January 31, 2018

Ready For The Weekend!

Will you be watching the Super Bowl this weekend? Even though our beloved Steelers came up short this year, we are excited to join most of America in watching the game and eating too much food while we do. We are also super excited that Marian is coming for the weekend! Yay! We texted today and planned our menu. And this is what we came up with for our Super Bowl party 2018. Because let's face it...it's really all about the food.

Slow Cooker Short Ribs- Marian's recipe

Cheese Broccoli Soup- Recipe from my sister-in law Beth...soooo good.

Onion Rings- Courtesy of Ore-Ida

Wings- Take out...Can't have Super Bowl here without them!

Taco Dip- Margie and Chris bring it to all the parties...Delicious!

Chocolate Dipped Oreo Balls- Peyton's Contribution...AMAZING!

Peanut Butter Pie- Because. Peanut Butter pie.

I  also always have a big bowl of m&m's at our Super Bowl parties. 
I remember being a little girl back in the 1970's, sitting by the fire, watching the Steelers play in the Super Bowl. My mom had a Steeler tablecloth on the table, Steeler plates and napkins, and a big bowl of m&m's.

So, will you be watching?
More importantly...
What will you be eating?!
I'd love to know!

January 29, 2018

Just Do You

Steve and I were enjoying our morning time together one day last week. We were in our usual spot on the couch, Steve with his tea, and me with my coffee. We were watching our favorite morning show, Match Game '74 ...Yes, really... and a commercial came on for some sort of treadmill or incline trainer. A young woman, with flawless makeup and a great big smile, was throughly enjoying her morning workout, which consisted of casually running on a treadmill with an incline nearly perpendicular to the floor.

Even when I was young, I didn't enjoy mornings on a treadmill. Especially dressed as a model complete with a perfect ponytail. I didn't enjoy Zumba, or Aerobics, or even walking for an extended period of time. Some people do. Me? Not so much. And I used to feel badly about that. I felt I was supposed to want to exercise everyday...to enjoy brisk walks in the morning, and dressing up for exercise class at night.

Another thing about me? I am a homebody. I have always been happiest and most comfortable within the walls of my home. I never feel the desire to get dressed up on the weekends and go out to dinner or to a bar or a party. I feel much more happy being in my jammies, pouring a cup of coffee and hitting the couch for the evening. That is just me. It is who I am. I used to feel weird about that. I used to feel that I shouldn't be happy at home with Lifetime movies and a good book. I should be like everyone else, right?

And then there is the sun. I have always avoided the sun. I just do not enjoy being in the hot sun. I don't like to sit in the sun, or lay out in the sun. I just don't like it. And that is something I have felt weird about my entire life. I like to go outside in the early morning or late afternoon. I enjoy being at the beach when everyone else is leaving. It is just me.

This of course brings me to one last thing. I have never tanned. My skin is as white in August as it is in December. I am pale, and I always have been. It doesn't bother me. But it seems to bother other people! It used to bother me when people constantly commented on my lack of a tan. It used to make me feel embarrassed to wear sleeveless shirts in the summer because I knew someone would comment on my pale skin. Again. It is just who I am.

I do not judge other people's choices. I learned a long time ago that what other people do and enjoy  is not my concern. Simply because I don't enjoy exercising, socializing, or tanning does not mean I think those things are wrong. Or weird. Not in the least. Some people enjoy exercise. That is great, really. Some people like to go out. I think that is awesome. And some people love the sun. They enjoy getting a tan every summer. Again. That's great, really!

While I feel that all of these things are great for people who enjoy them, I have only recently felt comfortable admitting that I don't. I haven't always been able to own the fact that I may be different, even considered strange by some. Today, I am comfortable in who I am. And in what I like. And I can only hope other people will be the same. But if not, that is ok. Really. Because at 48 years old, I am who I am. And I am proud to be me.

I wish I could tell my younger self not to worry so much about what other people think.  I wish I could tell her to own who you are. Embrace the quirks that make you...you. Be yourself and respect the fact that others may not agree with what you do. I would tell her the best feeling in the world is being comfortable with yourself and who you are. I would tell her...Just do you.

