June 30, 2014

A Touch Of The Red, White And Blue

Summer is here. And our home is decked out in red, white, and blue to celebrate. It is no secret that we love holidays. And decorating for them. We decorate our home for Memorial Day, and then keep up the red, white, and blue for Fourth of July, and even Labor Day. Here is a quick peek at our summer holiday home...

The holiday mantel...

with a colorful wreath and some little sparklers...

a sweet little print...

and our Yankee candle and some wooden stars.

I added a super soft bright red throw to the chair in the hearth room, and now it is the most popular spot in the house. : )

The holiday tree in the foyer greets guests...

with red, white, and blue stars and flags.

I set some cute little blocks under the tea and coffee station...

and some festive wooden stars on the telephone table.

A little candle adds warmth to the family room...

and our God Bless America candle burns every summer evening in our country home.

That is our home for the summer, my friends. Next...be still my heart...decorating for autumn with pumpkins and leaves in September.
Until then,
 Happy Summer!

June 28, 2014

Milk Chocolate Pound Cake

You know we love cake here, right? And one that can be served as a coffee cake as well? Perfect! Peyton whipped this up this past week, and it was a hit. I found this recipe in one of my favorite books... "The Cake Mix Doctor". The chocolate flavor is understated, so if you want more chocolate flavor...just add more chocolate. : )

Milk Chocolate Pound Cake
  1. 4 Regular size Hershey bars, chopped thin
  2. 1 box yellow cake mix
  3. 1 small package vanilla instant pudding
  4. 1cup sour cream
  5. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  6. 4 large eggs
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  8. powdered sugar, for dusting
  1. Spray a Bundt pan lightly with Pam, and dust with flour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 Degrees.
  3. Beat cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl on low speed for one minute.
  4. Increase speed to medium and beat two minutes more.
  5. Fold in chopped candy bars.
  6. Pour into pan and smooth out.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees 50 to 55 minutes.
  8. Let cool twenty minutes, then turn onto platter.
  9. Dust with powdered sugar.
  10. Enjoy!

June 26, 2014

Weekend Plans

The calendar says this is the last weekend in June. How exactly is that possible? Hoping July passes a bit more leisurely, right? : ) Anyway, here is what we are up to this summer weekend.

Friday evening Rhett will be at the theater, where he spends a lot of his time these days. He loves helping out there, and I am so happy for him. Before he goes, I am planning a crockpot dinner of Japanese Beef with broccoli over jasmine rice. Remember, crockpots are not just for winter! : )

Saturday, Madison is working and we have a wedding to attend for my very dear friend. I am so very happy for her! She lived right across the road from me and I miss her. But I am happy for her and am excited for her special day.

Sunday is a special day here...Steve and I are celebrating our 23rd Wedding Anniversary. : ) Plans for the day are up in the air, but if I had my say, we would celebrate by doing something crazy like cooking on the grill and rocking on the porch with our littles afterward. : )  We do have Mass in the morning, and Madison works all day, so we will see what happens. In any case, I sure am glad I said I do that sweet guy all those years ago. : )

So that is what we are up to this weekend, my friends. I hope yours is happy and sunny and fun, whatever your plans may be. Thanks for visiting!

Pancakes for dinner. A summer favorite.

Peyton and I have been doing some Japanese cooking...

and it has been good. : )

Summer in PA is a blessing...

whether we are playing an evening game of baseball in pink winter boots...

or posing for pictures before Mass...

in summer sundresses, of course...

or running through the grass...

without a care in the world.

One more pic of my baby on her way up the steps to dine in Cinderella's Castle. : )

And a Happy Anniversary wish to my Steve!
Love you!

Happy Weekend, friends. : )

June 24, 2014

Another Peek At My Front Porch

Summer is here. And I want to show you where we are spending our days. Our front porch is an extension of our home. In Pennsylvania, we can use our porch from around May until October. And use it we do. So here is a peek at our front porch...wish you all could join us here. : )

Here is the front view...

Peyton usually sits here with Flynn...

and this is the view. : )

You can usually find me here...right across from them...

with this as my view.

Steve and Rhett prefer these rockers...

while Madison enjoys being around the corner on these.

Flynn likes her little old rocker out here too. This wicker rocker belonged to my grandfather when he was young. : )

And that, my friends, is where you can find us these lazy, hazy summer days.
And nights. : )

June 21, 2014

The Dream That You Wish Will Come True...

