Then we went to a concert and had overnight guests. Sunday we spent the day "righting" the house, doing laundry, a little work, and sending off the last of the guests. 

I rarely diet but this week I think I may need to cleanse as I have eaten way too much of everything, cookies, cakes, BBQ, pasta, pancakes and more. Luckily I have yoga every morning and boot camp 4 days this week so I think I will be back on track by Friday. 

This weekend is the unofficial start of summer and I cannot wait. I am looking forward to days at the ocean, long walk in the sand, vine ripened tomatoes, cherries, peaches and more. Do you have any plans for Memorial Day weekend? Or for summer? 

I hope that you have a great week.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Friday Favorites from Hummingbird High, Wild Wild Whisk, Creme de la Crumb and More!


Good morning! I am so ready for the weekend, I have had a busy but fun week. In addition to having my husbands co-workers in town for a series of meetings, dinners and outings my good friend has been visiting from Spain. We have been catching up, going to lunches and dinners and making plans in addition to drinking and laughing until our faces hurt. How has your week been?

I hope that you enjoy my Friday favorites.

Interesting Food 

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I have never made a white lasagna but I will definitely be making this Easy White Chicken Lasagna with Spinach from Creme de la Crumb


Image Hummingbird High

Rhubarb fans you will love this beautiful cake from Hummingbird High.

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If you are looking for a cocktail for your next bbq this Pimm's Cup from Wild Wild Whisk might be the hit of the party. 



And for my fellow chocolate lovers, my 5 Favorite Chocolate Finds from the week. 


Interesting Articles






Interesting TV/Movies

The Fabulous Life of Elisabeth Vigee Labrun

Bill Cunningham New York


Interesting Books




The Food Explorer

In the nineteenth century, American meals were about subsistence, not enjoyment. But as a new century approached, appetites broadened, and David Fairchild, a young botanist with an insatiable lust to explore and experience the world, set out in search of foods that would enrich the American farmer and enchant the American eater.

Kale from Croatia, mangoes from India, and hops from Bavaria. Peaches from China, avocados from Chile, and pomegranates from Malta. Fairchild’s finds weren’t just limited to food: From Egypt he sent back a variety of cotton that revolutionized an industry, and via Japan he introduced the cherry blossom tree, forever brightening America’s capital. Along the way, he was arrested, caught diseases, and bargained with island tribes. But his culinary ambition came during a formative era, and through him, America transformed into the most diverse food system ever created.







Following his acclaimed life of Dickens, Robert Douglas-Fairhurst illuminates the tangled history of two lives and two books. Drawing on numerous unpublished sources, he examines in detail the peculiar friendship between the Oxford mathematician Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) and Alice Liddell, the child for whom he invented the Alice stories, and analyzes how this relationship stirred Carroll’s imagination and influenced the creation of Wonderland. It also explains why Alice in Wonderland (1865) and its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass (1871), took on an unstoppable cultural momentum in the Victorian era and why, a century and a half later, they continue to enthrall and delight readers of all ages.
The Story of Alice reveals Carroll as both an innovator and a stodgy traditionalist, entrenched in habits and routines. He had a keen double interest in keeping things moving and keeping them just as they are. (In Looking-Glass Land, Alice must run faster and faster just to stay in one place.) Tracing the development of the Alice books from their inception in 1862 to Liddell’s death in 1934, Douglas-Fairhurst also provides a keyhole through which to observe a larger, shifting cultural landscape: the birth of photography, changing definitions of childhood, murky questions about sex and sexuality, and the relationship between Carroll’s books and other works of Victorian literature.
In the stormy transition from the Victorian to the modern era, Douglas-Fairhurst shows, Wonderland became a sheltered world apart, where the line between the actual and the possible was continually blurred.

Penelope Lively takes up her key themes of time and memory, and her lifelong passions for art, literature, and gardening in this philosophical and poetic memoir. From the courtyards of her childhood home in Cairo to a family cottage in Somerset, to her own gardens in Oxford and London, Lively conducts an expert tour, taking us from Eden to Sissinghurst and into her own backyard, traversing the lives of writers like Virginia Woolf and Philip Larkin while imparting her own sly and spare wisdom. "Her body of work proves that certain themes never go out of fashion," writes the New York Times Book Review, as true of this beautiful volume as of the rest of the Lively canon.

Now in her eighty-fourth year, Lively muses, "To garden is to elide past, present, and future; it is a defiance of time."


Interesting Finds





I love this lobster tote.















I hope that you have a happy and safe weekend. Please share your favorite books, movies, recipes, podcasts and more.