January 26, 2018

Random Photo Friday

Friday again! I hope your week was happy and healthy, my friends. Here are a few pictures of our simple little life this past week.

We enjoyed Saturday morning pancakes with fresh fruit on the side.
(The fruit makes me feel better about the pancakes and syrup.)

My girl.
Always willing to smile for a picture...

I told her she was the most fashionable eight year old around.
Her response?

And I don't even try!  : )

Do you ever eat at Red Lobster?
They have a new section on their menu...
Small Plates.
I had the most amazing Petite Lobster Roll!!!!
And a side Caesar Salad...
Plus this amazing Strawberry Lemonade to finish off our lunch out on a Tuesday.

I sipped some green tea while teaching my favorite second grader.

A moment that made me happy...
Flynn and Mocha
Christmas pajamas and January sunlight
And a smile.

Ending with this one!

Have a cozy weekend, my friends!
Thanks for visiting. : )

January 24, 2018

Just A January Moment

A moment frozen in time~
My girl and I~
Snowflakes and smiles~
Her blankie too~


January 22, 2018

Still So Much To Celebrate!

Christmas is over and put away until next year. That doesn't mean the celebrations have to end though!! Years ago, I was a young mom to three littles, ages five and under. The long Pennsylvania winter loomed ahead, and I thought about simple ways to bring some fun to our days.

We started celebrating the winter holidays and found that the easiest things added joy and excitement to our days. We continue to this day, and although the celebrations have changed through the years as my littles grew, we still pencil in the special days to celebrate during the long, cold winter months.

If you want to join in the fun, remember...you can make the celebrations as simple or as elaborate as you choose. Maybe you read a Valentine book and bake some cupcakes with pink icing. Maybe you decorate and play music and make homemade Chinese food on Chinese New Year. Crafts are fun and easy too. Don't let Pinterest make you feel pressured, ok? Just do what you want and have fun!

Winter Holidays

National Chocolate Cake Day 
SaturdayJanuary 27 

Groundhog Day 
FridayFebruary 2 

Super Bowl LII
February 4

  Shrove Tuesday 2018
TuesdayFebruary 13

                                             Ash Wednesday 
                                                          Wednesday,February 14

Valentine's Day 
WednesdayFebruary 14

 Chinese New Year
                                                    FridayFebruary 16

January 19, 2018

Weekly Wrap-Up

Happy Friday, my friends. I hope your weekend is happy and healthy and cozy. We have few plans other than mass and some organizing. Super cold January weekends are perfect for that. This past week seemed to fly by here. This is what we were up to...

January 17, 2018

Just For Fun

Because. Keeping it real here.

You have no idea.

Anyone else?

Just sayin'

Doesn't everyone?

Every single week.
Unless we make tacos.

It's true.

(Pinterest for the fun. )

January 15, 2018

When God Sends Blessings In Disguise

When we went on our first family cruise a few years ago, we were seated at the perfect table in the dining room. We were right next to a big round window, and we loved it. It was out of the way, and we had a great view of the ocean.

Last year, as we were planning our second cruise, I was insistent that we get the same type of table. You know, because I am weird like that. Before we left for the cruise, Steve called and requested a window table. Unfortunately, we were told that reserving tables is not permitted prior to the cruise. And because he is the most awesome husband ever, Steve went directly to the dining room as soon as we boarded the ship to request a window table.

When he returned, he told us that while the manager was very kind, he could not promise a certain table assignment. The table we were assigned was not the same one we had before.  It was in the middle of the dining room, far from the secluded window tables. The manager said we needed to sit at that table the first night, and he would see if he could switch us the next day. That sounded good to me.

That first night we dressed for dinner and headed to the dining room. We were seated at a beautiful, round table in the middle of the room. I immediately liked the round table much better than the long one we had previously. But that is not what made our evening so very special. Our main server that first evening was a young man named Alan. He was the most kind, professional, friendly server ever. It was clear that he loved what he did, and wanted each person to have the best time possible. We had a wonderful experience that first night, and left feeling very happy.