My Flynn has a genuine love for Cinderella. It goes well beyond the usual favorite princess or favorite toy phase. She truly has a connection to the kind, soft spoken heart of Cinderella. So when we were planning this trip to Walt Disney World, we knew she would have to meet her. I credit Peyton and Steve for the planning of this trip, and they did an excellent job. We secured Fast Passes to meet Cinderella on our very first night, as well as have dinner in Cinderella's Castle a few days later.

Once we arrived at our villa in Walt Disney World, Flynn changed into her Cinderella sun dress and we set out to Magic Kingdom. We relished our first glimpse of Main Street and Cinderella's Castle before heading off to ride and explore. When the time arrived for us to head to Princess Fairytale Hall, Flynn was beyond excited. We waited just a few moments before we were ushered into the beautiful room where Cinderella was waiting. And then it was our turn...

Flynn ran into her Cinderella's arms.

And Cinderella was the sweetest, kindest, and most loving princess ever.

She spent so much time with Flynn...talking and giggling, asking her name, and posing for pictures...

And then she gave her one last big hug before it was our time to leave.
This moment melted our hearts. : )
The last thing Flynn told her was she was coming to her castle for dinner in two more days.
On Thursday. : )

On Thursday, Flynn dressed in her finest dress, complete with her crown, and we headed to meet Cinderella before dining in her castle.

She was so excited.
Can you tell?

We arrived at the castle and were ushered into the reception area where Cinderella greets her guests.

And then there was this...
The moment we all stopped and stared...
Except for Flynn who ran into Cinderella's arms again.
What made us so happy?
This lovely young lady...
This sweet Cinderella...
who must meet and hug hundreds of little girls a day...
stopped when she saw us, smiled, opened her arms and said,
"Princess Flynn! I've been waiting for you!"

She actually remembered Flynn from two days before!
How special did that make my baby feel?
Cinderella sat down and visited with her...
She told Flynn how much she loved her gown...
She told Flynn she had waited all day to see her.

And then Cinderella gave my baby the most genuine hug ever.
It was one of the moments I will remember for the rest of my life.
And I know, as young as she is, my Flynn will do the same.
She will remember with joy the day a young lady named Cinderella
made all her dreams come true.
After all...

"A dream is a wish your heart makes
When you're fast asleep
In dreams you lose your heartaches
Whatever you wish for, you keep
Have faith in your dreams and someday
Your rainbow will come smiling thru
No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing
the dream that you wish will come true."

June 19, 2014

Disney 2014...In Pictures

Disney was pure magic this year. Here are some of the photos of our magical trip to Walt Disney World. : )

We began the celebration the night before with a "Going to Disney" party...

Thank you, Tara!!!

And then...we were off!

This little lady was amazed as we flew through the clouds. : )

Once there...the magic surrounds you, and you forget the world outside the magical gates even exists. We did so much together in one short week...

We found fun little touches in our beautiful hotel villa...

We enjoyed early morning swims...

with breakfasts by the pool. : )

Afternoons found us snuggling, watching vintage Mickey Mouse cartoons, and napping. Yes, all of us.

Evenings began with dinner at the most amazing places...

like dining in The West Wing in the Beast's Castle...

where we saw The Enchanted Rose.

And posed for a photo, of course.

We also ate at an amazing Japanese restaurant in Epcot, where our meal was prepared right at our table, and even the littlest princess used chopsticks. : )

The highlight of the trip...for ALL of us...was the magical moment when our Flynn finally met her Cinderella. The real Cinderella. It was pure magic. It was one of those moments you know you will remember forever in your heart.

A few days later, my baby put on her finest...

and met her again! This time for dinner in Cinderella's very own castle.
More on this later. This moment deserves its own post.
I promise.

There was plenty of time for rides...
from the thrill of the carousel for all...

to the roller coasters and magical Soarin' for the big kids. : )

We spent some time waiting on the patio until it was time to catch the bus...

to ride over to a different park...

where Woody was thrilled to see her. : )

We were so thankful Daddy was able to ask the front desk clerk to run to Walmart and get an umbrella stroller since Mommy forgot ours. Oops. ; )
There is just too much walking in Disney for little four year old legs.

We attended a lovely Mass at the beautiful Shrine of Mary Queen of The Universe.

My movie buff was thrilled to find the AMC Dine-In Theatre in Downtown Disney.
We saw Maleficent...and loved it!
We ate dinner in recliners inside, all while watching the movie. : )

A breakfast milk spill led to one of the most fun times...an impromptu splash in the fountain!

We had breakfast with Mickey and friends...

and Donald was the clear favorite. : )

And late nights were saved for the magical moments of parade...

and fireworks watching.

We took many, many photos...

to help us remember this magical trip...

long after we say goodbye.

Good bye for now, Walt Disney World.
Thanks for the magic.
And the memories.