The next day, we received a message that the manager of the dining room was unable to change our table. And you know, we were so very happy that he could not. We were happy knowing that we were to have such a kind and friendly young man take care of us the remainder of the week. Each night, as we got to know him better, we realized that Alan would become more than our favorite server on a cruise. We realized he would become a friend. And that is exactly what happened.

Before we left for dinner the last night of the cruise, Flynn made a card for Alan. She thanked him for everything, and wrote that she hoped that he could keep in touch. I was so proud her, but thought it not likely, as I knew the servers on the ship meet hundreds of people and most likely do not remember them from week to week.

I was wrong. We continue our friendship with Alan to this day. And we are friends not only with him, but also with his beautiful family in the Philippines. You think I would have learned by now to let things go, right? I should stop trying to control things, and let God handle them, even when I think I can take care of them on my own. Because sometimes, God sends us blessings in disguise. And this time, it was the blessing of a lifelong friendship with a wonderful family we otherwise would never have met. : )

New friends on the ship...

And long after we returned home.

We enjoy messaging with his beautiful family too. : )

We are so thankful that we did not get seated at the table we thought we wanted. And that God brought our families together. And for a friendship that will last a lifetime. 

January 12, 2018

Weekly Wrap-Up

So that was a fast week, don't you think? Here we are at the beginning of a long winter weekend. And here in Pennsylvania we are awaiting a pretty good winter storm. Our plans include blankets, movies, and food. And hopefully we will be able to venture out for Mass, too.

Here is a look back at the past week here in our cozy home...

We took a drive to Steve's sister Sally's house this week for a great visit in her new home.
She made a delicious dinner, her husband Greg made a cozy fire, and we relaxed and enjoyed visiting with them and their son long into the evening.

My maturity level was tested during the 35 minute ride there. : )

And Sally surprised me with a very special gift!
Do you know what this is?!?!?!
It is Steve's Mum's meatloaf pan!
Do you remember the piece I wrote about my memories of Mum?
I read it at Mum's funeral luncheon, and when Sally heard me mention how much I loved Mum's meatloaf, and that I remembered the pan she used every single time she made it, she said she knew she wanted me to have it. She is the most thoughtful person ever.
I am so happy to have this piece of Mum with me forever.

Look at me...out two days in a row!!!
Rhett and I took an early morning drive to the orthodontist this week...

I think I enjoy it quite a bit more than he does.

I bought myself a present!
I was excited to show you all.
Clearly, I should have waited for Rhett to help me out...

Better, right?

Back home.
Cozy throw. Evening tea.
Winter tree lights.
Family gathered together watching a favorite show.

My mom had her turn to bring a treat to Bingo this week!
Peyton made her some strawberry cupcakes and we picked up some vanilla ice cream cups, Valentines's Day plates and candy, and she was all set!
I love making my mom happy. : )

On that note...
Have a cozy, safe, happy weekend with your people.
Thanks for visiting!

January 10, 2018

Why I Resolve To Not Resolve

Did I make a New Year's resolution this year? To quote Rhett, who quotes Simon Cowell, "It's a no from me." Committing myself to creating and maintaining a new, challenging habit at the end of a season filled with fun and food and relaxation...and food...is, for me, a set up for failure.

Yes, the new year is a fresh start...a blank page...a new beginning. But why? Because I get a brand new planner? Why is January first any different than March first...besides the fact I have to remember to write 2018 instead of 2017, which of course takes me a couple weeks to do? What I am trying to say is this: For me, resolutions are not necessary or particularly beneficial to my physical and emotional well-being. I find little to no benefit in putting an added pressure on myself to do something that prior to January first has not been a part of my daily life.

I could resolve to get up earlier every day. And I would. For a week or so, until my warm cozy sheets and our late night schedule catch up with me. I could resolve to eat a healthy breakfast everyday. And I would, until Peyton makes some delicious cinnamon rolls or turnovers. I could resolve to walk on my treadmill every morning. And I would. Maybe. Until the phone rings or I have to run Rhett to the orthodontist or the puppies to the vet.

I try to maintain a happy, healthy, consistent, prayerful outlook all throughout the year. I admit..I am not always completely successful. Some days I get up early. Other days, I sleep late. Most days I eat a bowl of healthy cereal with fresh fruit for breakfast. Sometimes, I eat pancakes with butter and syrup. My treadmill is covered in dust. But I walk my puppy down the road when the weather is nice. I eat dessert. I drink coffee. I like fresh fruit and salads. I strongly dislike structured exercise. I love to read. I pray everyday. I watch my cholesterol. I love to swing with my kids. I eat McDonald's french fries dipped in honey mustard. I stay up late. Most every night. That is just what I do.

So, this year, like every year before, I resolve to make no resolutions. I will simply live and breathe and do my best to be a happy, healthy wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. I will enjoy everything in moderation. And I will not pressure myself to be someone or something I'm not. That takes way too much effort, don't you think?

January 8, 2018

What We Are Watching...Winter 2018

In the interest of total and honest disclosure, I am going to admit that we watch a lot of television. I am actually not going to make excuses or apologize for it either. It is what we do. We gather together every evening after dinner, all  of us, and we spend family time together watching television. In the summer, we obviously spend more time outdoors, but during these cold, dark, cozy months of winter, our evenings revolve around blankets, cocoa and tea, and our favorite television shows.

Here is what we are watching this winter...some with our littlest family member...some after she is upstairs in dreamland. : )

The Kids Baking Championship is on The Food Network on Monday night.
We watch this every year, and really love it. : )

The Bachelor is also on Monday night.
I am a proud member of #BachelorNation.
Would I want one of my daughters looking for her husband on national television?
But I watch it and enjoy it for what it is...entertainment.
And I stopped being judgmental of others long, long ago. : )

Another Monday night show we love???
The Good Doctor on ABC.
This is a new show, and it is so good.
I am not usually a fan of medical dramas, but the storyline and acting in this one is amazing.
We actually DVR this and watch it Tuesday night, after Flynn is in bed.

The Amazing Race is on CBS Wednesday night.
I watched this years ago, but haven't for a long time.
It only started last week, but looks good so far.

And finally...The Four.
We stumbled upon this one last Thursday night.
We loved it!
It is similar to The Voice and American Idol, but better!
It moves faster, the audience has a role in the decisions, and it involves different genres of music.

Well, that is what is on our television this winter, my friends.
How about you??
Anything you are loving?
I wouldn't want to miss anything!!
Thanks for visiting. : )

January 5, 2018

(Christmas) Week Wrap-up

Happy Friday, friends! I hope you are staying safe and warm and cozy during these cold January days. I would normally post some pictures of the past week here, but I thought I would spare you the excitement of seeing my house in a state of chaos and and clutter. We spent this week taking down and packing up Christmas. And cleaning. Because apparently, bathrooms don't care if it's Christmas. The nerve.  : )

I did find some pictures on my camera roll from Christmas week. And these will be the end of the holiday pictures. Promise.

We enjoyed our annual Christmas at Aunt Margie and Uncle Chris' house.
Pizza, wings, presents, and games in their adorable Christmas house is a part of our Christmas season every single year.

Aunt Margie surprised my girl with her first Barbie car!
But apparently Zip and Rubbie Duckie took it for the first ride.

Peyton got a new game for Christmas, and we have been playing it like crazy!
Do you recognize it???
I used to play it at my grandma's house years ago.
I love that these "retro" games are coming back.
I'll tell you what it is down below. ; )

I started this show and CANNOT STOP WATCHING!
It is sooo good.
For adults.
But sooo good.

And this.
I started trying to drink more water.

Have a nice weekend, my friends.
Thank you for visiting.
Stay warm and cozy!!!

Oh, I almost forgot!
The name of our new favorite game?